How To Prepare Your Recording

How to prepare your track for Mastering 

Preparing your pre-master correctly is the single most important factor to a good sounding master. You’ll be giving us the best possible mix to work with, which in turn ensures you get the best results from mastering your music. 

Master channel

Please remove all processing from your master channel. Adding processors to the master channel can make it difficult for us to make a great master. EQ, compression and limiting can all affect the dynamics, which is taken care of by us at the mastering stage.

Audio Levels

During the main section of your track, the peak level should be about

-4db. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Giving us enough headroom to work with will give you a better master. We will use EQ and compression alongside other tools which boost the peak level of your track.

The following picture shows two waveforms; the first is peaking around -4db, the correct level for mastering. the second is too loud and is peaking at 0db

 

Website DosDoonts 2

If you’re unsure whether your song is the correct level, export it, then import the bounced audio file back into your DAW and compare the waveform next to a mastered song. It should look similar to the waveforms above. 

How to upload your tracks for Mastering

We want to make this as easy as possible, so to save time on having to upload your audio stems again, please ensure you’ve read through the “how to prepare your track for Mastering” section.

If you have any questions, please send us an email before uploading your music.

Before uploading your track for mastering, please check the file format is 24bit WAV (16bit accepted), 44100hz and peak level of 
-4db. All EQs, compressors and limiters are removed from the master channel.

Compress all files into one zip file using Winzip, WinRAR or something similar and upload using the information we have provided in the intake form and confirmation mail. Dropbox links or WeTransfer links are also accepted.

Please only upload audio for mastering. No DJ mixes or promos.

Once we receive your track or tracks, they are checked to make sure they’re ready for mastering. If there are any issues, we’ll advise of any changes that are needed.

The tracks are then mastered and we’ll send you a short clip of your master for you to review. If you’re happy with the result, the full track is then sent after payment.

 

File Format

The file format should be as follows; 24bit 44100hz WAV or AIFF. We can handle other file types but please check with us first.

 

Reference Tracks

We know what commercial levels are and will match your musical genre to these levels. However within each genre there are often differences in EQ and compression. Likewise many artists want a specific sound on their master. For this reason, it’s very helpful to also send a mastered song that has a sound you want.  Also, adding any relevant notes can help reduce revisions.

We ask that you export separate WAV or AIFF files for each audio channel (stem). Each instrument and vocal should have its own track. If your project has 15 channels, you will export 15 WAV or AIFF files. Please name each track appropriately (kick, snare, lead vox, etc.).

All audio channels you prepare for exporting need to have your mix plugins (EQ, reverb or compression) removed. Other creative effects such as delays, filters etc can be kept.

Before exporting the audio files, please make sure there’s no processing (EQs, compressors or limiters) on the master buss. These would affect the dynamics, which we take care of in the mixdown and mastering stage.

All files should start at the same time (bounce whole files) and hence have the same lenght, quality, bit depth and sample rate). When bouncing them normalisation must be off and No dithering.

Audio Levels

Please export your audio at the level you have it in your rough mixdown as this will provide a good starting point for us. Please also ensure that no audio channels are peaking any higher than -4db before exporting. If you record too loud, it will affect audio quality.

File Format

The file format should be as follows; 24bit 44100hz WAV or AIFF. We can handle other file types but please check with us first.

We DO NOT accept mp3s.

Rough Mix & Reference Tracks

When sending your files for audio mixing, please include your rough mix. It also helps to send us some reference songs. These would be songs that you envisage your song sounding like. This helps us understand the sound and style you’re going for.   

Dittering & Normalisation

Dithering is the very last stage of mastering and will be added by us. We will choose the correct dithering settings for each song. If you’ve added dithering, or other plug-ins designed to “enhance” the sound, please remove them. Please also make sure that ‘normalisation’ is off when exporting.

 

Revisions

Sometimes, mastering can highlight elements in your mix down that were previously missed. Therefore, once you have received your mastered song, we allow up to 2 revisions with no extra cost. Any more than 2 revisions will incur a fee.

 

How to upload your stems for Audio Mixing

We want to make this as easy as possible, so to save time on having to upload your audio stems again, please ensure you’ve read through the “how to prepare your track for audio mixing” section.

If you have any questions, please send us an email before uploading your music.

Before upLoading your stems, please check the file format is 24bit WAV (16bit accepted), 44100hz and peak level of -4db.  All tools used for mixing such as reverb, EQ, compressors and limiters should be removed.  Creative effects can be left on when exporting e.g. reverb swells, delays and sidechain compression

Compress all files into one zip file using Winzip, WinRAR or something similar and upload using the information we have provided in the mail.  

Please only upload audio for audio mixing. No DJ mixes or promos.

Once we receive your audio files, they are checked to make sure they’re ready for mixing. If there are any issues, we’ll advise of any changes that are needed.

The tracks are then mixed and we’ll send you a short clip of the audio mix for you to review. If you’re happy with the result, the full track is then sent after payment.

 

Attending the Mixdown of your track(s)

It is possible for max. 1 person to attend in our studio. We will not accommodate for larger groups to wait in our office. We will charge an extra fee for attending, depending date & time of appointment, number of tracks, time needed and food & drinks.

We will contact you to make an appointment and expect you to be there on the agreed date and time. We will not accept changes or cancellations within 3 days of the appointment.  

Attending the Mastering of your track(s)

It is possible for max. 1 person to attend the mastering in our studio. We will not accommodate for larger groups to wait in our office. We will charge an extra fee for attending, depending date & time of appointment, number of tracks, time needed and food & drinks.

We will contact you to make an appointment and expect you to be there on the agreed date and time. We will not accept changes or cancellations within 3 days of the appointment.