Mastering continues to be one of the tantalizing pursuits on which musicians want to be dexterous. With decades and development of technology, the mastering procedure has been the subject to colossal changes that made it further impossible to delineate out a precise learning method. Yes, you can enroll in music mastering course or scour the internet to learn about the steps before mastering your own album but the professionals have spelled out the importance of ‘experience’ in mastering. Without extensive practice, it’s virtually impossible to master the processes, moreover, innate creativity is another prerequisite.
It is truly said mastering is the concoction of science and creativity, technology irrefutably plays an important role but the artistic feel, taste of the person is also crucial. While music is a pure art form, the way instruments resonate and the right application of compression, equalization techniques are deeply rooted in science or better say the understanding and knowledge of these technical forces. Being an enthusiastic musician, you must be eager to explore the art of mastering process but before you start investing your time, it’s important to weigh up the viability of hiring professional mixing and mastering service and learning the skill. As its mentioned earlier music mastering process has undergone myriad of changes let’s have a basic glimpse on them-
Evolution of Audio Mastering
Though the basic work remains the same that is to prep up the album but the methods, related technology and tools have undergone transition. Initially audio mastering was designed to ensure a set of mixes would work impeccably on the vinyl format and in addition to that the music of the album was sometimes be tweaked to make it compatible for radio broadcast that was crucial for the promotion of the artists and the record albums.
In the era of vinyl records, owing to the two sides of the vinyl disc the song order was a cautiously weighted decision. It was important to determine whether the song would belong to side A or B and the total running time, the sequence of the song was decided in several ways specifically considering certain vibe or feeling.
Nowadays, the final mixes need to be sent via a hard drive, data storage device or FTP, no matter whichever media you have chosen be sure it must be on a format on which the mastering engineer can work unhindered. A clearly perceptible sound will help them to discern the flaws existed in the mix. You must be wondering how people in earlier days brought the mix to the mastering studio before the invention of such advanced data transfer procedure, prior the advancement and widespread use of computer, analogue tape was the medium to record and store the final mix. In the era of 80, digital tape took its place; the final mixes were recorded in digital tape in Reel-to-Reel format. The transfer process has been simplified over the decades, a greater part of the final mixes is now sent as digital audio files storing a hard drive and this has significantly eliminated the necessity of analogue to digital conversion. The most remarkable change in mastering technology came with the launch of compact disc in the year 1982; it completely changed the customary mastering techniques. Now with the commence of mastering music online it’s better to discuss with the mastering engineer about his preferred medium or simply follow the instructions mentioned on their website before you send the mix.
Mastering the recorded music is regarded to be the best thing one can perform to enhance the quality of the audio album, it’s the ultimate stage and literary the last opportunity to refine and polish the recording before duplication. The better your album will sound, the better chance it will obtain to gain acclamation from the music critics and aficionados. It’s the fine line between the success and failure of your album; if you are novice this will determine your future in this highly competitive music industry. Mastering denotes to the very procedure that ensures your album will sound clear and consistent in every existing music system.
An Elaborate Study on Music Mastering
The often-misunderstood supposition regarding mastering is the purpose is to make it louder while the true intent of music mastering is to achieve the best possible tonal balance and quality for the album. Contemplate mastering as the process of adding sparkle to your music to make it shine; it ensures that the first song doesn’t blow out the speakers with sudden upsurge while the second song of the album is hardly audible, the level of each song will be same and a general sense of cohesiveness will prevail throughout the recording. Besides rectifying the perceptible differences in volume, mastering is a subjective process.
Mastering was previously referred to the process where the record was being cut by the lathe for copying into vinyl. Online audio mastering service process still entails this procedure but now most of the recordings are replicated on CD or for internet publication. The span of the procedure has also expanded and now it has included several other methods like equalization, compression for balancing tone and stereo enhancement. With the main aim of improving the sonic quality of your album at this step, the level of each song or relative volume is modified, the spectral balance for each cut and overall album is also administered and the dynamic range of the songs is enhanced. Reverb is done to the final mix to render it three-dimensional feeling and correct the mere flat sounding record.Why Trust on a Professional Audio Mastering Engineer?
Why Trust on a Professional Audio Mastering Engineer?
Hopefully, this is enough to make you understand that audio mastering requires exhaustive knowledge and years of experience in this niche. Thanks to the introduction of online affordable music and mastering services, now even the aspiring musicians working with a constricted budget can also have the blissful touch of mastering. Owing to your delinquency or lack of aptitude in the art of mastering, the sound each song may belie and consequentially you may fail to deliver euphonious sound. Thus instead of relying on your little knowledge entitle the responsibility of mastering to professional mixing and mastering services. However, in the search of affordable service don’t settle down for an inexperienced, amateurish mastering engineer. Remember, an incompetent mastering engineer will boost the volume in name of mastering as, to our ear a louder sounding record while playing simultaneously with the original one seems to be more perfect.
At Red Mastering Studio, we audio master a lot of hip hop music.
Please listen to all the samples below. enjoy!
Most of the mixing engineers and musicians are unaware of the fact that the best way to prepare the songs is the mastering. Here are some of the tips that cover the issues that mastering engineers use with the mixes. Maybe there are some of the exceptions, but for some of the commercially released music albums, these following tips will be helping the mastering engineer to work in a possible manner and make the mixing of the songs,
- Remove the master bus compression. Equalization and limiting
In most of the times, the mastering engineers pre-master the tracks to get the better sound of the tracks. While the pre-master make a good sound, but the addition of the master bus makes the process difficult or impossible for the engineer to bring out a great mastering effect to the songs. In some of the rare cases, engineers do often use the special processor or the plug-in on the master bus to bring out the effect. If, this is the matter, be sure that you are notifying the engineer when you are sending the project.
- Keep the maximum levels of each of the tracks between -3db to -6db-
By providing the maximum headwork to the mastering engineer for working, this will allow giving the better master. You will not require any type of clipping on the soundtracks in the mix. It is very important to be sure that each of the tracks has the enough headroom. Do not just lower down the master bus, lower down each of the single tracks in the mix.
- Reduce the noise in the mix-
One of the most important mastering services includes lowering the noise on the mix. With the best use of the mastering process, you can make the song louder and reduce all type of imperfections that are not noticeable in the case of mixing the sound. If you are hearing the noise in the mix, you will be hearing the same in the mastering. All the mastering engineers eliminate the noises; however, you will get a much better sound after mastering the sound.
- Submit the highest resolution file that you are having-
You have to be sure that you are submitting the files to the engineer that are having the highest resolution in which they are mixing the files. Generally, most of you may be submitting the files of 24 bit, WAV or the .AIF file format. These files are not converted and non-compressed and will provide the engineer the best possible way for mastering the audio tracks.
These are some of the tips that are given to the engineer for the best possible type of mastering services they can provide to the clients. There are various online mastering studios that provide effective solutions to the musicians.