Mastering is one of the many alluring pursuits that comprises an extensive music production process. While in the present times, a large number of artists are indulging in this procedure on their own, it is best if you leave the work for a professional, who not only have the adequate knowledge and proficiency but also possess the required paraphernalia.
However, for those musicians, who just would not listen, let me inform that although it seems easy, audio mastering is a challenging task to undertake. Generating optimal results is only possible through dedication, hard work and some necessary tips and tricks. Even though I cannot decide the effort that one is going to put into, let me update some of the essential tips that might be beneficial for individuals, who are trying their hands on professional audio mastering. Take a close look at them as they are mentioned below in points.
- Excessive processing and special effects are not good for a track. If you are thinking that a bad mix could be turned into something exceptional through mastering techniques, let me warn that you are absolutely wrong. Mastering is all about polishing, it is not any kind of magic dust that would make your bad songs melodious.
- Monitoring is extremely important because it is only through acute observation that you would be able to notice the minor flaws. Professional sound engineers have acoustically treated rooms and special headsets, which allow them to hear all the nitty-gritty of a track. Spectrum analysers are another tool used to measure the dynamics and loudness so that they can be balanced properly.
- Compressors are excellent tools that offer your songs with richness and makes them complete. However, it is only through the right use of this equipment that your track could achieve satisfactory punches and volumes.
- Equalisation is a procedure that could limit as well as boost frequencies. It is during this stage that you are required to emphasise the high and low notes properly.
- A large number of artists have entered the loudness wars because they believe that the intensity of volumes determines the quality of a song. However, this is just not true. You cannot really increase the volumes of tracks with a hope to make them a hit in the commercial market. Musicians must remember that a track would only be able to impress listeners if it retains its quality over diverse media formats starting from amplifiers to earphones.
- The A/B testing format in plugins is a great way to compare your mastered track with a song that is already ruling the industry. Here you could learn about those aspects that your track may be lacking and thus, incorporate them later.
The above-mentioned six essential tips are sure to help those musicians, who desire to master their song on their own. However, one must understand that procuring desirable outcomes is not that easy. Instead of getting disheartened due to continual mediocre results, musicians must really consider hiring a professional for mastering music online.
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.