Nov 25

3 Reasons Mastering Audio is Important

Mastering audio refers to expressly improving the audio itself. There are other aspects of mastering audio when it comes to the post-production of creating the actual data or image file for a record which will be sent off for replication. In CD format and vinyl format to a lesser extent you have to consider sequencing or how each track flows into one another, whether or not there’s a break, whether or not the tracks overlap, etc.mastering audio

If you want to forgo the CD pressing altogether and focus on a digital release through a site like BandCamp, then you are exclusively interested in just mastering the audio. Let’s talk about 3 reasons for why mastering audio is truly important and should never be considered optional but unnecessary.

First off, as I mentioned in opening, mastering audio will significantly improve the quality of your audio itself in the hands of a skilled and knowledgeable mastering engineer and yield a much more professional quality to it. Likely the most common effect used in mastering is equalization because it gives you so many options and so much control over the quality of the sound. This breaks a mix into different bands of frequency which can be more closely edited, boosted, or diminished as necessary.

You can compensate for voids and inconsistencies left by the recording stage if you know what you’re doing and the difference between an unmastered and a well mastered track are overwhelmingly palpable.

Secondly, mastering audio ensures that every song which makes up your record is harmonious in terms of volume with every other song on that record. This is important because most songs aren’t recorded in the exact same setting and even if they are then it’s likely that they weren’t recorded at the same levels or with the same instruments. Less sonically dense tracks will likely come out as sounding quieter than one with dozens and dozens of tracks, so the engineer has to make sure that there are no inconsistencies when listening to each one back to back in that record’s mix.

Lastly, mastering audio works to get your music on the same volume as industry standards dictate. Even if you’re a purist who doesn’t believe in compressing and boosting a mix’s overall volume, you still likely don’t want to annoy your fans which is what you’ll do if your music is substantially quieter than other contemporary records so that when played back to back in a mix someone has to continually change the volume between your tracks and everyone else’s.

The ultimate goal in mastering audio is to unlock a final mix’s true potential. Discover your music’s true potential by entrusting one of your songs to a free test master from Music Guy Mastering today and hear how good your music could be sounding in less than 24 hours.

Nov 15

Why You Should Get a Free Test Master

*MusicGuyMastering.com is now offering a free test master to all new clients.

Mastering is the all important final step when it comes to getting your music as professional sounding as possible. Major labels demand that their artists’ music be mastered as the final step in audio production, and you should settle for nothing less for your own music. If you’re not convinced that mastering is important for your music, then you should get a test master to hear how good your music could be sounding. Many professional mastering studios offer a free test master so that you can hear the difference in one of your own songs before moving forward with them.

But what does mastering do?

Admittedly, there is a lot of mystique regarding audio mastering. Artists send their finished mixes to the mastering engineer, and they perform some kind of aural magic, and it comes back sounding better than it did on the in. So what are they doing to make your music sound better? It basically comes down to a handful of important aspects of audio processing.

One of the most important aspects of audio mastering is working with the frequencies of the song and using equalization to bring out the best aspects of the song. In equalization, the engineer breaks the song into different bands and increases or diminishes their influence in the song, highlighting specific ranges in some cases to bring out the song’s full potential.

This is where a masterful ear is required to meticulously sift through the audio of the song in every spectrum and raise and drop accordingly to improve the quality. A good job through equalization will make the audio sound cleaner and give it a lot more presence.

A typical byproduct of this is that the song will sound louder. Oftentimes people mistake mastering for simply making a track louder, but there’s so much more that goes into it. However, a mastering engineer can also further bring up the volume of a track to be on par with industry standards.

You don’t want your track to be buried in a playlist of other songs which are a lot louder than yours as this makes your song sound less professional. The trick is to use just the right amount of compression as a mastering engineer to give the song that extra boost but without sacrificing the dynamic inherent nature of the audio.

If you’re not convinced that mastering is for you, then you should get a free test master of one of your own songs and experience the before and after difference to hear firsthand why you owe it to yourself and your fans to get a good mastering job done on your music, without the risk.

Nov 14

Before You Pay for Online Mastering Consider This

Online mastering refers to submitting your music to an engineer for mastering services on the internet. Most studios work with digital audio nowadays so it’s easy after the tracking process to render your final mix down to a final Wave file which can then be sent off to the mastering engineer all via the internet. You may not even ever meet your mastering engineer, you can simply give him or her feedback on what you want and the entire transaction can be communicated via phone or email.online mastering

Before you go with an online mastering engineer, consider a few things. First of which, think about what kind of work you need done. How many tracks do you need mastered? Do you know what format you’re interested in releasing your music in? If you’re interested in a digital only or online release, then that’s pretty straightforward as the only thing necessary is to master the audio itself.

This is done by artfully and judiciously adding effects like equalization to the final mix in order to bring out the true potential of that record. You can cut the mix’s audio into different frequencies which you can boost or diminish in their presence in the mix to attain a better sounding mix overall. If you’re lacking in the bass area you can boost the low end of the spectrum and this effect is effective for supplementing and making up for less than ideal recording conditions.

Other effects such as reverb can give your mix more atmosphere in case you were not recording in the best space acoustically. The online mastering engineer also ensures that every song of your album is at a harmonious volume with every other track on that record and boosts the overall volume of the record to be compliant with current day standards.

This is the extent of audio mastering itself, but if you require additional services you need to let them know. For instance, if you want to release your music in a physical format like CD or vinyl then there is additional work to be done. For instance, when mastering for a CD you have to consider sequencing or how each track flows into the next in terms of spacing. The engineer also can add data which can be read by car stereos or computers when that CD is loaded to display information to the listener. This part also comprises adding copyright and code information for that artist.

Make sure that you establish things like the price and the option for edits up front. You don’t want to get in an awkward spot at the end of the session when you want some extra work done and the engineer invoices you for that work because you weren’t on the same page in the offset.

Nov 03

CD Mastering Will Improve Your Recordings

CD mastering is the very important final stage and phase in audio production. This happens long after musician writes the song and records it and even has that song turned into a final mix and that final mix is sent off to the CD mastering engineer to be completed. There are so many different misnomers and misunderstandings about what goes into CD mastering which is why a lot of musicians overlook it and ignore it because they simply don’t know why it’s important.cd mastering

Let’s talk about what goes in the CD mastering and how and why it will improve your recording.

First off, CD mastering is used to create the CD file itself which will get sent off for replication. This means setting the spaces between tracks, ensuring they flow into each other in the style and manner which the artist wants, and very importantly ensuring that the volume levels for all of those various final mixes which make up every song on the album are at parity volume wise with one another.

CD mastering also writes data to the album as a whole and every track which comprises the. This is information such as ISR or UPC codes and even copyright and artist information. Ultimately CD mastering exists to ensure that the final product which get sent off for replication is flawless so that there are no issues when you have that CD sent off to be replicated.

The most important aspect of CD mastering is in the touching up and enhancing of the audio itself. Once a particular song has been rendered into its final mix, that mix is sent the mastering engineer and further plug-ins and effects are applied in order to give it a more polished and professional sound. This includes using compression to give the entire song a more unified feel without sacrificing the extremes in the next as well as applying equalization to bring out different sections in that mix and make them more prominent.

The overall end result and effect can be likened to removing the shrink-wrap around the song which existed before so that the sound comes through more clearly and with more clarity and crispness. If you have never heard one of your songs after an effective audio mastering job, you won’t believe how much better it can make your audio sound which is what it’s all about, delivering the best possible final product to your listeners.

Oct 25

The 3 Points of Mastering Engineering

Mastering engineering adds a lot to your final product when it comes to your record. Right now we’re going to identify 3 points of mastering engineering and get a much better understanding of what goes into it and why it is necessary.mastering engineering

First, and this applies to all mastering, but mastering engineering will significantly improve the quality of your audio. While a lot of people make the mistake of believing and assuming that mastering simply raises the volume on your music; the truth is this is just a byproduct of the process. Once a song has been recorded in full and the various tracks which make up that song are mixed together into a final mix, that final mix is sent over to the mastering engineer.

At this stage, the engineer artfully applies plug-ins such as reverb and EQ. These effects ultimately give the track a much more professional and glossy sound with reverb adding more atmosphere to the track and EQ placing emphasis on certain ranges in the mix.

The difference between a master track and on master track is generally very palpable and ideally should be more than just boosting the volume but should really make the audio sound cleaner and crisper. Even just a few tweaks can make your audio sound that much better which is why it’s such an essential final part in audio production.

Mastering engineering isn’t simply an exclusively about correcting and improving the audio itself, however. The second thing which mastering engineering adds to your record is that it creates a complete image for your full record. If you’re planning on sending your completed record off to be replicated into CDs or vinyl records, you need to create that completed file for the record.

The mastering engineer creates this out of the tracks and sets things like spacing in between each track and affects how each song on the record flows into one another. Ultimately the mastering engineer ensures that everything is perfect on that completed album file before it gets sent off for replication at the factory because otherwise if there is some problem such as a particular track doesn’t start when it’s supposed to, this can equal a very costly mistake once you’ve run off some pressing.

Finally, mastering engineering at data to your CD and the files on the CD. This includes the song title and artist information and ISR codes. It even includes things like copyright protection or lyrics to the songs which can be accessed via a computer on a compact disc version of your music.

Ultimately, you can think of audio mastering engineering as being that final step in putting together a much cleaner product for your listeners before it gets sent out. Without it, your audio will not sound nearly as professional and each of your mixes which make up the record will likely jump around being set and recorded at different levels so you need the engineer to tie everything together and that final step of mastering.

Oct 14

What Are ISRC Codes For?

One of the final aspects of audio production involves mastering a track and this is typically when the ISRC codes are written to a track or a CD file. Many artists either do not understand what ISRC codes are necessary for and that’s only if they have even heard of the term before.

What Are ISRC Codes For?

An ISRC code is used to track sales of a particular track both for simple reporting purposes as well as ensuring that the owner of that song or better said the writer of that track gets paid the royalties which they deserve for having written that track when a sale is generated.what are isrc codes for

Each and every song which you write if you are interested in selling your music should have an ISRC code. This data is necessary when writing the data to a track or a CD as well as when you upload your music to a modern online merchandiser such as BandCamp or an online streaming service like Spotify.

Unfortunately there is a cost associated with obtaining ISRC codes for your own music. This comes at a one time cost to you from ADD NAME OF PLACE. Fortunately it is just a one time fee for you to be in their database and for you to obtain your unique code. Once you have your unique code (which consists of your 2 digit/letter country code + a 3 digit/letter unique code for your band/label), you can go ahead and begin creating your own ISRC codes.

A sample ISRC code would be: QM (the current country code for new artists and labels based out of the US)-HMR (a random code assigned to a particular band or label)-12 (to represent the last two digits of the current year when the song was released)-00001 (to represent that this is the first ISRC code created in that year). So once you know your country code and unique code, you can begin creating ISRC codes based on the order in which you release your music.

If you have a new CD with 5 tracks and it is the first thing which you put out that year, your code would be QM-(your unique 3 digit/letter ID)-12-00001.

You may wonder why the country code for the US is QM rather than US. The truth is it used to be US but the number of bands coming out of this country exceeded the number of combinations possible so they transitioned to QM.

You have your unique ID for life and never have to pay to renew your account or anything like that and can create up to 99999 ISRC codes for a given year. Obviously no artist would put out that many songs in a year but some of the largest labels on the planet create codes for every artist on their label using the same unique ID.

Oct 03

Why Audio Mastering Is Essential Before Releasing Your Music

Audio mastering is the last part when it comes to music production. Once the artist or band has recorded the various tracks making up a song and the mixing engineer has mixed those tracks together and rendered them down to a final mixed file, that file is handed over to the mastering engineer for the final glossy touch.audio mastering

While audio mastering is by no means a requirement in music production, it will substantially increase to the overall quality of your finished product so it’s extremely important that you think about having your audio mastered before releasing it to your fans. Many engineers offer free test masters so that you can experience firsthand the benefits of audio mastering without risking a dime beforehand; but this article is designed to inform you of the reasoning behind it.

Basically the benefits of audio mastering are threefold.

Initially, song mastering is essential for improving the overall quality of your music. Even after you have recorded your various tracks using natural as well as perhaps adding some digital effects to improve the sound, the mastering engineer can make use of digital and analog effects and plugins to really bring out the full potential of a song.

The major three effects generally consist of reverb, compression, and EQ. Reverberation first adds a bit more atmosphere to your tracks and can improve a flat sounding record to give it a sound of being recorded in a different and perhaps better space. Compression will give your track more unity from top to bottom without sacrificing the dynamics. EQ is important for emphasizing or diminishing the focus on certain areas or ranges of your audio spectrum over others.

A skilled and consummate audio mastering professional is capable of unlocking a track’s true potential through the artful application of just the right breadth and depth of effects such as these.

Secondly, audio mastering is used to create the finished product in terms of a record. This means putting every song on the record at the same level as every other track on the record, adding important data such as any text/credits/ISRC codes, and creating the sequencing of the record which includes the table of contents for the record, breaks between tracks, etc.

Finally, audio mastering can be used as a final check point so that a fresh set of ears can listen for problems in the audio. Not only can you go back and touch these problems up in the recording phase but the mastering engineer can actually go ahead and cover up and correct problems in the audio. While this is not ideal and certainly is not something which you should rely on, in some cases this can save you a great deal of headache.

Sep 22

What Does Song Mastering Do?

Song mastering is much more popular on an individual basis than it once was. In the past, virtually all artists would have their entire record mastered at once and that would include sequencing of the record and making sure everything was at a volume which was in parity with every other song on the record so that when it got sent off to the CD or vinyl replication plant, there would be no issues.song mastering

Today, it’s a much different market when it comes to creating music. Many artists will forgo releasing their music and physical format and will stick exclusively to releasing their music in digital format. It’s much easier and it’s much more cost-effective for the artist which is why they do it. So instead of mastering an entire record, song mastering is applied to individual tracks and sometimes artists only put out one or two songs at a time.

They obviously still want to deliver the best sounding product to their fans and listeners, which is why they still go ahead with song mastering but it’s much more cost-effective than the cost of putting together an entire record.

In this case, the only aspect of mastering involved in song mastering is applying effects such as equalization, reverb, and compression to the track to improve the clarity of the song, give the song a sense of unity throughout itself, and to add more of a third dimensional element to the song, respectively. The dynamics of the song are maintained during a good song mastering job in the overall levels are boosted to be on par with that of current and contemporary popular songs.

Music Guy Mastering is currently running a special on individual song mastering at just five dollars per track. You will not find more affordable rates for the amazing level of quality which you’ll receive. If you’re not convinced, I strongly recommend that you receive your free test master of one of your songs right now so that you can experience your music and how good it could be sounding within the hands of the capable engineers at Music Guy Mastering.

Sep 11

3 Reasons to Consider Music Mastering

Music mastering is the final aspect in music production which occurs after the artist has recorded their music and they or their mixing engineer has turned in a final mix of a song/record. The final mix is turned over to the music mastering engineer and is an incredibly important final aspect before releasing that music to the fans for 3 major reasons.music mastering

First, music mastering works to ensure that the overall volume levels of the record are in parity with other contemporary tracks of the time. Music has gotten louder over the years, that’s a fact for better or worse, and if you put out your music at a lower volume than other artists it can be a major annoyance for your fans who are listening to your music, particularly while in a mix with music from other artists. Ultimately it also just comes off as unprofessional, so the audio mastering engineer works to ensure that your music is on par level wise with the industry standards of the day.

Secondly, music mastering involves putting together the finished product for your listeners. This means creating an album which is at unity in terms of levels with itself, adding important data such as ISRC codes, and creating the breaks between tracks on the record in terms of how each track flows into one another as per the artist’s preferences.

Finally and most importantly, music mastering significantly improves the overall quality of your music. Even after the mixing phase has been completed, the mastering engineer can artfully apply analog and digital effects such as compression, EQ, and reverb to bring the overall audio quality of each of your tracks to another level.

Typically artists who are not previously familiar with mastering or have never had any of their music mastered are blown away with the very palpable improvement which a good mastering engineer can contribute to their music. While it’s not ideal, the mastering engineer can even touch up and cover up slight imperfections in your audio such as a clip here or there and bury it in the mix. Again this is not ideal but it just gives you an idea of how much power a skillful music mastering engineer can wield over an otherwise finished track.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not music mastering is right for you then consider getting a free test master before risking any of your money. Most reputable mastering engineers offer this so that the artist can clearly hear and decide for themselves whether or not the engineer is the best fit for them.