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.
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.