Mastering FAQ


Mastering is: Preparing music for release with tonal balance adjustments, album sequencing, and organization. Basically, making your music sound as good as possible once the mixes are done, and readying the audio for release.
“Deliverables:” I provide full-resolution WAV file masters for streaming upload, vinyl/cassette sides (with PQ sheet), and a backup of the full album sequence. I also provide a DPP CD image encoded with Artist, Album, and Song names.

Please Provide…

Mixes: Link to download final mixes – WAV files (do not send mp3)
Names: Artist, Album, and Song names.
Album Sequence: Song order (and split point if you would like A & B sides)
Gaps & Crossfades: A standard pause between songs is about 2 seconds. If songs need a non-standard pause length or a crossfade, please explain.
Notes (optional): I’ll use my best judgment unless directed otherwise, but feel free to tell me how you feel about the mixes. Are they perfect? Would you like more Bass? Treble? Clarity? Fullness? Grit? Loudness? Warmth?

Preparing & Exporting Mixes

Mix Bus Plugins: Bypass any limiter, loudness, or “mastering” plugins. In general, it’s good to avoid using effects here – there are exceptions, of course.
Peak Levels: -6dBFS is an ideal peak level (that’s 6dB below hitting the red peak indicators on digital meters). If your mixes are peaking, turn down all of the tracks feeding your mix bus or the mix bus itself.
“It’s bad on purpose”: I’m happy to work with heavy distortion and avant-garde music that can push the boundaries of conventional mastering. Let me know what your vision is for the project and we’ll figure it out.

File Type: WAV or AIFF, send only full-resolution files (no mp3)
Bit Rate / Sample Rate: Export audio at the same resolution your DAW and session are set to: usually 24bit, with a sample rate of 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k, or 96k.