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Audio Digital Mastering Guide

Please follow these useful Mastering Tips to get the most out of the mixes you send to Audio Digital for Mastering!

Avoid excessive processing on your master bus.  We can’t undo what you have done.  Master Bus compression on some consoles has been considered the “glue” that holds the mix together.  But as compression and limiting are part of the mastering process, it does not help us if you over-do the compression on your master bus.  Same goes for excessive EQ or stereo field processing.  If you absolutely feel that your mixes need these things,  then do what you must.  But we have some of the best, most high fidelity tools available to accomplish those goals so unless you are very confident in what you are doing, you might want to go for “less is more”.

Make sure to leave headroom in your mixes.  -1-3dB if possible.  But definitely avoid clips. Also make sure your system is not applying any soft compression or limiting to automatically avoid clipping.  This can rob your music of vital dynamics.

Give us some musical references that you feel are comparable to your project.  Its helpful if we know what your target is, and to whom you will be comparing your master.

Be sure to discuss any issues you find in your mixes.  If you know there is a problem, let us know and that will help us address it.

If you have feelings about how “analog” vs “digital” sounds, share those with us.  We have a variety of ways that we can work with your mix.  And if you are really trying to sound like your album was made in Motown in the 70’s, well we can do that. Though hopefully you started that process when you were tracking.

Audio Digital can accept virtually any analog or digital file format, though we will go out of house for analog to digital transfer.  Please let us know your delivery format when you book your session.

You will be provided a Reference CD or files to review before your final master will be created.  Be sure to review your reference copy in your favorite listening environment, and preferably more than one before you consider your master complete.

Your completed master will include a Reference CD, a verified Master CD, a Backup Master CD and an Archive of the session.  Audio Digital is not responsible for maintaining a backup of your project, though we do try to keep files for as long as we can. If your distribution methods require additional files, those files will be provided as well.

Revisions to your master, as well as creation of all deliverables and the session archive will be billed at the Engineer’s hourly rate.