Professional CD MasteringTuesday, October 5th, 2010
Mixing and mastering usually go hand-in-hand. But while most people refer to them both together, they are two distinctly different stages in the recording process. So why exactly do you need to master your album? Couldn’t you just get your songs mixed by a great engineer (maybe a Studio Pros engineer), skip the mastering step and save a few bucks on your record?
It may seem like an effective cost-cutting solution, but if you don’t get your album mastered, you’re only going to hold yourself back–way back, in fact. What many musicians don’t realize is that mastering is as important as every other aspect of recording, including recording great sounding instrumental tracks and professional mixing. Not mastering your album (or trying to master it yourself) will yield the same unprofessional results as if you recorded low-quality drum tracks or mixed it poorly.
Mastering is essential for making your songs broadcast-quality.
What exactly is mastering anyway?
Mastering might sound like a bit of a vague concept to many musicians, as though it’s just one magical step added to the end of the recording process. But while learning how to master a song very well is an extremely difficult task, learning what mastering actually is is quite simple. In our interview with Studio Pros’ mastering engineer, he explained that mastering is basically EQing, compressing, limiting and gain staging the final mix.
What that means is that the engineer tweaks your mix to sound just like the songs you hear on the radio every day–the same volume, the same balanced sound. Without this step, your song just won’t cut it for broadcast quality.
It’s always best to have an “outside ear” master your songs
Let’s face it: as musicians we put so much of ourselves into our songs that we can really lose perspective on them. In the writing and recording process, that’s when a producer comes in handy; someone who can give you an outside perspective can help keep your creative process on track. When it comes to post-production, it’s really no different. It’s a good idea to have someone else mix your song, not only so your music can be in the hands of a professional who knows what they’re doing, but also because they can objectively help to get your song to its full potential. Mastering is the same, so it’s key to have someone else master your tunes, someone who has experience with making radio-ready products and who can figure out how to turn your tune into the best product.
Of course, with Studio Pros you always get to provide your feedback to our engineers, so not only do you get a professional product, you also get something you know you’ll love!
If you’re album still needs those professional finishing touches to be made, call Studio Pros today and ask about our mixing and mastering services.