What is Mastering?

Mastering is the process of finalizing a song by applying subtle technical touches that allow it to compete commercially with other songs in the market.

Mastering should be done by a professional engineer to achieve the correct end result and professional/commercial sound.

Question: Isn't Mastering just making the song louder?

Answer: No, Mastering is no as simple as just making a song louder. it involves many stages of processing (saturation, eq, compression, multi-band compression, limiting, stereo spacial enhancement, adding harmonics, limiting etc).

 It is true that Mastering does make your song louder but there is a lot more to it than that.

The Goals of Mastering

When creating a Master, there are a few things you should look out for.

Here are some key points:

  • The master should sound good across a wide range of systems (laptop speakers, earbuds, hi-fi systems, etc.).
  • The master should sound like a finished product.
  • The master should meet technical specifications presented by labels/artists.
  • The master should be able to compete commercially in the market.
  • The master must not sound worse than the mix.

Ultimately, your master should exceed and enhance the quality of the mix.

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