Provide Alternate Mixes
One of the methods to present the audio files is for the mix engineer to include alternative versions of the mix: vocal down, vocal up, solo down, solo up, etc. Also, it is important to keep these alternate mixes well organized, marked, and documented.
Gear Is Great; The Room Is Better9
The most important piece of equipment for a mastering engineer, besides his or her own ears, is the room. The feedback given by the room affects the perspective and opinions of mastering engineers, which in turn influence the decisions they make. One of the goals of audio mastering services is to ensure that the project sounds as good as it can on a wide variety of playback systems.
Donâ€™t Master Your Own Work
An essential role of the mastering engineer is to be emotionally unbiased while providing the best online audio mastering service. The mastering engineer and the mix engineer should be two separate people, in two separate environments.
Donâ€™t Over-Compress The Final Mix
During online audio mastering services, the digital audio files should be delivered at the same resolution as the recording. Itâ€™s important that the mixes include some headroom to allow the mastering engineer room to work. Final buss compression should remain minimal, because it is not something the mastering engineer can undo. A good rule of thumb is to have peaks at around -3 dBfs with an average (rms) around -10 to -14 dBfs. A standard practice can include final compression of the mixes as a reference file to the artist, but itâ€™s best when thatâ€™s not included in the delivered files for mastering. With high-resolution audio there is no advantage to maxing out the levels.
When you show up at the session, it is essential that you are prepared. You should clearly label which are the final mixes youâ€™d like the engineer to use. You should have all the details of the file finalized such as song titles, sequencing, and metadata such as ISRC codes and CD text. It is also important to have documentation of any known problems with the files as well. Accurately note the existence and location of glitches, digital errors, distortion, bad edits, and level problems. This will save a lot of time and money during the mastering stage.
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Article Added on Friday, November 22, 2019
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