FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY IS OUR PRICE SO AFFORDABLE?
- We DO NOT offer CD duplication, therefore reducing material cost
- We ONLY use electronic transfer of audio files (via EMAIL or FTP access for large files) therefore eliminating shipping costs and delays
What Is Mastering?
The mastering process maximizes and enhances the quality of your mixes so that they sound the best they possibly can on the greatest range of playback systems. Mastering is the last step taken to bring your music to its highest potential. After mastering, your songs will have the presence and power to stand comparably next to other commercially produced material.
IMPORTANT FACT: Mastering does improve the QUALITY of your ORIGINAL MIX! If your original mix is POOR then mastering will enhance a POORLY mixed audio file.
Why Should I Master My Music?
After recording and mixing your songs, whether in a pro studio or home studio, the last (and most would say) most important step is "mastering". I'll put it like this "there is NO song on the radio, in videos or on an album that a major recording artist or label releases that is not mastered!" DigiMaster Faster will shape, sculpt, equalized, compress, and finesse your tracks into sonic splendor through the process known as mastering. Mastering gives your music depth, kick, clarity and maximum volume, you need to experience it for yourself.
Can Mastering Fix A Bad Mix?
Fundamental mix imbalances are best dealt with by remixing the track. If it is not possible to remix a track, mastering can alter the perceived levels of certain individual tracks to obtain a more pleasing sonic balance. A rough guideline is that mastering can improve the quality of a mix by about one letter grade, so a B-grade mix would result in an A-grade master, while a D-grade mix would result in a C-grade master. If you have a troublesome mix, we can advise you on how you might improve it. If it is not possible to remix the track, we can still greatly improve the quality of your recording within the stated limitations.
"Loudness War" (Is Louder Better?)
While it is inevitable that the volume is boosted during mastering, but what is most important is the way a skilled mastering house makes your songs sound. The goal nonetheless of mastering is less about making your song louder than it is about making it rich and full, bringing out it's fullest potential.
Should I Apply Any Effects To The Stereo Mix?
Any processing applied to your final mixes will limit the options available during mastering. Please allow any processing for purposes of increased loudness to be performed during the mastering phase. In other words, do not normalize, compress, or limit your stereo mixes before sending. If mix compression is part of the sound you are trying to achieve (e.g. compressor pumping effects in dance music) then careful use of compression may help the finished product to be closer to your vision.
In What Format Should I Send My Songs?
Send only the final stereo mixdown for each song. (Do not send the individual instrument tracks). Please ensure that there is no clipping on the mix. A resolution of at least 24bit/44.1kHz is recommended for optimum results.
How to Evaluate My Songs?
Listen to the finished master using quality headphones, because you will have the ability to hear small glitches and noises that loudspeakers may not reveal.
Can I send my "recording session" instead of a mp3 or wav file?
Mastering a "recording session" is usually called "stem mastering" where the mastering engineer, masters every sound (or groups of sounds) individually. This process requires cooperation and teamwork between the music producer and the mastering engineer. This is a meticulous and very expensive process, that is why most recording artists (major and independent alike) opt not to master their music in this way. An alternative, and most common form of stem mastering used today is where the mastering engineer masters the the acapella and instrumental separately. DigiMaster Faster will master your final mixdowns and if requested can alternatively master your acapella and instrumental (stem mastering).
How Do I Transfer My Songs And Receive The Mastered Versions?
For large projects such as albums, we will create a personal password-protected FTP account on our server. Using any FTP client, upload your tracks to the server. When we are finished mastering your tracks, we will place them on the same account so that you may download them at your convenience. If you are unfamiliar with FTP, we provide full instructions on how to set up and use an FTP client. Otherwise, you may use a file transfer service such as the one at www.yousendit.com to send your files.
Can I Send A Reference Song Along With My Own Tracks?
Yes, you can send a reference mix from another artist in a similar style to your own in order to demonstrate the sound you hope to attain with your own recording after mastering.
What is your typical turnaround time?
Our typical turn around time for individual songs is 24 to 48 hours business days only (no holidays). Turn around time for albums is usually 1 week, depending on clients special request, level of restoration needed and quality of original mix.
What is the difference between Mixing & Mastering ?
Mixing and mastering are parts of the recording process that confuse a lot of people. If you're recording an album that you plan to sell, a good mixing and mastering job is a must. If you're recroding a demo, you might be able to get away without mastering. Here's the difference:
Mixing - Mixing is basically tinkering with everything you have recorded to complete your songs. You'll do things like drop in effects, adjust fader, EQ your tracks and so on. Think of mixing as putting the puzzle together. You're putting together the parts of what you have recorded, making sure everything hangs together right, and putting some finishing touches on things. When you're done mixing your songs, you should pleased with the way the song sounds and feel confident that you don't need to add anything musically.
Mastering - Mastering is adding sparkle and shine to your music. In a very basic sense, when you master your album, you're making sure that song one doesn't blow out the speakers while song two is barely audible - in other words, you want the levels of the songs to be similar and you want a general sense of cohesiveness to your recording.
Does that explanation of mastering sound a little vague? That's because it is. Apart from correcting obvious differences in volume for each song, mastering is an incredibly subjective process. In some ways, when it comes to mastering, you either have the golden touch or you don't. For this reason, although there are programs that will help you master your recording yourself, paying to have it done professionally is a good investment if you plan on releasing your recording.
If you're planning on using your recording for a demo, mastering is not an absolute must. Mixing, on the other hand, is something you should make an effort to get done. You don't have to have a professional mix, but you should try to give your songs at least a rough mix when possible. Unlike mastering, you can do mixing at home. It requires practice and time, but you can get the job done with some dedication.
REMEMBER THIS IS THE MUSIC BUSINESS
IF YOU DONT INVEST IN YOUR CAREER, NO ONE ELSE WILL !!!
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