Mastering is the final process the recording of your song goes through before you release it to the world. The overall tonal balance of your mixed song is perfected, the loudness levels are optimised to meet the requirements of the intended format, and any issues in the mix that come to light can be addressed. For music destined for a CD release, the mastering process might also involve creating a DDP master file as well as creating metadata such as ISRC codes. The final master is then delivered in the required format, ready to be sent to a distributor for streaming services, uploaded to Bandcamp, or sent to a CD manufacturer. All safe in the knowledge that the music is sounding as good as it possibly can.
Often, audio mastering is also described as a final “sweetening” of the finished mix. A little sprinkling of fairy dust before you send it off to your distributor. And while this is certainly possible (and in many cases, a little extra sugar is never a bad taste), the thing that mastering cannot do is save a poor mix. This is why it’s essential to work with an affordable mastering engineer you can have a conversation with.
We are always open to discussing the needs of your project, revising a master if necessary, and we’ll always tell you if we think something should be changed at the mix stage before we continue to work on your music.