Why does my music need to be mastered?

The simple answer is: because we can make your music sound better. No track leaves our studio without sounding better than the original mix we receive. We can do this because we have the right listening environment, equipment, knowledge and experience

Most of you probably know this already but for those you are not familiar with the term “Mastering”, here is a brief description:

The aim of mastering is to transform raw mixes into professional sounding tracks that translate well on any media whether it’s Radio, Club, Home-system, iPod or the Internet. The difference between a mastered and unmastered track can be huge, or hardly noticable. A great deal of music is recorded and/or mixed in acoustically inaccurate monitoring environments these days which makes having your tracks checked and mastered in a professional mastering studio more important than ever. It’s the last opportunity to accurately hear a recording and solve any problems it may have.

Mastering VS. Mixing

Commonly confused. Simply put:

Mixing is the process of manipulating the song on a track-by-track basis. Setting levels, EQ’ing and compressing instruments and groups of instruments to create a two-channel (stereo left and right) mix of your song.

Mastering is the manipulation of that two-channel stereo mix, putting the finishing touches on it to make it as “presentable” as possible. Mastering also includes ordering, spacing and prepping a track for its final delivery format.

Of course, this is a gross simplification of both processes, but it is important to understand the fundamental differences.

How are revisions dealt with?

Revisions are usually included, free of charge. However, if new mixes of tracks that have already been mastered are delivered after mastering, my charge is dependent on the amount of time required and the scope of the change.

Can I master my own songs?

It is normally better let someone else master your music for the following reasons:

1. You’re not hearing your music the same way your audience does. Poor acoustics in your room, the quality of your reference monitors and your mixing skills can all have a huge impact on your final sound. Mastering should fix this.

2. Music sounds different in all playback situations (home, the car radio, the club, on a streaming platform, when your mom buys your single online). Good mastering helps you sound your best everywhere and in all situations.

3. It’s easy to lose perspective on your music. This makes it hard to tell if your music actually sounds good. The point of mastering is to take a step back, look at the whole picture and fix any major problems you might have missed.

4. Not enough knowledge and experience to know how to master a song.
You may not have the equipment necessary to produce a professional sounding master

If the goal is to a connect with an audience, mastering helps build that connection.

Can I be Involved In Your Audio Mastering and/or Audio Mixing Process ?

Yes and I really want you to be involved in the mastering and mixing processes and the studio musician services. Your input is important to us. Besides just giving us your artist/band name and an audio file, you can pick up the phone and talk me me one on one during normal business hours about your project. We also answer emails after normal business hours in a swift manor.

If your in our area, you can attend your audio mastering or combined mixing and mastering sessions.

Communication is key in this business.

What is stem mastering?

Stem mastering is a form of mastering based on several groups of instruments (e.g. drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, vocals) rather than a stereo mix. The advantage of mastering with stems is that it gives the mastering engineer greater control over the sound of the final master. The disadvantage is that stem mastering is more expensive than regular mastering. The amount of work involved varies depending on the number of stems used.

Which mastering do I need?

Mastering will highlights your mix strengths and weaknesses. Your choice of mastering depends of your music genre and the result your want to achieve. For instance, we recommend stem mastering for all music kind made in home studio. If you want a classic mastering and if you have made your mix in a pro studio, you may choose the stereo mastering.

How long does mastering take?

Turnaround times can vary depending on the project and current workload, but we typically have a finished master album within a week and individual songs within 2 days. Please check with us beforehand if you are working to a deadline.

Why should I use Solid Mastering service?

Unlike most mastering services at the affordable end of the market, we offer a level of quality and service that can compete with considerably more expensive facilities. We have a state of the art mastering studio, use industry standard analog and digital mastering equipment and our engineer is a trained professional with extensive experience in mastering a broad variety of musical styles. In other words, we offer exceptional value for money!

How do I send my songs to Solid Mastering?

Once you have all the mixes ready (ideally 24 bit .wav/.aif files at the sample rate they were recorded with), simply put them into a folder, compress the folder and send us the zip or rar file.

How do I pay for mastering?

We accept payment by PayPal or bank transfer.

How do I credit Solid Mastering on a release?

If you wish to credit us on your release, you are welcome to use the following text:
“Mastered by Carlo Camera at Solid Mastering.“

If you have a question which has not been answered above, please feel free to contact us.