We consider loudness to be of higher quality. That’s why mastering is such a powerful tool for making your music sound more professional.
It’s more than simply loudness for any skilled mastering engineer.
My goal is to extract every ounce of potential from the combination. The artist has put together a musical composition to enhance the impact of the musical components.
That is an important thing to remember. Because few people recognize that mastery is a kind of art.
When mastering goes well, I believe you should be able to listen to the unmastered version and say to yourself, How did we ever think that was done?!?
In the mastered version, you should be able to volume match the two versions and experience the impact and creativity of the song more clearly and enjoyably.
This is why, if at all feasible, having a person master your tracks is always preferable.
Yes, automated mastering services are a good option for independent musicians who can’t afford to hire a mastering engineer. Or for those who are unwilling to learn how to master music.
However, entrusting your music to an artist rather than an AI-driven algorithm is much preferable.
Reference Tracks and Their Importance
You should use reference tracks often throughout the production and mixing phases.
As much as you’d want to believe your hearing 100 percent of the time, it’s easy to get into trouble if you do.
We get more acquainted with a track the more we hear it. As a result, we lose our objectivity.
Our hearing is like a frog that can be cooked to death in a saucepan with ease.
As a result, we may quickly lose track of what we’re listening to until we’ve missed important details.
I’m always keeping an ear out for references. Other songs by the artist, tracks from the album, and a large playlist of reference recordings that I’ve compiled to ‘calibrate’ my hearing.
If necessary, I’ll do it a dozen times a day to prevent my ears from wandering.
So, by utilizing reference tracks, you may save time and enhance the quality of your masters.
The Most Common Chain Mastering Mistake
Of course, you may make a lot of mistakes throughout the mastering process.
The worst blunder would be to ignore volume matching.
If the processed version is even 0.3 dB louder than the raw version, you can’t discern what minor EQ, compression, and saturation are doing.
On occasion, I’ll even apply simple Ozone widening and limiting to the raw file’s track. Just so I can compare it more properly to my master and see whether I like what I’m doing.
Take it from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Match the volume levels of the components in the pre-mastered track to the volume levels in the one you’re mastering.
Final Thoughts and Points to Remember
Over time, mastering engineers would also take care of the technical elements of post-mastering. As an example, metadata may be applied and ISRC codes can be included.
The majority of mastering engineers aren’t as concerned with these details. (However, if necessary, they can and will do so.)
These services are currently provided by distribution firms. As a result, individuals like Behrens concentrate primarily on the master’s aural characteristics.
Mastering engineers are artists, so keep that in mind. A competent one, on the other hand, may make all the difference.
In my opinion, being a thoughtful, well-equipped, highly meticulous individual at the conclusion of the project who CARES about the art and provides it one more degree of quality and beauty is still important to perfecting.
So, if you’re going to master music, here are some key things to remember:
- Increase the volume of the music. However, the components should always be volume matched to the raw recording.
- What the artist/producer has recorded/mixed should be highlighted. Don’t mess with the sound design.
- Spend time improving your EQs.
- Frequently refer to reference tracks.
That is all there is to it. All of this information will assist you in mastering the enigmatic art of mastering.