Mastering Services Form

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Here's How it Works...

The following is a breakdown of the music mastering services provided by The complete process involves 6 simple steps:

Step 1: Consultation
Step 2: Prepare and Upload Final Mixes
Step 3: Mastering
Step 4: Download Reference Masters
Step 5: Mastering Adjustments
Step 6: Download the Final Mastering

The following describes the process for each in more detail:

Step 1: The Consultation

Before the Mastering process begins, a consultation must be scheduled to discuss the technical and creative aspects of the project. This information is a necessary part of the process as it affects the approach to how the music mastering services are implemented.


  • Recording Platform/Software used
  • File Type, Sample Rate and Bit Depth
  • Number of songs and the order they should appear in
  • How to export the project for upload
  • ISRC codes


  • Style and Vision of the CD or song
  • What is the purpose of the CD or song. (who will be listening to it and how will they get it)
  • Reference mixes for stylistic direction.

    After the consultation an invoice will be sent to you for the total cost of the project. I submit the invoice after the consultation so that we are both confident that the job will be done to your satisfaction. I am comfortable mastering most styles of music, but not every record is a good match. I will not master a project unless I feel comfortable and confident that I help fulfill the vision of the project.

    Step 2: Prepare and Upload the Files

    The final mixes must be properly prepared and formatted for upload to the FTP server. Maintaining the same sample rate and bit depth of your current session is a must. This will allow the processing for our music mastering services to be kept to the highest level of quality. If you are mixing in the analog realm, record the final mixes back into your DAW using the best quality converters you have. Set the converters to the highest sample rate and bit depth available.

    Here is a short list of do's and don'ts:

  • Leave extra space at the beginning and end of mix. This will leave room for editing natural transitions for the beginning and end of the mixes. Do not edit the heads and tails of your final mixes before mastering. Listen back to your final bounce to verify that you have not clipped the head or tail of your final mix.

  • Leave an extra 2-3 dbfs of headroom when printing the final mix. This will leave head room for the necessary mastering work and eliminate one level of processing to lower the gain.

  • Print the mix at the same sample rate as your current session. Printing at a higher sample rate and bit depth will not add quality to the final mix. If you have recorded your session at 16 bit resolution, print your final mix at 24 bit resolution. This will not increase the quality of your mix but will eliminate an additional processing stage in mastering.

  • Do not add Dithering to the final mix. Dithering should only be used when lowering your bit depth. You should never print your final mixes at a lower bit depth than the session. Therefore there is no need for dithering to be added. Because dithering adds low level noise, the effect will accumulate when added in the mastering process where it is necessary for the final CD production master.

  • Export the mixes to a separate folder. This step makes sure you have indeed selected the right mix for mastering. If you have alternate versions of your mixes, then place them in a separate folder labelled, "Alternate Mixes".

  • Compress the folder into a zip file before uploading. This guarantees that all the files will be uploaded to the FTP together at once and not independently within the folder. Data compression will not affect the quality of the final mixes and eliminates the confusion when many files are being uploaded simultaneously.

    Step 3: Mastering

    After downloading all of the songs, the music mastering services will begin. Files are typically imported in the order they will appear on the CD. The files will be checked for distortion, clipping or any other technical issues that may present a problem in the mastering process.

    If there are any technical issues with the final mixes, another consultation must be scheduled to find and eliminate the issues. A new final mix must then be reprinted and uploaded so that the mastering process can be completed.Once verified, the files will be edited, spaced, processed (if necessary) and balanced from song to song. A reference master will then be created and uploaded to you for approval.

    The timeframe for completion of the music mastering services will be based on current scheduling and a realistic timeframe for uploading, downloading and verification of your mixes. No mastering work can be completed until all the final mixes are verified.

    Step 4: Download Reference Mixes

    During the course of mastering, a reference CD will be uploaded for your approval. The reference mastering is uploaded for you to verify that the processing, spacing and levels from song to song are satisfactory.

    At this point, adjustments can be requested. Most adjustments at this stage should be minor in nature. Occasionally, a more aggressive approach to the mastering process may be undertaken if called for. Usually, this approach is worked out ahead of time in the consultation step of our music mastering services process.

    Step 5: Mastering Adjustments

    After receiving your comments and feedback regarding the reference master, adjustments will be made to accommodate your feedback. A followup reference may be uploaded for approval if requested or if there is some question regarding the new approach.

    Most mastering jobs for a whole CD are done in a single day with one reference and one set of adjustments. If more than 2 adjustments are necessary, additional fees may apply if the requests are experimental in nature. An example of this would be changing the song order repeatedly, or entirely changing the approach of the mastering for the sake of experimentation.

    Once the reference master is approved, all CD coding such as ISRC codes and CD text data will be entered to prepare the final production master.

    Step 6: Download the Final Mastering

    The final production master may be downloaded via FTP or delivered through regular mail. The final production master is typically sent in a DDP format unless another delivery format is requested. The individually mastered files will also be uploaded so that they may be used for websites and other promotional needs.

    As part of our music mastering services, a copy of the final mastering session can be provided in an archival DVD format for a small additional fee plus shipping. Otherwise, all mastering projects will be archived here at


    # of SongsCost Per Song
    4-6$ 80
    7 or More$ 70
    Complete CD$750 Total

    Mastering Includes:

  • ISRC codes
  • DDP file for CD duplication
  • 2 free mastering reference adjustments before the final master is burned.

  • Final Thoughts:

    If you have any further questions, regarding our music mastering services, you can submit them on the form provided below. Check the box for the service(s) you are inquiring about and use the Comments or Questions box to ask your question. If necessary a phone/Skype consultation can be requested if the number of questions is too great for the form. I look forward to doing business with you!

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