Is Your Track Ready To Be Mastered? | Label Worx
This website uses cookies to give you an incredible experience. By using this website you agree to the terms This website uses cookies, learn more ×

Label Worx

Top

 

NEWS NEWS

NEWS

Is Your Track Ready To Be Mastered?
Posted By : Laura Holness
|
Posted Date : May 10th, 2020
Knowing when a track is finished can be difficult for any producer, but making sure that your track is ready to be mastered before sending it to the engineer is much simpler. We master thousands of tracks at Label Worx and wanted to share some simple tips for ensuring your track is ready for us to work on.

To find out more about our mastering service - get in touch via the website.


1. CHECK YOUR LEVELS
After hours of messing with EQ, compression, stereo spreaders and distortion etc, take a break from your mix. Come back another day with fresh ears and just mix the levels. There's a lot to be said about just simply getting the levels right rather than smothering more plugins on there to fix any issues.

When you balance your levels, you will hear if the low-mids off your bassline are lost, or if the breathy part of a vocal is missing. Give your track a fresh, balanced mix and then once you're happy with it, fix the issues. This is rule #1 of any mix.

2. REMOVE LIMITERS
Remove any limiters or plugins on the master fader that are inserted just for the sake of loudness. Sometimes, mix engineers apply quick and rough clipping/limiting plugins to the master fader to get mix approvals, and to hear how the mix might react to mastering treatment. This is fine, but be prepared to remove it before sending off to a mastering engineer because they can handle the loudness/clipping/limiting after completing any other processing that may be needed during mastering. Without proper headroom, very little can be achieved without doing more harm than good - and if your engineer is using analogue gear, decent mastering is out of the question when there isn't proper headroom.

3. LISTEN, THEN LISTEN AGAIN.
Carefully listen to the beginning and end of each song for stray noises and anomalies, and remove anything you do not want. I said carefully. Close your eyes, use headphones. Doing a separate and more analytical listening session before sending off for mastering can be very beneficial. This is also a good time to listen out for any pops and clicks from bad edits or transitions.

4. DON'T HIT - OR EVEN WORSE, GO ABOVE - 0dBFS
Avoid peak levels reaching 0dBFS. I see all sorts of suggestions on the internet about where to have your peak levels pre-mastering but the simple answer is there is no magic number. Just make sure that you don't hit 0dBFS, or have a plugin acting as a limiter applying a brick-wall ceiling somewhere before 0dBFS, and you'll be in good shape.

This is largely for those mixing 'in the box' - if you're going analogue and capturing a stereo mix back to digital, it's actually much simpler: don't clip the input on the way back to digital, and don't apply any further digital processing. Export the newly captured stereo mix at the native bit-depth and sample rate of the session. The mastering engineer will take it from there.

5. LASTLY, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING:

LISTEN TO THE ACTUAL BOUNCED MIX FROM START TO FINISH TO ENSURE NOTHING IS MISSING OR LEFT IN BY ACCIDENT.

It happens way too often. We send orders back to clients for them to find out a plugin was missing or a channel was muted. It would have been an easy fix to check this yourself before sending in, but catching it after the mastering has been started can be a headache, especially if the mastering engineer is using analog gear as many do.
www.label-worx.com/mastering/tracks

 

Next Article : DJ S.K.T - #GoMonthly Q&A

Do you have questions?

Our team of specialists are on hand to answer all of your questions so please don't hesitate to get in contact.

GET IN TOUCH

Join Label Worx today

Signing up is quick and easy using our online form. Complete this and one of our Account Managers will be in touch.

SIGN UP TODAY

More News

Good News Corner

Our News   /   April 21st, 2020

Good News Corner

Whilst times are certainly tough right now, we know that there's still plenty of positive news out there. Every day we're seeing amazing examples of the industry we love pulling together and proving that there's a strong community of artists, labels and professionals all looking out for each other - that's why we're going to be updating this article regularly to include as much of the good stuff that we can find. If you have any tips, we'd love to hear from you on our socials!

First wave of guests revealed for Virtual Music Conference

Industry News   /   May 17th, 2020

First wave of guests revealed for Virtual Music Conference

We've been working hard behind the scenes with our friends at Toolroom to make sure that the first Virtual Music Conference event will be one that offers real value and practical advice to anyone looking to further their career in the music industry.

Songstats Q&A

Industry News   /   May 14th, 2020

Songstats Q&A

We all know that data is king - but with so many different platforms and sources all offering a mind-boggling amount of information, the challenge is making sense of it all. That's where Songstats comes in, the new app from the team behind 1001Tracklists. Songstats compiles essential playlist, chart and stream data for artists, labels and industry professionals, to give you real-time insights on the performance of each release. We caught up with Oskar Eichler from Songstats/1001Tracklists to find out more about how the app works...

DJ S.K.T - #GoMonthly Q&A

Industry News   /   May 5th, 2020

DJ S.K.T - #GoMonthly Q&A

Last month we launched our #GoMonthly campaign and the response has exceeded our expectations. We're giving away three months' free use of our Royalty Worx software to labels who commit to reporting statements on a monthly basis, and at the same time, AudioLock will provide their Back Catalogue scanning and takedown service for free for the same three months.

 Top 5 Mastering Myths

Industry News   /   May 3rd, 2020

Top 5 Mastering Myths

We have mastered thousands of tracks through our LW MSTRD service, and over the years we have heard people share the same myths about mastering time and time again. This month, we'll be shining a spotlight on our mastering service and to start things off, we thought that we'd debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions we hear.

Q&A with The Music Mission

Industry News   /   April 29th, 2020

Q&A with The Music Mission

We've been working with our friends at AudioLock on an industry-wide campaign to help tackle music piracy. You may have seen some of our posts about it, but with over 250 supporters now signed up including Beatport, Traxsource, Juno, Defected, Toolroom, Axtone and Mobilee, we thought it was a good moment to speak to the team behind The Music Mission and hopefully answer a few questions that we've been asked about the initiative.

Announcing dance music's first Virtual Music Conference - and you're invited

Industry News   /   April 28th, 2020

Announcing dance music's first Virtual Music Conference - and you're invited

YOU'RE INVITED TO THE WORLD'S FIRST ONLINE DANCE MUSIC CONFERENCE

The expanding reach of Apple Music

Industry News   /   April 23rd, 2020

The expanding reach of Apple Music

We understand how important it is for artists to know that their music is reaching as many people as possible. With that in mind, the recent announcement that Apple Music has expanded its service into an extra 52 countries is great news for our labels. The move opens up a whole new market of customers in Africa, Latin America and beyond; these countries include:

NEW DSP: Jaxsta

Our News   /   April 21st, 2020

NEW DSP: Jaxsta

We are delighted to announce another great DSP - Jaxsta! Jaxsta is a music metadata database, matching official information from record companies, distributors, performing rights organisations and publishers to create the definitive online home of music information.

NEW DSP: Mixupload

Our News   /   April 17th, 2020

NEW DSP: Mixupload

We are very pleased to announce a New DSP for our Label Worx roster - Mixupload! Mixupload is a dynamically developing project for DJs and music lovers. It is the most popular in eastern Europe and Northern Asia, with ambitious plans of world expansion.

Is it a good time for labels to release new music?

Industry News   /   April 14th, 2020

Is it a good time for labels to release new music?

With the Coronavirus lockdown in place around the world, many artists and labels are looking at release schedules and wondering whether to push back or bring forward their big releases. Sure, your standard promotional campaign might not be possible right now, but it doesn't mean you should sit on records indefinitely - this could also be a great opportunity to try something new; with an increase in captive audiences and changes to listener habits, this forward-thinking approach is definitely one which should be considered.

#GoMonthly

Industry News   /   April 7th, 2020

#GoMonthly

Despite the difficulties that our industry is facing right now, we have been humbled by the incredible way that everyone is pulling together to support each other in any way they can - and like so many others, we want to do something to help. Working with our friends at AudioLock, we are launching the #GoMonthly campaign in an effort to encourage a positive change in a fundamental way the industry works - one that we hope will benefit both artists and labels in the immediate short term and long term.

What does a good store pitch look like?

Industry News   /   March 31st, 2020

What does a good store pitch look like?

One of the most common enquiries we get here at Label Worx is about playlist and store features, and what labels can do to give themselves the best chance of support on their releases. Our team is always on hand to advise on individual cases, but we felt this article from Red Bull definitely sums up the main things to think about with information directly from Deezer, Spotify and SubmitHub.

Working from home: What are your tips?

Industry News   /   March 31st, 2020

Working from home: What are your tips?

To say that times are strange would be an understatement, and one of the biggest changes that many companies have had to make - ourselves included - is setting up a way to have the whole team working from home at once.

Beatport ReConnect raises over $180,000 for COVID-19

Industry News   /   March 30th, 2020

Beatport ReConnect raises over $180,000 for COVID-19

Beatport's 34 hour live stream raises over $180,000 for COVID-19 Solidarity funds with a staggering 8.5m people tuning in.

Label Worx joins The Music Mission

Industry News   /   March 29th, 2020

Label Worx joins The Music Mission

Music piracy affects us all, this is why we are proud to announce that we're working with anti-piracy specialists AudioLock and a growing number of high-profile labels on a new project that will tackle the issue of pay-for-access download sites: The Music Mission.

Live stream your DJ set

Industry News   /   March 26th, 2020

Live stream your DJ set

With people all over the world being told to stay at home, music is playing an important part in keeping us connected. If you've spent any amount of time online over the last ten days you'll almost certainly have stumbled across a live stream by your favourite DJ. Whether this is from their home studio or a setup in the middle of their kitchen, everyone in the music industry has had to quickly adapt and we've loved seeing this display of unity in a very difficult time.

YouTube takes the crown in the mobile streaming wars

Industry News   /   March 18th, 2020

YouTube takes the crown in the mobile streaming wars

As streaming continues its inevitable rise to the top, it's important to make sure your label is making the most of every platform available to you. But where do consumers stream the most content whilst on the move? Well, we did a bit of digging and the current leader in the mobile streaming wars is. (Drum roll, please) . YouTube!

 

audiolockc4dichewdj-voicelwanativesoundcloudyour-edmyoutube