What is Mastering?
Mastering is the final production step just before CD replication or online publishing. It enhances the sound by processing the mix with subtle adjustments to EQ, carefully applying multiband compression and limiting, as well as other effects like stereo enhancers and aural exciters if required.
How do I prepare my mix for Mastering?
For best results on Mastering we recommend you to take a couple of minutes to prepare your file correctly. So, before rendering, just ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Is the master output clipping ? This is the most common mistake. So, before rendering, make sure you have lowered the master fader enough to leave at least 3 dB of headroom.
- Do you have any effect in the Master Bus? Disable any effect in the Master, especially dynamic effects like compression and limiting . We’ll take care of Loudness on Mastering!
- What are your project settings? Check the Bit depth and the Sample Rate in your project. It’s a good idea to use higher Bit depth on render, but is important that you don’t use a different Sample Rate.
You’re ready to go!
“Your track has clipping” Warning
If this warning shows up in the Preview, your track has a kind of distortion called “clipping”. This happens when the signal tries to go over the max level, which is 0dB, and gets literally cut, producing an undesirable sound.
How can you solve this problem? Pretty simple. Go back to your project and lower the Master volume which is usually located in the mixer section and can be adjusted with a fader.
If you get an info box (blue), lower the fader about -8dB and, if you get a warning box (red), lower it about -16dB.
Then just render your track again and upload!
“Your track has a limiter applied” Warning
If this warning shows up in the Preview, your track has a limiter already applied in the master section, or maybe your track is already mastered! For best results in mastering, you should upload a track without effects in the master channel.
How can you solve this problem? Easy. Go back to your project and check the Master Bus/Channel, which is usually located in the mixer section, and disable any effect located there. Make sure to lower the master volume as well, to avoid clipping. Some softwares like FL Studio or Ableton Live have a limiter by default, so be especially careful if you work with those DAWs.
Then just render again and upload your track!
How can a machine Master my track?
MasteringBOX is an app designed by professional sound engineers with years of experience. We´ve designed a smart artificial intelligence that can detect the dynamic and spectral characteristics of the track and apply the appropriate adjustments.
Should I use MasteringBOX or hire a Mastering Engineer?
MasteringBOX does not necessarily compete with professional mastering studios. Indeed, it may not quite achieve the same balanced and smooth sound that a talented mastering engineer can achieve with fine-tuned adjustments in a suitably-equipped professional mastering studio. It is, however, a seriously sophisticated mastering tool in its own right — one that is also fast, easy to use, and affordable to all. As such, why not try MasteringBOX? Mastering engineers are always available at significantly higher rates to anyone not satisfied with its results, after all.