For the ones that have never had the fine opportunity to sit in during a mastering proccess, :( what are basic chain of events that take place from the time you open the package containing the song/s?
Hybrid Mixing and Mastering
Given all the different circumstances, I do have a chain of events that I like to keep rather standardized.
After all the arrangements are made and the "set in's" have been scheduled, I first make a copy of the original master just in case of a problem...to the hard drive and file it on drive "D" and another copy on CD...Just in case. Strait up. That way if the original master becomes corrupted you can still do the project.
Next step I employ is to listen to the project at a moderate level and start taking notes on the main system. Then at all listening levels. Different room positions too. I do comparisons. Then I shift to my alternate systems and make more notes "compensating for translation". The notes will include Kick drum to bass balance, vocal to mix balance, sound stage, dynamics, timber, vibe, levels between tracks, noise, distortion (if applicable) intelligability of the words...more notes to get a feel for what all is going on. It is nice to have a copy of the tracking chart to look at as well when listening to the 2mix.
After all the notes as far as sound is concerned...then it is time to meet the folks that will be sitting in and share your notes and make more notes. Then it is time to get your hands full and do your work.
After I have the mastering where I feel it needs to be....then more listening on the alternate systems to fine tune the balance. More notes....
When the sonics are finished then the sheets to the pressing house with master prep on them so the pressing will go smooth. I have a basic template for the pressing houses so they know what is going on. Since I do not involve myself in any way with the artwork, my templates are vital to track times....etc.
I make a set of backup copies for safety purposes...and then the project changes hands.
This is a general description....their are so many details I left out....communication etc..
Hope this gives you a rough idea.