Preparing Songs for Mastering

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by rbf738, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Basically I'm paying someone to master my home recorded record but as the title suggests it's my first time getting a master done so I don't know what to ask for, request, etc. besides song spacing/how they flow into each other.

    I also just watched a video where a guy said that you shouldn't have any compression on your track before it gets mastered because they add that. I added compression on just the vocal tracks and reverb on the entire track but that's about it... is that going to be a problem?

    But yes are there any specific things which I should ask.

    Finally, the person charges a flat rat per hour but then there are optional upcharges for disc audio verification, DDP master, and MP3 encoding. I don't know what any of these mean, could someone explain them to me and whether or not I would be interested in them?

    Thanks for your help for a newb when it comes to mastering.
  2. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Montreal, Qc, CANADA
    Home Page:

    Sometimes, it is useful to the Engineer to know what type of "sound" you like or don't like, you can tell what you like as artists, cd's etc. This will certainly help to get what you expect (if you expect anything else besides the pacing and homogeneity).

    No, compression is fine, if you like how it sounds with it....same for reverb.

    Disc verification or DDP Master creation is a standard process, some may charge a flat rate or per hour. I guess if you wish to get MP3's, you have to pay.

    Your best bet is to call your ME and ask him these questions, I am sure he will explain in details what you would like to know.


  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    I agree with Richard, your best bet is to pick up the phone and ask them, then you'll begin the process of getting on the same page. Compression is not a bad thing, I don't know why there's this belief that compression is bad. Over compression for the sake of volume, maybe not so good. Don't be afraid to talk with an engineer, don't worry about sound like you new at this, you are and their job is to help you through the process and put you on the right track. Feel free to ask any questions here if you are still confused or unclear. we'll be happy to help.
  4. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Thanks for the input. I have a dumb question. When I send mixes, do I render my mix to a wave file and send that or... I didn't think I sent the mix itself but a rendered version, so I just wanted to make sure that wave was the preferred format or not.

    And about the MP3 encoding - the guy told me that's obviously to get better MP3 quality masters. Has anyone had experience with this/does it sound much better than if I just take a mastered CD and convert it's Wave files to MP3?
  5. acorneau

    acorneau Active Member

    Jun 18, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Home Page:

    Usually yes, a stereo mix, preferably 24-bit at the native sample rate.
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