Music mastering is the final step in the music production process. It is the process of shaping and balancing audio files of a song before their release. Mastering gives the tracks a professional sound and makes them ready for all kinds of playback systems. However, finding a mastering engineer can be expensive, especially for independent artists. But with online music mastering, mastering your music is now cheaper and more accessible. In this blog post, we will guide you through the ultimate guide to online music mastering.
Understanding Online Music Mastering
Online music mastering involves the use of audio mastering software that is used to adjust and enhance the sound of your tracks. In online music mastering, you upload your audio files to an online mastering studio such as LANDR, eMastered, and CloudBounce, and you get your mastered track back within minutes. The online service runs your audio files through an algorithm that has been programmed to enhance the mix in a way that will sound good to the majority of people.
Preparation for Online Music Mastering
Before you upload your audio files, make sure that they are at the highest quality possible. Export your tracks in the WAV or AIFF formats, at 24-bit and a sample rate of 44.1 kHz unless there is a reason to use higher settings. Also, leave enough headroom in your mix to allow the mastering engineer to apply his/her magic. Headroom refers to the amount of decibels between the loudest part of the audio signal and 0 dB, which is the loudest that a digital system can handle without distorting. A headroom of 3dB is adequate, but some mastering engineers may require more.
Choosing the Right Online Mastering Service
There are several online mastering services available, and choosing the right one can be overwhelming. One of the most common is LANDR, which is known for its user-friendly platform and affordable pricing. eMastered, on the other hand, offers a higher level of customization, which makes it ideal for artists who want more control over their tracks. It is also essential to consider factors such as the quality of the mastering, turnaround time, and customer support.
Review Your Mastered Tracks
Once you receive your mastered tracks, it is essential to listen to them on different playback systems to ensure that they sound good on all of them. Test them on professional speakers, headphones, car stereos, and even on your smartphone. Make sure that the tracks are consistent, and there are no volume variations. You should also compare the online mastered tracks with the original versions to ensure that they sound better.
Online music mastering is not rocket science, and you can learn how to master your tracks like a pro with consistent practice and learning. Some online mastering services offer tutorials and courses that will help you to understand the mastering process and the various tools and techniques used. You can also learn from YouTube tutorials and blogs such as The Mastering Show podcast and iZotope Blog.
Online music mastering has revolutionized the music industry by making it possible for independent artists to master their tracks affordably and conveniently. Although it may not be an alternative to professional mastering engineers for complex mixes, online mastering services are suitable for most music producers. By following the tips discussed in this blog, you can achieve professional-sounding mastered tracks that will wow your listeners. Keep practicing and learning, and you will soon become a pro in online music mastering.