Preparing A Track Or Song For Mastering: Pre Mastering Including 9 Pro Tips
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A complete and informative guide to preparing your track, song or audio for Mastering. From our experience here at Zeitgeist Mastering, many people send in audio for mastering that is just not optimised for best results… This video aims to change all of that… A guide showing you how to get the best and most professional results from audio mastering in 9 essential points and tips. How to export or bounce your track with confidence so that you know that you will get the most out of it! It is really just as important as the Mastering stage itself so it is worth getting right…
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Here is a summary of the 9 ESSENTIAL TIPS:
1. Make sure that there are no effects on your Master Bus when you Bounce or Export!!!
Sub Point: If there is something on your Master Bus that you think you cannot live without, send your Mastering Engineer 2 versions: A No FX Mix and an FX Mix and let your Mastering Engineer know what the effect is. Some prefer to Mix into a Master Bus or 2 Bus Compressor. If so, we say make sure it is a very good one! However, never never leave a limiter in place.
2. Make sure that the level of your Track Peaks somewhere between -6 and -3dB!
3. If the Peak Level of your Track is higher than -3dB, it is best to reduce each tracks level rather than to just drop the master fader.
4. Eliminate any unwanted noise within your Mix.
5. Try to keep your Mix Clean and Dynamic.
6. Leave some silence at the beginning and at the end of your Track (2 – 8 Bars).
7. Bounce your track in the Format that you worked in (24 Bit is the most common and is absolutely adequate).
8. Be sure not to Normalise or to apply any Dither when you Bounce or Export!
**If you do apply dither, use a dither with no noise shaping such as a TPDF (Triangular Probability Density Function) so as not to add unnecessary noise to your track – save the noise shaping for that final conversion done by the mastering engineer! This way, there will be no damage done.
9. Think about realistic and relevant reference tracks that you might be able to suggest to your Mastering Engineer.
If you follow these steps, your Final Audio Master will be the best it can be so it is worth it…
Happy Producing and Premastering!