Online mastering is a great way to save money when it comes to enhancing your
music before it is released to the wider market. The way online mastering works is that you send your audio files to the mastering
engineer and once they have been mastered you receive a preview master back for approval. This is very convenient and saves
money over an attended mastering session. There are very few drawbacks with online mastering and it is a model that is very
successful. The artist or musicians retain complete control over the sonic results just as would be the case in an attended
audio mastering session. If the clients wishes for there to be sonic adjustments for taste this is not an issue and a new
file will be sent for approval. With a good mastering engineer at the controls using very high quality equipment, mastering
approval is normally given immediately or within 1 or 2 revisions.
Here are some tips on submitting your files for online mastering :
1)Submit 24 bit .wav or .aiff files
2)Do not submit
data compressed formats such as MP3, MP4 or Ogg files.
3)Remove any limiter from the master output bus. Limiters tend to squash drum transients
and these are not possible to retreive. Please make sure the stereo master output is not clipping when you remove any limiters.
If it is, reduce the fader level on the output by the amount required to stop clipping occurring.
4)Ensure the mix you send is the best
you can achieve.
Many online mastering studios will offer a free mastering preview so you can sample the quality on offer. When requesting
a free master example please submit a full file. (not a snippet or shortened version) This saves time for when you wish to
proceed and the mastering engineer can listen to the full dynamic progression of the music and make better mastering decisions.
In addition, ensure that the mix submitted for a free preview is the final mix down and not a rough mix. Again mastering decisions
are made on the quality and balance of a mix and as such it is unfair to expect the engineer to work on the same piece of
music twice for what is essentially a freebie.
The mastering website below will provide a mastering sample for free (time permitting).