Are you coming to the end of the creation of your song and want to know if it is necessary to master it? Or maybe you’re not at that stage yet, but you want to learn about its importance? Whatever the case, we are here to explain the importance of audio mastering in the creation of a track.
Depending on your objectives, we can already tell you whether or not you will need to go through the mastering process. Have you created a recorded a song simply for your own pleasure and amusement? In that case, we can tell you right now: no need to master it! This step is only really necessary to finalize the tracks that are going to be marketed to the public, to be played on the radio and/or to be broadcasted in nightclubs and television…
If you think your song is finished but would like to have the objective opinion of music industry professionals to release it, don’t hesitate to send it to the mentors on Groover. You’ll also be able to get in touch with the best media, radio stations, playlists and music professionals – guaranteed listening and feedback in less than 7 days.
So, what exactly is the purpose of audio mastering and where can you get your tracks mastered for a professional result? We answer you right away.
1. What is audio mastering for?
Mastering is the last step in the creation of a professional quality track, which comes after the mixing step. These two steps should not be confused! Mixing is used to balance the sound of the different tracks of a song between them, to homogenize the final result. It would be a pity, for example, to hear the instruments very loud at the expense of the voice, or that the guitar sounds much louder than the drums if it is not the desired effect… That’s why it’s a good idea to attend the mixing of your tracks with the sound engineer in charge of this mission: you can tell him directly what you want to bring out when listening to your music.
While the interest of mixing is to bring a track to an ideal as well technical as artistic, the mastering stage has a double objective: it allows the tracks to keep a good sound quality whatever the listening device, as well as to homogenize the tracks between them within the framework of a project (album, EP) and on the streaming platforms and radios.
Mastering allows the tracks to keep the same audio quality, whatever the listening support. This means that, thanks to mastering, whether your music is listened to with headphones or on big speakers in a nightclub for example, the sound will remain impeccable. This is of course essential if you want to market your tracks! And to do so, the Groover platform will be an excellent way for you to contact radios, media and music industry professionals, with a guaranteed response within 7 days.
Then, if your musical project concerns several tracks (within the framework of an EP or an album for example), in this case the mastering is also important to standardize the tracks between them, so that there are no differences of volume between the various tracks.
The sound engineer will then set the general volume of your work so that listening to the whole project is pleasant for the listener. And the same goes for streaming platforms! Since streaming services have adopted a standardization of listening levels (fortunately for our ears), it is necessary for a sound engineer to have in mind the playback level of Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. in order to master your tracks at the right volume, while respecting the dynamics desired by the artist who created these tracks. It is thanks to mastering that your project will correspond to the current market standards. That’s all there is to it! The same goes for radio: have you ever heard of “remastered” tracks? These are tracks released some time ago (from the 80’s for example) that had to be mastered again because they no longer met the current market criteria for broadcasting. Fortunately for the sound engineers, in this case there is only the mastering of these tracks to review!
The final stage of mastering consists of bringing the last treatments to the track or the project as a whole. Thanks to different tools such as compression and equalization, the sound engineer in charge of the process will affect the color and dynamics of the track so that it corresponds to the artist’s desires, while respecting the work done during the mixing. It is not a question of turning everything upside down!
Attention. We remind you that following the order of the various stages of the creation of a song is essential to ensure the quality of the finished piece. These steps are, in order: the creation of the instrumental (composition/arrangement), capturing precise vocals (the recording in studio), the editing if need be (improvement of the accuracy of the voice) then the mixing and the mastering.
⎪Also read: Top 10 free mastering plugins in 2023
2. Where can I get my tracks mastered?
Mastering your tracks is a job for a pro! So unless you are a professional sound engineer equipped with the right tools, it’s better to make sure you have your back and entrust this key step to an expert. In other words, to put all the chances on your side in order to obtain songs and a project with a homogeneous sound result that conforms to the current market, there is nothing more efficient than to call upon a professional recording studio. If this is your case, first check the references of the said professional and/or the studio you are planning to use. You should also know that a professional mastering rarely costs less than 100€ on average. It’s a small investment, but well worth it!
We also advise you to have a look to the platform LANDR which offers an intelligent mastering service on top of access to plugins, samples, music distribution… It’s worth exploring!
As you will have understood, mastering is the last step, and not the least, to the creation of a professional quality track. You can’t escape it if you want to market your track or your project (single, EP, album)!
Try to always be one step ahead by thinking about your music’s promotion strategy now. Discover Groover and contact the media, radio stations, labels and music industry professionals who will help you promote your song as soon as it is ready to be released. Groover offers you a guaranteed response within 7 days!
– Translated by Betty Gonzalez Gray –
> Home Studio: How to create a professional studio on a budget
> 5 mixing tips and tricks: How to make your music sound good
For more information:
> How to build your musical project and attract the interest of professionals and fans?