Mastering - Frequently Asked Questions

What is mastering?
Why master your music?
Who needs mastering?
When preparing your mixes for mastering...
Can I upload my mixes?
What is the maximum possible length of a CD album?
What are ISRC Codes and where do I obtain them?


What is mastering?
Mastering (or pre-mastering) is the last step in the creative process of an audio production. Mastering in itself is also a creative process, at this stage everything will fit together and your production will become a more coherent. But the most important aspect of mastering is that an open-minded ear will listen to your mixes with a fresh and objective style. Mastering is the art of harmony and balance. Every decision affects the whole program and choices have to be made very carefully. A good pair of ears and excellent monitoring system is essential.
Why master your music?
An important purpose to have your music professionally mastered is to make it sound good when played on a variety equipment like a car stereo, a "boom-box", an average hifi set or a MP3 palyer. Another important intention is that excellent mastering will help your production to distinguish from the contest and to give it a skilled touch.

Who needs mastering?
Mastering is for people who want their music to stand out and to sound professional. Besides CD and DVD productions this also holds true for people making demo CD’s. Here it’s most important to have your music stand out above the majority and make a stunning first impression.

When preparing your mixes for mastering,
– please don't maximize the level of your mixes
– please don't use excessive EQ
– please don't trim the heads and tails
– please don't use fade ins and outs
– please don't export to mp3 or other lossy format
+ please do remove all output bus processors, like limiters and heavy compressors.
   However, if you really like the sound of a particular compressor use it!
+ leave about 3dB headroom
+ export to the highest bit resolution without sample rate conversion

Can I upload my mixes?
We offer an Online Mastering service with a ftp server. You upload your mixes to our secure server and after the mastering session we send the master files back to you. Of course you can attend the mastering session at our mastering studio.
Pre-book your mastering session now»

What is the maximum possible length of a CD album?
A CD album should be no more than 79 minutes and 58 seconds.

What are ISRC Codes and where do I obtain them?
The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording track which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments.