If you know me, it's no secret.
I absolutely LOVE mastering.
There are many steps involved in music production. So, why would I love mastering so much?
Here are three reasons...
1. Most musicians have no idea what mastering can do, so I can pleasantly surprise them. Musicians have a few common misconceptions about mastering. One is that mastering simply puts files in the proper format for streaming and CD manufacture. Another is that mastering is simply the process of making music louder. While mastering does do both of those things, it does much more. Mastering makes music sound smoother like songs on the radio do. Mastering brings out more frequencies of the music and makes the overall tone better. Mastering can apply an overall effect to music - like tube excitation - that gives a song and an album a distinct character.
2. Most musicians think their mix is the best their music can sound, so I can pleasantly surprise them. Multiply the number of songs on an album by 8 to 20 hours per song spent on tracking, editing, and mixing, and most musicians will think that their recording/mixing engineer has squeezed out every last drop of musical quality out of a recording. While those hours can definitely push a recording towards its potential, they also can cause fatigue that prevents a mix engineer from pushing the quality of a recording as far as it can go. Even if the best mixing engineer in town is used, musicians should know that mastering can still make their expertly-mixed music sound noticeably better. Mastering is a different process than mixing. Mastering uses different tools than mixing. So, naturally, mastering can do something additional to your music.
3. I always challenge myself to find at least one opportunity to seize or one problem to solve when mastering a mix. A great mixing engineer will work on your mix until s/he runs out of ideas. A great mastering engineer will be able to identify ways to make a bad mix sound better, a good mix sound great, and a great mix sound the best it possibly can. When you have a second set of professional ears working on your music, there should always be at least one idea at the mastering stage to help a recording reach its sonic potential.
When you're preparing to get your music out there, I would love to have the opportunity to discuss the possibility of you having your mastering done by me here at Before and After Music Group's mastering studio. Even if you have an existing release that you'd like to hear mastered better, I'd love to demonstrate what I can do for you. Contact us at email@example.com or 412-600-8241.
-Chip, CEO/Head Mastering Engineer
Chip Dominick is the CEO and head mastering engineer for Before and After Music Group