Dance Music Mastering

The mastering stage is the final step before publishing a piece of music  At this point any sonic or even technical errors must be addressed before manufacture

What are some things to bear in mind then when preparing your songs to be mastered?

At the end of the day all phases of your production are going to add up to determine how well the mastering session will go.  This involves things like the kinds of sounds used, arrangement and the mixdown itself.

Your kick and bassline are two major factors of the mix, especially in dance tunes, that will have an effect on the mastering.  You'll want to make sure these work together and not against each other.

If you do not get them working together then there will be a clash of frequencies which will be tricky for the MASTERING ENGINEER to repair.

If the online mastering engineer provides good service then he will hopefully ask you to correct this kind of challenge first before proceeding.  If they don't then what generally happens is the MASTERING ENGINEER will improve the mix overall but it still won't be in as good shape as it could be.

Arrangement methods are another way to tackle this kind of problem.  One example would be don't have too many sounds playing at once that will compete with each other.One of these tips is to simply not put competing sounds to play together.  This stops these sounds from masking one another and muddying up the mix.

If you've noticed almost all of these methods have to do with the mix itself which shows how vital it is in getting a good master.

Getting the levels repair along with any eqing and compression are of course also critical.  You really want the master to just strengthen and bring up the levels of the mix which should already be sounding great.

So how do you then choose a mastering engineer once you're ready for this part of the process?

Here are some tricks on what to look out for so that your mix and master gets the quality attention it deserves.

First of all experience is key, you want someone who has dealt with the type of tunes you are doing.  If they specialise in that particular type of genre that can also be a plus.

The type and quality of clientele they've worked with in the past is another potential sign.  If the ME you're looking at has only dealt with lesser known artists that might be a bad indication.  If on the other hand they have dealt with well known clients then that generally means they are capable of doing great work.

Make sure to take into account the sorts of prices they are charging. If their prices are too inexpensive then it's a strong probability they are doing low quality work.

The type of equipment they are using is the very last thing to take into account. Usually studios with higher end analogue gear will beat out the quality of smaller studios only running plugins.


Medway Studios - London, UK


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