25 Mar 2015
Well it’s a good job we love mastering, really, we do, we do it every day.
So why should everyone else love it? Not only because all the music you listen to on a daily basis will have been mastered at some point, but without mastering, music can sound totally different. Mastering adds an extra edge of clarity, ties together albums and warms up sound, depending on what the artists want.
I get emails every day asking about mastering, asking what we think the bonus is to it, and essentially it is simple, the sound.
So, why do we love mastering?
1. It makes things just sound more complete, refined and tidied up.
2. It ties albums together. If a record was mastered at different times and the tracks were just cobbled together and released, the likelihood is every track would have a different feel to it.
3. Consistency – This leads on from the last point. Consistency plays a big part in listening, and enjoying a record.
4. We master everything. This is more of a personal reason for loving mastering. We aren’t tied to a particular style. Recording studios and mix engineers sometimes fall into a style that they will constantly work with, and luckily we don’t fit that paradigm, mastering engineers work on all styles. This is why mastering is fantastic, from an engineers point of view!
5. Mastering engineers work with every style. I’ve done it again, I’ve doubled up my points. But this is true once again. Your favourite mix engineer works with massively famous people and charges more money to look at your track than you earn in a week. You want to go with them because they work with post-hardcore-brit-pop-new-wave-psychodelia-bass line, so you figure, I’ll spend the money. Well, as I said earlier, mastering engineers work with all styles, and even post-hardcore-brit-pop-new wave-psychodelia-bass line*, probably.
*Not sure if this sub-sub genre actually exists. Get in touch if your band does this, I’d be interested to hear it. email@example.com
6. Mastering makes stuff sound better. This seems simple, but it does. If your mix sounds supreme then the master will sound astonishing and is worth every penny spent on it.
So why should you love mastering? Because everything you hear is mastered, maybe not tastefully, but it is, and it will have improved the mix tenfold depending on the track and engineer.
If you want to be able to play your track alongside your biggest competitor, get it mastered. The best way to see the difference in tracks is check out before and afters, see the difference in level and overall sound and dynamics. Just do me one favour and don’t listen through laptop speakers….or a home-made Pringles speaker, that’s no good either.