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Mastering Prep notes for your Mix Engineer

Preferred file format is .wav/.aiff
Sample rates: Just about any.
Preferably: 24bit 44.1k, or 96k
If in doubt, contact your mastering engineer.

If at all possible DO NOT USE MP3's (or any other compressed format besides FLAC) they are lossy formats and do not lend themselves well to what we do.

- Leave room for mastering. This is one of the biggest problem areas. Many home recordists pump up the mix because they want a loud master in the end. This is by far the biggest mistake you can make as you are not leaving any room for the Mastering Engineer to work.

Ideally, your PEAK mix levels should not be hotter than -6 to -4 at its LOUDEST peaks on your digital meters. This leaves room for us to work. We'll take care of the volume you want.

- DO NOT NORMALIZE, or use a MIX BUSS COMPRESSOR / LIMITER to bring up the level of your mix. That interferes with the mastering process. Compression upon compression WILL DESTROY YOUR SOUND.

Let US worry about the volume.
Individual compression on individual instruments or tracks is absolutely fine. DON'T COMPRESS THE OVERALL MIX.

- This seems obvious, but here it is anyway. Make sure, your final mix is EXACTLY the way you want it. Make sure to have proper balance of instruments, panning, effects, etc. Remember, mastering can make small adjustments to the mix using frequency dependant compression, BUT, IT CANNOT make full blown drastic changes the way a mixer can during final mixdown. So, if something in your mix is utterly inaudible, or conversely, if something sticks out and is overbearing, then your best bet would be to remix.

Remember, the better the mix, the better the master.

If you cannot attain the mix you desire hire us or another qualified mix engineer.

- Details such as track order, fade ins, fade outs, crossfades, edits (including profanity removal for radio) should be clearly noted, and confirmed before your engineer begins.

On this list, also mention whether or not the mixes will need additional fades or not. Sometimes we receive mixes that may have stray sounds, talking, etc., at the beginnings or ends of songs, and we can not always be sure if these have been intentionally left in or not.

- Lastly consider a stems mix. Many people these days are doing mixtapes and a stems mix can provide the ample flexibility for optimal results.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

E. Love is a seasoned Mix / Mastering professional. His team has sold over 14 Million Records and he himself has earned 4 Billboard Top 100's. He runs a youth music program which is free to participants, and owns Pure Heat which does song placement, designs work spaces, tutors, consults, does artist development, management, promotion, and more.

Pure Heat's area of focus is on Mixing, and Mastering along with artist empowerment, and song placement.

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About the Author

Eternal Love, Pure Heat
White Plains, NY 10603
(917) 547-9886

Contact Author: request info

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