The mastering phase is the final step before publishing a piece of music This is the point to where any technical or sonic issues need to be looked at before going to manufacture.
What are some things to consider then when preparing your audio 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. The arrangement, mixdown and even sounds used will all contribute to this.
One example of elements that are very important to the final result will be your kick and bassline. So it's important in this case that they work with each other and not the other way around.
If there is a conflict in the low end frequencies due to a mismatched kick or bassline the ME will have a tough time resolving this.
If the mastering engineer provides good service then he will hopefully ask you to fix this kind of challenge first before proceeding. Some however won't which means even with some enhancement the master will not be as of good quality as it can.
This kind of problem can also be worked with using arrangement tricks. For instance do not put too many competing sounds on at at one time in the song. What this accomplishes is to simply let the sounds have some room to breath from each other.
Once again a very good master comes from a excellent mix and these methods focus on that.
Refining your mix with good levels and proper eq and compression are of course very significant too. You really want the master to just enhance and bring up the levels of the mix which should already be sounding excellent.
Choosing a great me is now the next phase after your mix is sounding good.
So now you need to find a me to take the track to the next level, here's some tricks on how to choose one.
First of all experience is key, you want someone who has worked with the type of tunes you are doing. If they concentrate in that particular type of genre that can also be a plus.
If you take a look at the quality of the clients they've dealt with this can also point to how good they are. It can be a bad indication if they have only worked with artists who are not well known.
It can however show they do excellent online mastering work if their clientele are also of top quality.
You can also look at the amount they charge. They might be doing low quality work if their prices are too inexpensive.
One last thing to look at is the type of equipment they utilize. Usually studios with higher end analogue gear will beat out the quality of smaller studios only running plugins.