At this point in the game I am willing to pay someone who does mastering on a regular basis rather than myself. It’s about $30-40 per song. Last album I had mastered for $300 this one I am thinking might be $400.
I know a guy and I like the way he mastered this one song so I think I am going to go with him for now.
Ya, I think that everyone should practice mastering tracks, even if they plan on having their stuff mastered by a mastering house. I think that learning how to master a track will make someone a better mixer, to better prepare a track for the mastering process.
For example I’ve learned if I want a lot of hot signal in the highs I can’t have too much pounding kick, without running out of head room. Also if I want my song to be very intelligible, I should use more sine/triangle wave based instruments for pads and that sort to keep the bandwidth and headroom from being used up by more harmonic content. Using pads that sound like supersaws take up a lot of space and make it harder to hear the sharp percussive sounds in the high end. So when using these or something like white noise effects, I need to use them sparingly or have them properly applied as to not muddy up the track.
I’ve heard a few different rules of thumb for how you should leave your tracks if you plan to have someone else Master them. What do you guys do?
Also can you share the contact info for the guy you used for Mastering? I have a couple tracks I’m working on that I’d like to have Mastered before I put them out there if they ever get to a point where I’m really happy with them…