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Cleaning Individual Tracks

  • Be sure to cut out any audio that contains the following:

    • pops

    • click

    • plosives

    • unwanted noises

  • Check that all files have the appropriate crossfades and or fade-in/fade-outs.

  • Notice*** If not adjusted accordingly, the previously mentioned points will become much more apparent and louder in the mastering process.


Mix Bus Processing

  • Unless using EQ, compression or other processors that are adding value to the overall mix, remove from the master bus when printing your mix.

    • You can always send two versions: one with and another without master bus processing

  • If processes were active while mixing the song, it is ok to leave on. If they were put on after mixing, you should remove them when sending off for mastering.


Removing Limiters on Mix Bus

  • Refrain from using any limiter(s) on your master bus when printing your mix.

  • Limiters have a tendency to introduce unwanted distortion, which can be very harsh and non-musical.

    • Loudness can be achieved in many different ways; using a limiter has its pros and cons.


Checking Levels

  • Avoid sending final mix that hits at 0dB.

    • This causes digital clipping.

  • Generally speaking for most styles of music, aim anywhere from -6 to -3 dB on your master bus.


Bouncing Your Mix

  • Leave a little extra space before and after the song.

    • This space can be used to help isolate any outlying noises from a recording.

  • Make sure final bounce retains all reverb tails, delays, etc. near the beginning and end of the song.

    • Tip: Use headphones to precisely check this.

  • Bounce the track at the sample rate of the project, no need to down or up-sample.

  • Bounce as a 24 bit, .wav file.

  • Name file with the following convention: Artist_Song Title_Mix_Date

Listen Carefully

  • It is very important to listen to the complete recording after bouncing. Listen to the file in different listening spaces to insure it translates over multiple systems.

    • Listen in your car, bluetooth speaker, earbuds, home audio system, etc.

  • Take the extra time to quality control check for any last second errors that you may have not heard before. This makes the mastering process much more efficient and faster!

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