What is song mastering, and why does it matter? During a song’s post-production phase, mastering acts as the final step in the process. The purpose of song mastering is to polish the audio, giving it a clean and cohesive feeling all around. This step is what makes the track sound flawless wherever it’s eventually played out, whether that be in your earbuds, your car’s stereo system, or on the sound system at a concert. Without mastering, a song won’t be fully optimized for playback.
What goes into song mastering?
A song must go through a mastering phase to be ready for distribution and ultimately get the download and streams by fans. A mastered song can be easily distribute ready across various formats like vinyl, CD, radio, and streaming. Mastering works out any kinks missed during the mixing process, ensuring the final version is free of unwanted clicks, hisses, etc. Tools like equalization, compression, audio restoration, saturation, limiting, and stereo enhancement are used to achieve this.
What’s the difference between mixing and mastering?
The mix is the recorded audio, and the master is the source in which all copies can be produced via multiple platforms. The goal of song mastering is the get the mix ready for distribution.
Mixing always comes before mastering during the song development process. Mixing includes but is not limited to building the instrumentals and adding vocals to a track. During this step, an artist layers various pieces of audio together to record the song how they like.
Due to the complex nature of mastering, an artist will typically need to hire someone else to master the song and work out any mistakes made during the mixing process. Mixing and mastering processes are entirely different, so someone keen on one may not necessarily be an expert at the other. It’s best to get a professional involved during this step, so you don’t miss anything important!
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