Why We Master Audio
At Mercury Mastering, we offer Grammy award-winning audio mastering that is accessible to everyone. If you’re new to the music industry, you may be wondering what it means to master audio and why this final step is so critical to the recording process. Here’s what you need to know about mastering audio.
What Does Mastering Audio Mean?
Mastering is part of the audio post-production process. The first step in post-production is mixing music. This means that all the separate component parts of a song are put together in a single track.
Then, we master the track, optimizing it by applying equalization and dynamic compression to make sure all elements are balanced and that the recording sounds good across all media formats. If you’ve ever listened to a song on your phone and then had a completely different sonic experience when listening to it on a bluetooth speaker, you know the difference skilled mastering can make.
The Results of Mastering
During mastering, audio is enhanced and edited to maximize sound quality. If we compare making music to cooking, mixing is when we add all the different ingredients to the pot (in the right portions), while mastering is the seasoning that marries each of the flavors and ensures that the end result is satisfying. When a track is being mastered, we think about:
- if a track is part of an album, we want to make sure everything flows and sounds cohesive; how long will the gaps be between tracks? Will the tracks fade in and out?
- whether the tone is good
- if a track would benefit from the addition of ambience
- the level of the track
- whether there is an appropriate sense of balance and if frequency needs to be adjusted
- flaws like clicks, dropouts, hum, and hiss and other issues that may need to be fixed with noise reduction technology
- adjusting the volume, either for the entire track or certain parts of a song
- how consumers will listen to the track; will it sound as good on vinyl as it will on headphones?
A track that has been mastered sounds polished and professional. Mastered music is prepared for distribution on all platforms.
Where to Master Audio
Mercury Mastering’s sound engineers use a selection of full analog equalizers and our superior Trident console to master your music. When you choose Mercury, you’re choosing engineers who have worked with Grammy-winning artists and have experience in every genre of music, from hip hop to country. With over 20,000 songs mastered, we’ve heard it all and mastered it all. Our team has the equipment, training, and skills to get the job done right.
Learn More About Mercury Mastering
Mercury Mastering offers a free sample to allow you to see how the process works and hear for yourself our award-winning work. Like what you hear? Choose one of our two transparent pricing tiers and get unlimited revisions and our 100% satisfaction guarantee––with no hidden costs or unwelcome surprises. Start your project with Mercury Mastering today.