Mastering ensures that your audio will sound the best it can on all speaker systems, streaming platforms, media formats, and devices. It’s also the final stage that prepares your music for distribution. Below are several other reasons why artists master their music:
- Emphasize or reduce frequencies to improve the overall mix
- Fix problematic frequencies and improve imbalances missed in the mixing process
- Create tonal balance, so there is an even distribution of frequencies
- Manage dynamics, control transient spikes, and glue tracks
- Remove pops, clicks, and other unwanted noises
- Stereo enhancement to add dimension and balance the stereo field. Widening your mix will help it sound bigger. Stereo enhancement can also help tighten the center image by focusing the low-end.
- Increase overall perceived loudness to reach commercial levels
- Ensure all the songs in an album or EP sound consistent and balanced. Matching levels allows for listening to an entire album without having to adjust the volume for each song.
- Create fades or crossfades for smoother transitions between songs in an album or EP
- Arrange songs into a final sequence for an album or EP
- Add space at the beginning and end of songs in an album or EP
- Add metadata and ISRC codes for cataloging and tracking a song
- Insert track markers for CD replication
- Bit-depth reduction and sample rate conversion. Converting the audio is necessary for distribution and playback on different platforms. The standard bit-depth for most cases is 16-bit/44.1 kHz.
- Finally, it’s a standard requirement for all record label releases
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