One of the final steps in the post-production audio process before distribution is stereo mastering. The sole purpose of mastering is to optimize playback across all systems and media formats, and encode the files with the proper information. Common tools that stereo mastering utilizes include equalization, compression, stereo imaging and limiting.
In contrast to stem mastering, stereo mastering is the process of sending only a stereo file to the mastering engineer. This is the most common format of mastering. The mastering engineer receives the final mix, and can make recommendations and final decisions regarding the mix. With that being said they only have the ability to work on the file as a whole. Some of the benefits of stereo mastering include ease of delivery and cheaper production costs.
Many consider mastering to be the “icing on the cake” or the glue, varnish, and polish that coats the final bit of music. It allows for optimal playback quality across all formats and systems. For albums, after the songs are optimized and sequenced, the file is encoded with the track names and ISRC codes. Once completed, the mastering engineer creates copies and duplications of specified file formats from these final masters. The mastering process creates a smooth and cohesive flow from song to song in volume, tone and balance for albums. As a result, what you will receive is a high-quality mastered stereo file ready for your next steps with distribution. We offer mastering to vinyl and Apple Digital Masters as well, please let us know when placing your order if you’re interested in either of these services.
We’d love to help make your music sound distinct! We provide you with a simple, stress-free experience so that you can focus on doing what you do best.
Contact us today and we can answer any questions you might have about Stereo Mastering.