How Do I Know if I Mastered a Track Correctly?

How Do I Know if I Mastered a Track Correctly?

Did you know that popular music streaming service Spotify adds 40000 songs to its service every day? More songs are being released commercially than ever before.

But let’s face it, not all songs are created or produced equally. A quality artist can have excellent work diminished by poor mastering. An average artist can be brought to life by excellent audio post-production.

If you have mastered a track or two but would like to continue to increase your skills, check out our authoritative article below to find out how.

1. Avoid Clipping

It may sound like a basic step but take steps to avoid clipping during the mix stage. If transients were left too high during the edit and mix stage there may be little that a mastering engineer can easily do, especially if they have been squared off.

Avoid this to give your mastering engineer the best track for working his magic. In the best scenario, a significant amount of headroom will have been left during the mix stage.

2. Master at the Highest Resolution.

The higher the resolution of the track the more information the engineer has to work with. This means keeping it in high quality for as long as possible. If your track files are in 24-bit/48 kHz, keep this quality all the way up to the final track bounce if possible.

Of course, later you may have to lower the quality to produce the final track, however, even then take steps to avoid degradation.

3. Don’t Over-Process the Mix

If you are not the mix engineer, encourage them to go easy on processing as far as possible. After all, if everything has been processed and mixe delicately, there may not be much remaining for an engineer to do.

However, if tracks have been overengineered and this becomes evident when the overall level is raised in Master, it will negatively affect the track.

4. Don’t use Multiband Compression in Mix

When problems are encountered, a common first resort is to use compression to fix them. However, many experts recommend avoiding the overuse of compression.

Compressors sculpt and modify the waveform. This can cause it to lose a little something. This modification will then become even more evident in the mastering stage. Prevention is better than cure. Avoid creating larger problems down the line by going easy on compression in earlier stages.

5. Make Use of Headroom

A good mix engineer will have left you with enough headroom to work with. This means that you can raise the level of the track to the desired stage without clipping.

Yes, it is possible to avoid clipping by employing compression and limiters at an early stage. However, by using headroom, you protect the dynamics and natural rhythm of the track.

6. Get an Outside Opinion

In some cases, you may the only engineer working on the track, in other cases, there may have been multiple engineers. It is always beneficial to get a second opinion especially if you have been working on the same track for a while.

Avoid fatigue by switching it up and listening to some well-mastered tracks every so often rather than the one you are working on.

How to Know if You have Mastered a Track like a Pro

If you have mastered a track but are looking to improve your skills, we are here to help. We leverage our significant experience in the market to write authoritative articles regarding audio production of all kinds.

Simply follow our blog to find out more. We do the hard work and research to keep you up to date with the latest audio trends.