Yes, mastering brings the songs of an album together. We listen to the record as a whole, round the sharp edges, boost the low points, and make macro adjustments to give a sense of completion and unity to your project with just the right amount of loudness and dynamics. And we do that with a selection of specific articulate pieces of gear that will do the job. But, it’s more than just that and we are working with you before we even touch a piece of gear.
It’s a quality check (QC) – before and after – We listen for inaccuracies in your actual files and let you know about issues before they become a problem later down the line with distribution. These inaccuracies can be errors, clicks, pops, drop outs, or phase issues, to name a few. This is why a new set of ears is so incredibly crucial to this process. A mix engineer and the band has listened to a song hundreds of times before sending off to the mastering engineer. So nine out of 10 times the mix engineer doesn’t hear something a mastering engineer might hear for the first time with a set of fresh ears.
Another aspect a mastering engineer can give you, the mix engineer or band is providing mix feedback. That consultation and advise is there only if you ask; so ask, if you have any questions or doubts with your mix. It might just be the mastering engineer simply gives you a thumbs up. But having an another engineer who isn’t emotionally involved with the creation of the mixes can provide a mix critique. It can include changes to the mix that will help the record sound better as a whole, it can be problem frequencies that are really throwing the mix off, and sometimes it can be something very simple makes the job of the mastering engineer less complicated and can get you a better master.
So, it’s true, before any mix is sent through that Vari-Mu or tube eq, we’re already working on making your mixes sound better!