The AudioCooker

thought and experience crafting the perfect mix...

What is Mastering?

Mastering, that elusive process that recorded and mixed material must go through before being released. Contrary to popular belief the mastering process is not to make your recordings just sound loud. The goal should be to produce a tonal balance and achieve average perceived volume levels that conform to industry standard scales. After AudioCooker Mastering your music will have that professional sheen that “sounds like a record"

To help retain the quality, punch and dynamics in your music all our work is mastered to the new R128 Loudness standard and either the K-20, K-14 or K-12 Loudness scale depending on the martial and project type. Over the past decade or more the "loudness war" has been raging in which the average volume of music has been increased through very heavy limiting and compression. This has had an extremely negative impact on the punch and dynamics of modern music. To help combat this the industry is adopting a new standard and scales to work to. The R128 Loudness standard moves the industry aways from normalising to peak volumes levels to normalising to the average loudness. All our work takes heed of these new standards.

Using modern software with complex algorithms your music will be mastered to recognised industry standards and will achieve commercial loudness levels while maintaining punch, dynamics and clarity.

N.B. - A great mix will need very little processing at the mastering stage, and achieving a good mix should always be your first goal rather than relying on the mastering process.

Preparing Your Tracks For Mastering

Your mixed, exported or bounced audio files should have a few seconds gap (around 1 bar) at the start and end of your song. If you have the choice please do not send mixes with fade outs. If this is what you want it can be added at the mastering stage. Export your files to a 24 bit stereo interleaved WAV or AIFF file. Do not add any dithering and try not to over compress or EQ your mix buss. Mix buss compression can be an important tool in creating the right "feel" for you mix or helping "glue" the mix together but don't over do it, 2 to 3dB gain reduction max! If you need help or advice with this please feel free to contact us HERE. Also, assuming we have not done your mix for you please make sure that any peaks in the song do not exceed -6dBFS (Absolute maximum -3dBFS). Don't worry if your mix sounds quiet when compared to commercial releases, concentrate on a great mix. Our mastering process with look after the final level for you. Again please contact us if you need any advice.

You can send your files to us either in person, via Dropbox or 89130-wetransfer-default-logo-rgb-original-1365619064
More details on the "Loudness war" can be found here.

The so-called “Loudness War” is entirely based on a modern myth – a fairy-tale full of nonsense that has somehow hypnotised the entire music industry for the last ten years – and is permanently damaging the music we listen to as a result.

© 2014 Steve Eaton Contact Me