Checklist before you send a track for mastering

By following this guideline you give us the best conditions to deliver a great sounding master:  

  • Remove all Limiters, compressors, EQ or other processes from your master bus. If you think a master bus process is necessary, send two versions and explain why you think the process is necessary, name the files accordingly (for example cool_things_-_clean_mix.wav and cool_things_-_bus_compressor.wav)
  • Render your material with the same sample-rate used while recording.
  • Deliver 24bit files or higher, preferable is a 32bit floating point file if your DAW supports it.
  • Mix your track with lots of headroom, leave at least 3dB but we won’t complain if we get 6-8dB of unused bits. If your mix already pushing 0dB, do not just lower your master volume. Instead, decrease the gain of each track to create headroom.
  • Render your track so that you have about a second or two of silence both before the music start and after the last note has faded out, that way you’ll be sure nothing gets lost.
  • What format do you need? Check with your distributor/label what they prefer, format, sample frequency, and bit depth.
  • Do you have all info that’s needed for a final master? For example ISRC and EAN/UPC for CD, track order, all the correct names of artist and tracks?
  • Take a listen to all tracks before sending them off, we get a wrong version or faulty renders more often than you would think.