Tuesday, June 7
Let's Talk Mastering
Last week week we did a blog post about how to get more attention on Jango. One of the topics, mastering, was what most of you discussed in the comments so we decided to explore that a bit further.
Mastering used to be a mysterious alchemical trade left only in the hands of a few seasoned professionals. Especially in the days of vinyl (see picture) when a mastering engineer would also have to calculate time/volume ratios, eq frequencies that could cause skipping and tame sibilant sounds (s, t, f) that would hiss through a bad vinyl reproduction.
Today a lot of basic mastering can be done at home with some simple software and a good laptop. There is much that can be done to make your song 'Radio Ready' with the tweaking of a few knobs so we figured we'd share some programs with you that we think are good in today's market. But, if you're going to cut some wax, we'd still suggest seeking out a professional.
On the low end cost wise there's the iZotope Ozone coming in at about $200. The Sonalksis Mastering Suite is a medium priced option at $600 and Waves audio plugins and bundles can set you back thousands. This all looks pretty good since getting an engineer to master your tracks for you will cost anywhere from $50 - $200 per track, so in the long run you could save a nice bit of cash. But, if you're going to cut some wax, we'd still suggest seeking out a professional.
These are our quick picks...but what do you have to say? What's your favorite software for mastering? Or do you use the pros, and if so, who?
Let us know in the comments.