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Thread: submitting unmastered final mix to music libraries?

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    submitting unmastered final mix to music libraries?

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    I just read an article over on the SOS website indicating this is standard practice; unmastered w/no bus EQ or compression...
    Any feedback/info about this appreciated,thx....

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    Hi,
    I don't know much about it, and there are a few mastering gurus around here,
    but if you take mastering for what it is, preparation for final medium, then it makes sense to archive unmastered copies as you don't know what the final medium might be.

    If you have a master that was made for commercial CD release, it will have been made to different specs than someone would want for TV or film, for example.
    Perhaps that's the reason?
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Steenamaroo-
    As always thx for replying...agree w/your logic....hopefully this will be an active thread like others I've started here and a lot of good info from people who've had experience w/this will be the result....

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    I would add "nothing done for the sake of apparent volume."

    I do a decent amount of stuff for this purpose. There may be a decent amount of processing going on - But the dynamic range is always what best serves the mix -- Not what seems "commercially competitive" (for lack of a better term). And it's on the highest end of that dynamic range. Easy to "squash" it later - but once it's squashed, it's squashed. A lot of TV and film want ridiculous amounts of dynamic range and ridiculously low RMS/LUFS levels.

    "Ridiculous" is a loaded term I guess - They're just "generous" - which is fine.

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    One of my bands did the library thing a few years back.
    What they asked for from us were the CD versions of the songs and lyrics-free versions. So essentially, they did want the squashed masters, but they also wanted unmastered instrumental versions.

    They only placed one song ultimately, so who's to say if they even asked us for the right thing tho?

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    Thx to both John + Steve above for replying..
    John -sent you an email...get back to me when you get a chance..
    Steve-re-unmastered instrumental versions...as far as the final mix,assuming you used some EQ/compression during the tracking proc,was the mix you submitted just the tracks set re-levels/panning but w/out any added EQ/compression or ....??
    Last edited by smg; 05-23-2019 at 12:17.

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    I can't say for sure. We hired an outside mixer (and used John for mastering; honestly, he probably knows better than me what went into the instrumental versions)

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    I've worked on both sides of this equation for quite a number of years (lead engineer at Crazy Daisy Productions).
    I've mastered a very large number of tracks for music libraries wanting to ensure quality and consistency in their sound, particularly when they're selling collections of tracks in a particular theme, which may be from a variety of different composers. I've also helped a large number of artists in a wide range of genres mix and master their songs to prepare them for pitching to libraries and publishers - with good results.

    My recommendation is to fully mix and master any tracks that you plan to pitch to music libraries. This includes libraries you may already have a working relationship with, since they will still want to hear your songs first before deciding to accept them. Then, once you have material accepted, ask them if they would like the unmastered versions - in other words, do they have their music mastered before releasing it?
    So, even though you should absolutely send the most polished version you can when you submit it to them, be ready to provide them with: an unmastered version, unmastered stems, unmastered and mastered shortened versions and reduced versions (i.e. 30 and 60 second versions, and versions with vocals and/or main melody line instruments removed). Depending on the library, and also on what they have planned for your material, they might request any of these options. If you're prepared going into it then it won't be any issue and you can quickly and easily provide whatever they want. Fast response on your part helps develop your working relationship and they're more likely to request and accept more tracks from you in the future.

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