Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Mastering


New member
Awesome article!!! I use to work for a mastering studio... now i am a producer and mix engineer. I'm sending this article to all of my studio clients who ask me about mastering and why they should do it. Thanks!


New member
Audio Mastering - Audiofanzine

Feel free to add your own...I think this is a good place to start.

Wow! As a newbie at home recording I really enjoyed reading this. I have to admit that I understood very little about mastering. I still don't know how those engineers do what they do, but at least I now have a clearer picture as to what they do and why it's important. I've always wondered about what to do with my songs after I've mixed them. How do I get them in order to make an album? How do I get them to sound like they fit together? It turns out that THAT is mastering... or at least part of it! Very enlightening! Thanks for sharing.

Massive Master
Just a cursory glance over that article -- Rather refreshing to read something other than "The mastering guy makes it really loud." :spank:


(EDIT) Aw man - That was Tom V...? Now it makes sense. :thumbs up:


New member
How do I want my final mixes to sound to anybody who plays back my music on anything? If this forum isn't just about Kid Pop and Rock (and all it's various forms and genres) mastering does two important things. 1, it gives distinction where there might not have been much and separation for stereo images and frequency parameters and 2, it elevates levels. (makes the music louder) Having said this, hiring someone to master a perfect final mix might be questionable. Especially if this ME doesn't know the artist and what he/she is trying to express. Who are you mastering your music for? Why is this next step in the production process so important in today's open media?

- Mastering Then and Now : Recording Magazine -


New member
ANYONE KNOW WHAT DRAKES VOCAL SETTINGS ARE IN DIAMONDS DANCING? Towards the end. Is that auto tune? Lyrics to listen for 'you knowwwww, how we let it get like this oh nooooo' 'dat nigga can't save your soullllll'

Massive Master
ANYONE KNOW WHAT DRAKES VOCAL SETTINGS ARE IN DIAMONDS DANCING? Towards the end. Is that auto tune? Lyrics to listen for 'you knowwwww, how we let it get like this oh nooooo' 'dat nigga can't save your soullllll'
First, you don't have to post the same thing everywhere.

Second, this is the mastering forum. You're kind of way off the mark...


COO of me, inc.
When our band made our first (vinyl) record single in 1980, the ME told us the cymbals were hot and recommended bringing them down. I made the decision not to, based on the fact that these were vinyl and after many playings this problem would resolve itself with normal wear in the groove. This proved itself out for those who've kept those records and played them regularly.

In those days all we had was vinyl, tape, and metal tape (for some digital) to work with. Had I foreseen the future and the coming of digital as we have today, I would have taken his advice.

Massive Master
On a recording where the source material is "good" and "clear" it's pretty hard to make metallic percussives (cymbals, tambourine, triangle, glockenspiel, concert bells, etc.) "too quiet" --

Updated Version of Article?

I've been thinking of creating an updated version of this article recently including areas like mastering for streaming services, loudness standards, and some other areas.

What topics would folks like to see or questions you may have?



New member
Mastering is a fantastic process to take your track to the radio ready/streaming ready standard.
It certainly can be done by the mixer but in my opinion it requires a second set of ears to really master a track correctly.

Any body want me to give feedback on their mastering then message me I'd be happy to take a look.

Tom S. Ray

New member
One question I've been wondering that doesn't really come up (or didn't at a quick glance); how "hot' should a mix be when it's sent in for mastering? Obviously you don't want it clipping, and I've been told it's a good idea to leave at least 6db or so of unused headroom for the ME to work with, but given the preference where would you mastering guys want a mix to peak? -6db? -12? Does it even really matter, as long as it's below 0?

Ideally -6dB at peaks.