Stem Mastering & Mixing
This form of separation mastering allows even greater control of sound quality.
What is Stem Mastering?
Stem-mastering is the bridge between regular stereo mastering and mixing. Instead of processing a 2-channel stereo track, you send me instrument groups, either as mono or stereo tracks. You can have separate groups for rhythm guitars, drums, backup vocals, etc. This method allows me to further enhance the sound at a deeper level, as I have much moore control over the separate instruments, without taking anything away from your intended mix.
Stem mastering is worth considering if there are specific issues preventing you from getting the best possible stereo mix ready for mastering. It provides the ability to get the most out of the width and depth of your sound. It also helps to get better separation, so that all instruments are balanced together.
Stems should be provided at best quality, and must be exported from the exact same time code position in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), so that all the tracks sync perfectly with each other when I import them to my DAW.
This type of mastering requires significantly more work than regular mastering, so there will be a per track price added to the price of the project. The added price will mostly depend on how many stems I will be working with.
In some special cases I can offer my mixing services to you. Contact me to discuss your requirements.
How my mastering process works:
- First I'll talk to you about what aspects of your recording need to be enhanced to achieve the sound you want.
- Then I listen to your music very carefully. I will try to find other ways to improve your sound, such as audio restoration or noise removal.
- The next stage is to master a sample track (this will be a half of one song), so you can hear the improved sound. If you are happy with it, I'll go ahead and master your other tracks.
- Don't waste my time, and I won't waste yours!
- When we agree to proceed with a project, it becomes a binding deal. We will both honour this agreement!
- One revision is included in the price I give you. If further revisions are needed, I will charge based on number of tracks and how significant the changes are.
- If a new mix is provided for revision, then I will have to treat it as a completely new master, as I'll have to repeat the entire process. I will therefore charge full price for a new master. I will consider exceptions based on the situation, but be sure to have your mix completely finished before handing it over to me for mastering.
How to listen to your master
- If listening to several test masters, use volume normalization (such as soundcheck on iTunes) to avoid being fooled by the loudness deception.
- If you think it sounds too quiet, use your volume control to turn it up. The loudness wars are over! It's in the best interests of both of us to have things sound as good as possible, so why the fuck would I do anything other than that? In case you have questions regarding these things, you can drag and drop your file on the Loudness Penalty website, and see where your tracks are at.
Request a FREE mastered sample of your music
The free sample is paid for by you telling me exactly why I should give you a free sample. Show me that you have a passion for your music, and that you have a vision. Do not simply send me a file and a comment saying something like "impress me". The free mastered sample will be half of one song.
Got any questions?
I'll be happy to answer any queries you've got about mastering your recording.