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Should I do the fades myself?
Most of the time you should engineer your fades and present your mix exactly how you want it done. However, if you are not certain or undecided about the fade, leave it un-faded and send us instructions describing the precise location of the fade. If you would like your mastering engineer to include the fade, please let us know in your instructions.
Should I turn plug-ins off before sending my mixes for mastering?
We recommend that you think carefully about the affect of your master buss plug-ins. If you had those plugs inline while you were mixing and you set your balances between the elements of your mix while listening to those plugs, then they probably should stay in place when you print your final mix.
In general, we don't want to over process. So if you don't need the master buss plugs then you should take them off.
If you are not sure, we recommend that you print your mixes both ways. Label them clearly and send them both to mastering. This will let us know what you and your artist and/or producer have been listening to.
Should I also master my tracks as instrumentals?
Sometimes we are asked to master the instrumental tracks so that they can be used in music licensing and publishing. Other times we are asked to master TV-tracks or performance mixes so that the track will sound perfect for in-studio performances, or quick pop-up shows when you can't bring the whole band.
If you're not sure, let us know and we'll keep your music on file so you can decide later.
Why would I want a mix evaluation?
If you wonder if your mixes could be better. If you are concerned about your speakers or mix room. If this is the first time you have presented a mix for mastering, or if you are not familiar with your mix engineer's work. Getting a mix eval from Masterdisk is an excellent way to confirm that you are on the right track and avoid paying for mastering before your mixes are ready.
What do I do about cross-fades between songs?
We recommend sending in your 24-bit mix masters as individual songs as well as making an album sequence with your intended cross-fades and sending us an MP3 or wav of that complete sequence as one file. Please include all of the fades and silence in between each song.
An easy way to do this is to put all of your mixes into a new empty session with two stereo tracks. Put all the odd numbered songs on track 1, and all the even number tracks on track two. This allows you to control the fade and position of each song independently. It's easiest to work from left to right as you build this cross-faded sequence.
Another option is to build a session that looks like a staircase. Each song is on its own track. But the results will be the same. What you send to me will be a guide that i can preicsely line up my mastered files to match.
For more info read Making a Cross-faded Album in the Digital Age.
How do I send you my audio files?
How should I prepare my mixes for mastering?
Always send 24- or 32-bit .WAV files for mastering. Please do not send MP3 files.
The files themselves should be named so that we know what they are. Each name should include a song title, mix version number, and date. Please be very careful not to send revised files with the same name as a previous file. This could make the job longer and increase your cost.
How loud should I print my final mixes?
The answer to this question is particularly long. So here's an article in the Masterdisk blog that explains everything you need to know.
Can I make just a few vinyl records?
Records are pressed from metals stampers made from cut lacquer disks that we make at Masterdisk. The process of going from digital files to a record costs thousands of dollars just to make the first record. So that's not much of an option.
However, we can cut additional lacquer references discs for you. They are not vinyl but they do sound great. Keep in mind that lacquer discs are softer and are quieter than vinyl pressings.
Billing & Payment
How much does it cost to master my instrumentals?
The cost to master alternate versions of any sort is half of our standard rate per song when your order alternates with initial mastering. If you decide to have us produce alternate masters later, the cost will based on your mastering engineer's hourly rate. Remember: mastering a whole album costs less than doing it one song at a time.
How can I pay for my mastering?
We accept nearly all forms of payment. We'll email you an invoice. When you're ready to pay, just click the link in the email. It will take you to a webpage where you can use your credit or debit card, bank account information, or PayPal. We also accept Venmo and other digital wallets. Please contact us if you have any special requests.