At Cirrus we believe mastering is a collaborative process between the artist and the engineer.

Making a few simple adjustments when preparing your premaster will allow our engineers to maximise the benefit of the mastering process. 

 

Provide A High Quality Format

Stereo, 24 bit Aiff or Wav file at 44.1khz sample rate (no dither).

 

Remove Any Plugins From The Master

Although some buss processing can produce pleasing results when writing, a master buss free of any plugins when bouncing the premaster (especially limiting) will allow our engineers to achieve the most solid, open and natural results during the mastering session.

Feel free to provide an mp3 of your track with buss processing as a reference for the engineer. 

   Figure One.    Channel 2 and 5 are what an optimal master buss looks like. Channels 3 and 4 is what we want to avoid.

Figure One.

Channel 2 and 5 are what an optimal master buss looks like. Channels 3 and 4 is what we want to avoid.

Leave Plenty Of Headroom

Headroom is a buffer between the loudest parts of your music and where distortion starts to occur on the master buss.  

It's best to leave around 6db of headroom on the master buss. Avoid hitting 0dBfs (in the red) at any time as this causes harmful distortion which cannot be removed during the master.

Channel 5 in 'Figure One' to the right shows signal with a good amount of headroom. This is shown by the peak meter (-5.6).

 

Provide A Mix You Are Happy With

Mastering is all about broad and often subtle changes. Although we have great tools and techniques to correct and enhance your musics, there are certain specific changes which can only be made during the mix-down. 

By ensuring you are happy with the mix before submission, you greatly increase the chance of receiving a master that you are also happy with.

If you would like to check the quality of your mix before sending it for mastering, please get in touch with us here and one of our engineers will get back to you with feedback.