Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Mastering?
In short, mastering is the final preparation of a song or group of songs to meet the standards of release. That might involve adding some compression, equalization, limiting, or any other kind of audio processing to ensure the playback of your songs is correct across all devices.
- Do you Mix and Master?
I only master songs, but I work with a select group of producers/mixing engineers. After choosing one of them, we can provide you with a discount so I can later master your song. Please refer to the RATES section of the website or send me an email with the details.
- Why Should I Get My Music Professionally Mastered?
Mastering can make or break a song, and too many artists fall at the final hurdle with poor quality mastering made at home or by people that do not understand the importance of this craft. A professional engineer will ensure your music plays back correctly across all devices. The skills and knowledge required to do so are an art.
- How should I prepare my Mix before Mastering?
First off, make sure you leave every process you might have on your master bus. Don't save anything for the master engineer. Leave the mix sounding as if it didn't need any mastering. Make sure the transients are not too clipped so I have some headroom to sculpt the master. Please make sure that you submit a high-resolution .wav or .aif file. I can master an MP3 file. However, you will get a better final product when mastering from a high-resolution file. MP3s are lossy files and usually lack very high and low frequencies.
- My mix is limited or clipping. Can you still work with this?
It is not ideal, but yes, I can work with a limited or clipped mix. The approach to mastering a limited mix is similar but requires a very precise method to ensure the song is not over compressed or distorted.
- How Do I Send My Files?
Firstly, compact your file or group of files into a single .zip file. By doing that, you ensure no files will be corrupted by the upload process. Use our upload form here.
File Type : Wav / Flac / Aiff
Bitrate : 16–24–32 bit / 44,100khz - 96khz
- How will my songs sound like after the Mastering process?
Every song will sound different; it depends on the producer/artist/label vision, the final volume achieved, and even the genre of the song, but a wider, more detailed, and more controlled sound will be achieved in general. That's why it's so important to talk about the goes and expectations before mastering. If in doubt, please send me an email first and let's chat about it.
- What Is Stem Mastering?
Stem mastering is the process of level balancing and editing multiple consolidated groups of instruments during the mastering process. It allows the engineer to get much deeper into a mix and can allow for more control over the final master. Keep in mind that this might not be the best option as it requires more time. Please refer to the RATES section of the website. If in doubt, please send me an email.
- How can I request a Sample Master?
The process of requesting a free sample master is easy, simply get in touch. I'll master it and send you an email when the preview is available for download.
- Do you Master ITB (in the box) or OTB (out of the box)?
It depends on what the music needs. I have a hybrid setup that allows me to work both ITB and OTB simultaneously, so you get the best of both worlds.
- Do you offer discounts for full Albums or EPs?
Yes, I can offer discounted rates depending on the number of songs that are due to be mastered. Please send me an email with this request and more information.
- Can you master an MP3 or Video file?
Yes, I can master from an mp3 or video file. However, I highly recommend using .wav or .aif files as the resolution is usually much better. If you only have access to mp3 or video versions, I can still often achieve good results, but you will get a better final master using high quality files. Remember, MP3s are lossy files and usually lack very high and low frequencies.
- How long will It take before my Song(s) are finished?
I usually deliver a full album in 3-5 business days and a single or two in about 24 hours. Express services are available upon request.
- What will I receive back?
- Free Mix Evaluation (if asked for)
- 24/96 Apple Digital Master (ADM)
- 24/48 WAV file
- 24/44 WAV file
- 16/44 WAV file
- MP3 file (320kbs)
- Can you Master for Vinyl?
Yes, be sure to let me know if you plan on putting your record on vinyl, as there are changes that need to be made to get the best quality.
- Can you Master for Cassette?
Yes, be sure to let me know if you plan on putting your record on cassette, as there are changes that need to be made to get the best quality.
- What Is DDP?
Disc Description Protocol (DDP) is a format for specifying content. DDP is commonly used for the delivery of disc pre-masters for duplication. The process of creating a Master DDP File involves album sequencing where the engineer will add ISRC information (if available), CD-Text, as well as album and song information. They will also set the spacing between songs and correct any final levels to make sure the songs on an album flow together.
- Can I credit FD Mastering for the mastering?
Yes, if you would like to credit Fernando Delgado for the mastering of your music you can do so. Please credit FD Mastering on social media and Fernando "Bola" Delgado as the mastering engineer on streaming services. This is not required but is greatly appreciated.