Mastering–that crucial last step in getting your songs to a professional level. It’s been described as the last 10-15% of the magic, but oh what a difference that 10-15% can make. There are many mastering engineers out there in the world, each with their own specialty, history, and accomplishments. Who you work with depends on your preferences of course. Whatever those preferences are, you should not be limited by who’s local to your area. This is the age of the Internet after all, and the world just got a lot smaller and more accessible. Nearly everything is online, including your next Mastering Engineer.
So, now that you’ve opened up to the idea of working with someone online, what are the benefits of online mastering?
1. The opportunity to work with your choice of Mastering Engineer (wherever they may be).
You found one online, and this person has the skills, credentials, and specialty you’re looking for. Bonus: this person worked with an artist you look up to! Having this Mastering Engineer involved in your project also makes for a certain sense of legitimacy or “cred.” In this industry, knowing and working with the right people is essential. And if that person happens to be 3,000 miles away, mastering your project online CAN make that relationship happen.
2. Saving ca$h
With your options much more open, you can now compare rates on a much larger scale. If you were limited to what’s local to you, then you’re only comparing a handful. Rates could be high in that situation where they’re the only game in town, and you’re seriously limiting yourself to better options. And, if your local option happens to be one of those big “Mastering Houses” where they do attended sessions, then you’re really going to pay through the nose.
3. Saving time
An Online Mastering service means that you’re doing your part from home (“home” being wherever is convenient for you). Sending files via Dropbox/Google Drive/other cloud storage, responding to emails, phone calls and even video conferencing (FaceTime, Skype, etc.) don’t require you to travel to or book time at the engineer’s office. That’s time you can now use on other important things… like writing more songs!
Whomever you decide to be your Mastering Engineer, it’s wise to consider the following:
○ Their promptness in returning calls and emails. Customer service and communication are key in this business, and any good ME will make sure they are available to discuss the details of your project.
○ Their policy on revisions. Some have free revisions, some don’t, and some charge a partial fee depending on what needs to be done and how long it will take. You don’t want to end up with a project you’re unhappy with, but you also don’t want to break the bank perfecting it, right?
○ The engineer’s personality. This is a working relationship, and since it involves your project (your art, your life), you want to make sure you vibe with the person. You’ll either find someone who just wants to do the job and take your money, or someone who wants to cultivate a great relationship with their clients in hopes of getting a steady stream of recurring work. Hint: Opt for the latter 🙂
There you go! Now, have confidence in your search for an online mastering service in Los Angeles, New York, or even online mastering in Atlanta.