Music Mastering Next Steps –
How To Order

Adding Mastering To A CD Project:

  1. When you place an order in our online quoter, be sure to select a Mastering option when you get to the mastering page.
  2. When you enter the "Project Center" you will be able to upload your artwork and audio.
  3. You will then be asked to complete a Mastering Questionnaire, which will give us all the details we need to properly master your audio.
  4. When you upload your audio, please upload mixed down, stereo masters in hi-resolution format files such as WAV or AIFF. If you cannot provide a hi-res format, please see the right for other acceptable formats.

Ordering Mastering Without A CD Project:

  1. Go to our online quoter and choose “Mastering Only.”
  2. Choose the number of tracks you want mastering for.
  3. When you enter the "Project Center" you will be able to upload your audio.
  4. You will then be asked to complete a Mastering Questionnaire, which will give us all the details we need to properly master your audio.
  5. When you upload your audio, please upload mixed down, stereo masters in hi-resolution format files such as WAV or AIFF. If you cannot provide a hi-res format, please see the right for other acceptable formats.

Please Do Not Send Compressed Audio Files
Compressed file formats such as MP3, AAC, or WMA won't work for mastering. A master that already includes processing like compression, limiting, maximizing, etc. severely reduces what mastering engineers have to work with and limits the best sound possible. Use one of the acceptable formats and leave 3-4 dbs of headroom during mixdown to avoid clipping and distortion on your master.

If any of the above issues are found on your submitted master, we may request that you correct them before we proceed.

Submitting a Physical Master – Questionnaire Form – Track List – Handling Your Master
If you are more comfortable sending in your physical master rather than uploading, please download the questionnaire here and complete. Print it and send it in with your physical master. Please handle all masters carefully, both before and after recording. Touch CDs only by the edges and keep them free of fingerprints and scratches that can cause data errors. Make sure your master is labeled clearly with your contact information. Your Client Advisor is always there for you if you have questions, 888-296-2747.

If any of the above issues are found on your submitted master, we may request that you correct them before we proceed.

Additional Technical Info if submitting a Digital Audio Tape (DAT):

  • Digital Audio Tape: 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz sampling rate
  • Pre-roll: 10-15 seconds recorded silence (optional).
  • Calibration tone: 1 kHz at -12 dB (never at 0 dB).
  • Start IDs: sequentially numbered, placed at the start of each selection, one number per song.
  • Your dB meters should peak at 0, with no over levels, and must average above -15 dB (Red Book minimum standard).
  • Be sure your DAT and box are labeled 1/2" or 1/4" Analog Tape
  • 30 ips, 15 ips, or 7 1/2 ips.
  • Alignment (test) tones at head: 1 kHz, 10 kHz, and 100 kHz at 0 dB operating level
  • Indicate type of noise reduction, if any, and include proper tones.
  • Leader tape at head and tail of tape (15 seconds minimum) and two to four seconds in between songs.
  • Tape slow-wound, tails out, in properly labeled box.
audio mastering formats