Mastering is the final stage in the creative process, but we can only work with the material you
send us. There are a number of things you can do to help that will not only make our job easier,
but will improve the end result. As with everything on the internet, you will find plenty of people
offering contradictory advice, but in our experience, the following will yield positive results!
Before You Submit
This is your final chance to check over your track for those small details that you've been
ignoring up to now. Clicks, pops, sibilance, rumble - all these things will be magnified in the
mastering process, so it's best to get these fixed now! A decent spectrum analyser (I highly
recommend Nugen Visualizer) can be helpful for identifying elements that have wayward low
frequency content. De-essing sssibilant vocals is important - are the S's and T's in your vocal
over-powering the hi-hats? If so, your vocal needs de-essing. Crossfading contiguous segments
or clips is a simple way to avoid clicks and pops. It's all straightforward stuff, but these are
less-than-glamorous tasks that often get forgotten in the whirlwind of creativity. It's worth taking
a minute to stop and take stock of all the elements in your track before you commit it to
A key part of the mastering process is getting your material up to a sensible range. Please don't
limit your track before you send it to us! Be very careful about writing and/or mixing with limiting
or multi-band compression on your master bus. It's a bit like painting with a blindfold on and can
mask all sorts of inconsistencies in your track. When you come to bounce your unlimited
pre-master, you may find that your levels are suddenly all over the place. If this kind of master
bus processing is integral to your sound, think about processing group busses instead. This will
still leave some dynamics in your track, and will allow you to render out an unlimited mix without
inconsistencies. Ideally though, you should aim to only limit or compress when it is necessary or
appropriate, and even then, with care.
“The weight of your words is more important than the volume of your voice!"
— Manprit Kaur
Please leave at least 4dBfs of clear headroom in your pre-master to avoid inter-sample peak
distortion. It is always preferable to turn down channels rather than simply turning down the
master fader in this situation. Remove everything from your master channel and export without
dithering. No limiting, compression, etc on the master channel.
When it comes to loudness (and the associated war), at P+ we always aim to find that elusive
balance between loudness and quality. If you have a particular reference of loudness in mind,
please let us know. It is also important to remember that loud records are often the result
of highly skillful writing, arranging, mixing and (finally) mastering. The process of
mastering alone is not sufficient to make a poor quality mixdown sound huge.
Review this section before sending a project file or stems
Any side-chaining between tracks should still be present, and any effects or other processing
should be rendered to the stem. If there are specific features of the mix that you would like
enhancing, or width/depth/separation issues you would like addressed, please include those
notes in the project form or email. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about
preparing your stems.
Ableton Project Files
If sending an ableton project file, please make sure all your channels are flattened to audio
that contain VSTs / Max for live. The project should be less than 2 gb in total. Please check and
adjust your settings to 44.1K, 16 or 24 bit WAV when freezing and flattening files.
No Dithering on stems or Premasters. Label the tempo of your track in the folder name "Artist Name - Track - BPM"
After placing your order, we will be in touch and provide you with a secure connection for you to
transfer your files. Files should be WAV or AIFF format, and stereo interleaved. Please make
sure that each track is clearly titled, including version descriptions if appropriate. You can send
files to firstname.lastname@example.org via wetransfer, google drive, dropbox, etc. Please send notes & a reference track via email along with
the project files if you have any specific preferences that you would like to be addressed in the mix.
We will do everything we can to produce a coherent, consistent set of quality masters for you,
but please remember that we can only work with what you send us. The more coherent and
consistent your pre-masters, the better your masters will sound. If you need any advice or
suggestions at any stage of the process, don't hesitate to get in touch and we will do all we can
to help. If, when you receive your masters back, you require revisions, just let us know and we
can talk about what can be done.
If necessary, one round of revisions will be included with each mix / master. All revisions need to be sent via email within 48 hours of delivery of the initial master. Subsequent rounds of revisions will be $50 each.
If a client needs to revise a stem or a revision needs to be made that is determined to be a revision on the client's end, a $50 fee will be applied.
After sending over the project file or stems, if the client decides they need to make changes to the project (on their end) in order to achieve a desirable end result, the client must submit a new project file or stems to the engineer before the engineer has started working on the project. If substantial changes need to be made to the project (on the client's end) after the engineer has begun working on the project, the client must pay the full rate for a new mix & master / master. Project files cannot be sent back and forth between the client and engineer.
Client may request the stems of the completed project. The fee for this is $50. The fee for alternative versions (extended mix, radio edit, etc.) is $50 per alt version.
The project can be expedited for an additional $50. Expedited projects will be delivered within 7 business days. Revisions may require additional time.
If you feel I really knocked it out of the park and you’re happy with the end result, I would really appreciate a credit on the song. A shout-out on social media will suffice. You can also add a mixing / mastering credit in the track metadata with your distributor if you want.
Most importantly, referring your friends via email or message is a great way to show your appreciation. My direct email is email@example.com