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The right mastering can make a good recording sound excellent, and possibly turn a great one into a legend. It's also the last chance to correct mistakes, get creative, and alter your songs before your CD comes out. 

But what does mastering involve?  The short answer is:  it depends.  My philosophy is to do what is best for the music. Music is unique, and so should be the recording and mastering approach.  Mastering can increase depth, punch, air, detail, balancing of EQ, compression, and perceived loudness.

* Mastering can involve some or all of the following:

1.  Sequencing and Editing:
Your songs are sequenced into the order you specify for your CD, and correct spacing is made between cuts. Beginnings and ends of your songs can be faded, edited, and adjust levels so that one song is not inappropriately louder than another.  Pops, clicks and strange noises can often be fixed at the mastering stage, depending on their source and severity.  We can convert your songs from CD-R, cassette or DAT, using high-quality Apogee converters if appropriate.

2.  Sweetening:
This is probably what many musicians associate with mastering.  Compression, gain optimization, EQ, limiting, and other signal processing are applied to each track. If a song has sub-sonic rumble, EQ can take care of this.  Abnormally loud peaks can be smoothed.  Songs can be made to sound consistent with the other tracks you're going to put on your release. 

3.  Loudness:
Tracks can be made to seem much
louder, an often-requested process in mastering. 

Your mastered tracks can be put on a CD-R, which can serve as your Master CD-R.  From here, you can take this to a CD duplicating plant.

Almost every song can benefit from at least a little mastering, whether it's a little EQ and compression or whether someone wants something to sound as loud as major label pop and rock releases. 

Please read:  I perform all of the above mastering services competently.  However, I want to be up front and let you know that while we are excellent at tracking and mixing, Blueberry Buddha is currently not set up as a mastering facility.  I am often asked by our clients to perform mastering for their CD, and so we now perform this service at our same low studio rate.  However, we strongly recommend that if your budget should allow, you go to a mastering facility instead of mastering here at Blueberry Buddha.

The Musician's Nirvana


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