As a professional audio engineer with over 15 years experience, I recently decided to start outsourcing for the mastering portion of the production process. Why you might ask? Because I think it is very beneficial to get a second set of ears on a mix.
When we are recording and mixing a song, we might be blind to some of the imperfections in our tracks. So it is always a good idea to get another engineer to help you with the final product.
After mastering my clients work for the last 5 years, I went out on a search for a mastering engineer I could trust. So I sent a mix to a large number of engineers and what I discovered was outrageous... Some of these well known engineers are ripping us off!
I received masters back from about 15 engineers. Some of these engineers range from high end professional's, to home studio engineers. And what I found out was that the more I paid, the lower quality of the master...
In the video below, I go through some of these examples...
One well known engineer completely thinned out the mix, removing almost all of the low end and ruining the mix. While another simply added a limiter and didn't actually make any changes to the song at all. And these people are making a living doing this!
When sending a song to a mastering engineer we can often be fooled by thinking louder is better... But when level match the master to our original mix, the truth comes out.
When we are listening back to our masters we must make sure and compare the song at the same volume as our mix so that we can tell if there has actually been an improvement. If we are not doing this, a louder mix will always sound better.
Keep your mastering engineer on his toes by checking his or her work. We are sending our songs to them for an improvement on the mix, not just a louder song.
The engineer I ended up going with is not a "well known" engineer. He is actually an engineer working out of his home like you and I.
What I discovered through this process is that just because someone has a higher price tag, does not mean they will put more effort into your song. It is actually the humble home studio engineer that will give you the best result.
Check out the video below for more info...
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