Back in the day, mastering music involved a lot of expensive equipment, a skilled sound engineer, and a lot of time spent in a studio. However, with advancements in technology, the world of online music mastering has opened up a whole new level of producing and distributing music. Online music mastering has leveled the playing field for musicians and producers, offering an affordable alternative to traditional mastering and drastically reducing turnaround times. In this blog, we’ll delve into the art of online music mastering, exploring the benefits and drawbacks, key considerations, and some popular platforms and services that can help artists, producers, and labels produce the best sound without breaking the bank.
What is Online Music Mastering?
Online music mastering is the process of putting a final polish on a music track before it’s ready for distribution. This involves applying EQ (equalization) to balance out the frequencies, compression to control dynamics, and limiting to increase the overall loudness of the mix. Online mastering is carried out using specialized software, which offers the same level of quality and precision as traditional mastering equipment at a fraction of the cost. Online music mastering services allow musicians to receive professional-quality sound without having to invest in expensive equipment or visit a pricey studio.
Benefits of Online Music Mastering
The first and most obvious benefit of online music mastering is cost. Traditional mastering can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per song. In contrast, online mastering services can complete a track for as low as $10 per song. Secondly, online mastering services offer a rapid turnaround time, with some services offering results within 24 hours of receiving the audio files. This is particularly beneficial for artists on a tight schedule or with a quick release turnaround. Thirdly, with online mastering, musicians can easily collaborate with engineers from anywhere in the world, making it possible to work with top-notch professionals from the comfort of their own home studio.
Top Online Music Mastering Services
There are many online music mastering services in the market, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Some of the top online services include LANDR, MasteringBox, eMastered, iZotope Ozone, and CloudBounce. LANDR is perhaps one of the most popular as it offers high-quality mastering with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. The service also offers options for distribution via Spotify, iTunes, and other streaming platforms. MasteringBox is known for its pristine clarity and excellent dynamics, making it a great choice for producers looking for bright and clear mixes. eMastered is an AI-powered mastering service that uses machine learning to enhance the track’s sound. iZotope Ozone, on the other hand, is a more advanced mastering software that offers a plethora of options for fine-tuning tracks, making it a powerful tool for experienced producers. Lastly, CloudBounce is an affordable, cloud-based, mastering service that provides excellent results with minimal settings.
Things to Consider with Online Music Mastering
Online mastering is not foolproof. There are a few things to keep in mind when working with online mastering. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that the mix is the best it can be before mastering. This will ensure that any issues are fixed before mastering, leading to a smoother overall sound. Secondly, it’s important to ensure that the mastering service matches the desired sound of the track. Different masterers and tools offer different types of compression, EQ, and limiting. It’s important to try out a few options and see what works best for the final product. Lastly, it’s important to ensure that the mastering service offers a mastered and unmastered version of the track. This is crucial as it allows producers to compare and evaluate what the mastering has done to the track. It’s essential to have the original file available in case something goes wrong with the mastering process.
Online music mastering has revolutionized the way artists produce and distribute music. It offers an affordable, efficient, and effective alternative to traditional mastering. With numerous services available, musicians have several options to choose from depending on their budget, style, and preferences. Whether you’re an aspiring musician or an established producer, online mastering is a tool you should consider adding to your arsenal. With the right approach, the art of online music mastering can help your tracks reach their full potential and sound better than ever before.