how to prepare your files for mastering.

Please consider the below guidelines before submitting your track for mastering.



It’s important to know how to prepare and submit your mixes so you can get the best sound for your songs. There are a number of audio mastering tips that will help you prepare your mixes for mastering. Here are a few things to consider.

Eliminate Noise on the Mix

As you go through your mix, eliminate any noise or pops that may be in each track. Use fades as necessary to cut out any spots that may just contain recorded noise. Cleaning up individual tracks when they’re not in use within your mixing sessions can help prevent the buildup or exaggeration of unwanted noise after mastering. If this is done in the mix stage, it will keep the overall noise level down when the mastering engineer begins to equalize and compress the mix.

If you’d like any equipment noise or hiss to be removed or reduced during intros, outros, or other quiet parts where any hiss/noise is usually more noticeable, please be sure to include a sample (at least 1 second) of ONLY the hiss/noise (with no music or other sounds) before or after the song.

It is strongly recommended to very carefully triple check the final mixes for any stray noises, pops, and clicks that may become more noticeable after mastering.

Keep Your Mix Clean and Dynamic

Overusing processors especially dynamic processors (compressors) on the master bus can destroy a mix and make it difficult, if not impossible for the mastering engineer to make a great master. Unless there’s a specific sound of a master bus processor desired for the mix, it’s best to keep the master bus free of outboard processing or plugins. If master bus processing is used, make sure to notify the mastering engineer of its type and settings.


The loudest part in a mix should peak at no more than -3db on the master bus. You’ll want to remove any pre-mastering processing from the master bus, such as a limiter or stereo enhancer. The overall volume should sound low. We’ll raise it during the mastering process. This allows me to create the proper dynamic level for radio play, CD, or mp3 duplication.