The Real Reason Why We Don't Want Mp3s for Mastering

The Real Reason Why We Don’t Want Mp3s for Mastering


The Real Reason Why We Don’t Want Mp3s for Mastering

by Andre Gonsalves

by Andre Gonsalves

Even though on our upload page we make it pretty clear not to upload mp3s as they’re not suitable for mastering, we still get a ton of people uploading mp3s. While it is frustrating and a big time waste to explain to all those people to kindly upload a .wav or .aiff file, I’d like to speak on why mp3s are not good for mastering (and hopefully some of you will stop uploading mp3s).

First there’s the boring reasons, such as they are already compressed and therefore do not have the required bit rate to be put under the “stress” mastering puts on them to come out sounding good. I could go further here but your eyes (along with my eyes) will probably glaze over

The real reason we don’t accept mp3s is because it tells us something interesting about the “artist” uploading it. First, it tells us that they are not detail oriented because they missed in bold where it says DO NOT SEND MP3S. A person like this is probably not going to have a great mix. In fact, pretty much 99% of the time, the mp3s we receive are not capable of being mastered NOT because they were sent in mp3, but because the mix is so bad. Do you think we want to work with these kind of people? Nope. They obviously don’t take their craft seriously.

One of our guidelines for the free mastering sample is that you must be serious about having a professionally mastered song. These are the people we want to work with. And 99% of the time these people don’t waste our time. We admire their dedication to perfecting their song. They want to get it right as much as we do.

Usually in business, companies choose their customers through pricing. If they sell stuff for cheap, they are usually going after cheap customers. The thing about cheap stuff is the quality of the product or service suffers. How many have you bought something at the dollar store for a tenth of the price then somewhere else and later regretted it because it broke down and then you had to go and actually buy a “good” one. We wanted to create a company that offered low prices but at the same time offered premium quality as well as service because we saw how many amazing artists there were that couldn’t afford $500 mastering per song, but whose song could still benefit from a solid mastering job.

This is what ADG represents.

Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering. When he’s not in front of a mixing board with his eyes closed, he’s having impromptu dance parties with his son and daughter: ages 2 and 4.

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