How to Prepare Mix for Mastering

by Andre Gonsalves

Before you send your songs to mastering, you are going to want to prepare your mix so that your mastering engineer can get the most out of your audio.

Here are 6 things you can do to create the perfect mix for mastering.

1) Your songs should NOT HAVE BEEN NORMALIZED.

2) Your songs should NOT HAVE ANY EFFECTS OR PLUGINS APPLIED TO THE FINAL STEREO OUT. If you don’t know what this means take one look at this:


3) Your songs should either be in .WAV FORMAT or .AIFF FORMAT.

You don’t want to send MP3s to be mastered as they are of lower quality and not suitable for mastering.

4) If your song’s average peak volume is 0 db, it is not suitable for mastering.

What the heck is average peak volume you ask?

It is the highest point in your song’s volume.

To get the master with the most dynamic range you’ll want to mix your song so that its peak volume is lower than -6 db and ideally lower than -10 db.

If you’re having trouble with this read: Easiest Way to Set Mix Levels for Mastering.

5) Label your songs properly.

You’ll want every song to have the artist name and song title.

All you have to do is rename your file name to look something like this “Artist Name – Song Title.wav”.

The reason for this is that your mastering engineer will have worked on many projects and may have files submitted with the same file name.

By providing both your artist name and song title, you help save time and help your mastering engineer organize your files for retrieval.

6) Listen to your song carefully and at high volume. Make sure there are no glitches, distortions or anything else you don’t want.

That’s about it. Now upload your song and get a free mastering sample!



Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering. When he's not hunched over a mixing console he's hanging out with his son and daughter age 6 and 8.

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