submission guidelines and policy

Our policy is as follows – we will listen to your track(s), give feedback on the mix if you request it, and will master and revise until you are 100% psyched on the final version. If however at any point you decide to submit a revised mix, this will count as a second master and will be billed accordingly.

Our guidelines for your mix(es) are listed below. Following these will insure that your mastered tracks will best walk the fine line between loudness and dynamics/punch, and that the mastering process will focus on enhancement rather than correction. 

1. Provide the file at the bit rate and sample rate the session was recorded and mixed at, do not dither down.

2. Keep peaks between -20dBFS and -3dBFS. A good free metering plugin to check this is Sonalksis FreeG, but it doesn’t need to be exact – you just want a healthy waveform where there are no overs, ie. clipping.

3. Do not apply any limiting, or clip the master output for volume, unless it is as a secondary reference for the level of loudness you are wishing the final master to reach.

4. Only apply compression that you feel is an integral part of the mix. Do not apply compression in order to increase apparent loudness. Keep in mind that we will be running your mix through analog compression. If enough compression has already been applied to the mix before delivery, this step will need to be skipped, and this potentially very helpful sonic stage will be missed.

5. Do not apply EQ to the 2bus, ie. do not apply EQ to the final mix. If you wish to do so, please do so as a reference, ie. as above with limiting/clipping. This is especially true if you are planning to use software EQs. We will be running your mix through analog EQs, and whether these EQs are used to impart analog character with gentle boosts, or (along with digital EQs used surgically) to do damage control to an overly hyped mix usually depends on whether EQ was already applied to the 2bus. Boosting with digital EQs invariably sounds harsher than boosting with the best analog EQs, so it is far better to submit what may sound to you like a dull or unexciting but well balanced mix and allow for boosting to be done in the analog realm.

(As a corollary to this – to get the best mix, when using EQ always focus on cutting rather than boosting whenever possible. Cutting problem frequencies will often allow the frequencies you might wish to boost to come forward more naturally. It also will put you in a better position to allow for analog EQ boosts in mastering as described above.)

Thanks, please feel free to contact us with any questions, mreveley @ gmail.com or soundsliketree @ gmail.com

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