Mastering

The final stage of the production of a song or collection of songs is mastering. Mastering is an important process for many technical reasons (some explained below) but on an artistic level mastering should help bring a collection of songs together as a whole.  Banana Llama Studios offers music mastering for all genres and project types including singles, EPs and albums.

Mastering Costs

All mastering costs below are per song e.g. an EP of 6 songs will be $70 x 6 = $420.

Single EP (5-7 songs) Album (8 – 12 songs)
$80 $70 $60

If you have a project which requires mastering for more than 12 songs (compilation CD, double disc set etc) contact us for an individual project quote.

Mastering Samples


What is music mastering?

Mastering plays a technical and artistic roll in the finishing of a song, EP or album. Mastering a track should:

  • balances the perceived volume each track on an album or EP so that there is continuity between each track.
  • balance the tonality of each track e.g. make sure the vocals are of compareable loudness between each track, make sure the bass isn’t too loud in one track or too quiet in another.
  • For singles the process is still the same but you’re making your sonic benchmark other commercial tracks and the medium that the single will be played on predominantly.
  • Correct an issues with individual songs e.g. excessive sibelance missed in the mixing process, percussive elements which “pop out”, rogue frequencies which may have been missed because the mixing environment wasn’t neutral etc.
  • Bring your finished project to a reasonably loud volume suitable to the genre whilst retaining musical dynamics i.e. not squashing the life out of your mixes but making it commercially compareable.

The bottom line is if a mix is killer the mastering engineers job is much more straight forward however if your tracks have been mixed in a less than perfect mix environment or by less experienced mix engineers (even experienced engineers miss things too), the mixes might need a little help. Mastering is therefore both a continuity, compliancy and corrective process.

Why master your music?

As explained above, mastering your music adds continuity to you tracks on an album or EP. It also helps to get your music in the ballpark sonically where other commercial releases sit. Having your track mastered by the engineer who mixed your tracks is generally discouraged because they may lack the perspective to see the finished mix. It’s similar to a painter who frames his own paintings, they may find it hard to the see the finished painting and pick a nice frame because they are still so focused on the process.

My mate has these cracked plugins with some great mastering presets. I’ll just get him to do it.

Umm .. okay. As mentioned previously, mastering is a continuity, compliancy and corrective process. If all your mixes sound the same e.g. the bass is all the same loudness, the top end is the same and the vocals sit exactly the same in each mix and the lower mids are perfectly mixed and … you get the picture (hopefully). The bottom line is that whilst that plugin will probably make the mix louder, punchy and probably pile on bass and tops e.g. “hype” your album or EP will sound cheap and you’ll be doing your music a disservice.

Okay, how can I get you to master my mixes?

Glad you asked. First thing to do is either call us 0424 579 416 or email us to discuss your project. We’ll talk about your vision for the project, reference tracks and any other relevant items. We look forward to hearing from you.

Not on the Gold Coast but need mastering or mixing? We can help you with our online mastering and online mixing service.