Preparing for Mastering
Recording Academy Tools, Tips, Guidelines, and Recommendations
Mixing Engineers, please note the following checklist BEFORE uploading for mastering (it just makes the whole project move more efficiently and it makes you look more professional).
Is there enough silence left before and after the songs?
Are the mixes bounced as 24-bit hi res wav or aiff?
Has the artist approved the most recent mix?
Have limiters been removed from the output bus?
Are we receiving the correct mix version to master?
Have you bounced out instrumentals, radio edits, etc?
Are your plugins buffering properly?
Is this actually the final mix?
• 44-16 Folder - 44.1kHz, 16-bit tracks for CD reference / digital upload where 24-bit aren’t accepted
• 44-24 Folder - 44.1kHz, 24-bit for Digital Download sites and Mastered For iTunes acceptable (please contact your digital distribution aggregate directly to speak to them about their submission process for accepting MFiT files)
• 48-24 Folder - 48kHz, 24bit. If you are using the songs with video or YouTube, use these
• 96-24 or 88-24 Folder - 96kHz, 24-bit or 88.2kHz, 24-bit Hi-Res Mastered files (HD streaming sites such as Tidal accept these)
Technical Guidelines for Producers and Engineers
Although in many ways the music industry’s transition from an analog to a digital world has increased convenience and creative choices, it has also presented new challenges and problems for those working in the field. This fact has prompted many members of the P&E Wing to collaborate in volunteer committee groups to address these problems and provide solutions.
Visit the grammy.com website for helpful documentation on technical guidelines, documentation, and more:
We recommend these publications for all things audio engineering:
Tape Op has been printing great interviews, tips, and gear reviews since 1996. Plus, it's free! A must-read for any engineer.
This is the definitive book on mastering, and an indispensible resource for anyone working in audio.
A fascinating read by a Ph.D. and top cognitive neuroscience researcher into how our brains interpret music.