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PREPARING YOUR MUSIC

Before your music is released, you will need to decide where you want to distribute it. Discussing this before we master your music can ensure we are able to get better results and meet deadlines. The urban myth is that we require your mix to be -6db. This isn’t really the case, just get it to where you’re happy with it and there is no clipping on any instrument tracks or aux tracks. I’d recommend going no louder than -1.0db. You can always use a gain insert/plugin to bring your track down to a healthy level if you’re pushing it hard.

Here’s some general advice before you send your music over to us:

SAMPLE RATES AND RECORDING QUALITY

Various platforms will require your music to be at different bit depths and sample rates. CD’s & most streaming platforms require your music to be at 44.1khz/16bit, but other platforms, such as Apple Music, want the highest possible quality you can capture at. When you are recording your music, it’s always best to record at the highest possible sample rate & bit depth you can – the minimum we recommend is 44.1/24bit – but capturing at 48khz or 96khz is preferred. We can always reduce the bit depth and sample rate in the mastering process but it’s never usually a good idea to upsample it.

STREAMING AND LOUDNESS

As we know, streaming platforms will now ‘normalise’ your audio, which means the listener can enjoy a more consistent experience because all music is now streamed at a very similar perceived level. There is a common myth that all music for various streaming platforms should be mastered at -14LUFS or similar. We almost never master music at this level. We are able to master it correctly and at healthy loudness levels so it will translate well across most media platforms! (including the ones that normalise at -14LUFS!)

LIMITING AND COMPRESSION

We all want our music LOUD! But we also want it smooth, and dynamic, and not harsh or pumping. While we encourage artists & engineers to get the mix they’re happy with, my general advice is to send over your mixes with as little compression/limiting as possible. We are able to bring your track up to the volume it needs to be with specialist clippers and limiters and add the necessary compression with our analogue equipment: Tubes or solid state. We do, however, encourage artists & engineers to send over heavily compressed & limited tracks as well as it can give us a good idea what you want the end result to sound like!

APPLE DIGITAL MASTERING

Two Zero Nine is an Apple certified mastering studio. What does this mean? We are able to master your music in accordance with Apple’s guid lines. Here’s some general information about Apple’s Digital Mastering program:

By starting with the best possible masters we are able to offer our Apple Music and iTunes customers the highest possible quality audio. Our latest encoder can take advantage of every bit of the high-resolution masters that engineers are creating especially for us. The results, both for streaming and download, are virtually indistinguishable from the original 24 bit studio masters.

 

We are committed to delivering music as the artists and sound engineers intend it to be heard. We worked with many of the top mastering studios in the world to come up with workflows for creating the best possible masters for the Apple ecosystem—whether for streaming from Apple Music or downloads from the iTunes Store. 

https://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

For more information on how to prepare your mix for mastering, please get in touch! We are here to help and advise you to ensure we get the best out of your music!

Before your music is released, you will need to decide where you want to distribute it. Discussing this before we master your music can ensure we are able to get better results and meet deadlines. The urban myth is that we require your mix to be -6db. This isn’t really the case, just get it to where you’re happy with it and there is no clipping on any instrument tracks or aux tracks. I’d recommend going no louder than -1.0db. You can always use a gain insert/plugin to bring your track down to a healthy level if you’re pushing it hard.

Here’s some general advice before you send your music over to us:

SAMPLE RATES & RECORDING QUALITY

Various platforms will require your music to be at different bit depths and sample rates. CD’s & most streaming platforms require your music to be at 44.1khz/16bit, but other platforms, such as Apple Music, want the highest possible quality you can capture at. When you are recording your music, it’s always best to record at the highest possible sample rate & bit depth you can – the minimum we recommend is 44.1/24bit – but capturing at 48khz or 96khz is preferred. We can always reduce the bit depth and sample rate in the mastering process but it’s never usually a good idea to upsample it.

STREAMING & LOUDNESS

As we know, streaming platforms will now ‘normalise’ your audio, which means the listener can enjoy a more consistent experience because all music is now streamed at a very similar perceived level. There is a common myth that all music for various streaming platforms should be mastered at -14LUFS or similar. We almost never master music at this level. We are able to master it correctly and at healthy loudness levels so it will translate well across most media platforms! (including the ones that normalise at -14LUFS!)

LIMITING & COMPRESSION

We all want our music LOUD! But we also want it smooth, and dynamic, and not harsh or pumping. While we encourage artists & engineers to get the mix they’re happy with, my general advice is to send over your mixes with as little compression/limiting as possible. We are able to bring your track up to the volume it needs to be with specialist clippers and limiters and add the necessary compression with our analogue equipment: Tubes or solid state. We do, however, encourage artists & engineers to send over heavily compressed & limited tracks as well as it can give us a good idea what you want the end result to sound like!

APPLE DIGITAL MASTERING

Two Zero Nine is an Apple certified mastering studio. What does this mean? We are able to master your music in accordance with Apple’s guid lines. Here’s some general information about Apple’s Digital Mastering program:

By starting with the best possible masters we are able to offer our Apple Music and iTunes customers the highest possible quality audio. Our latest encoder can take advantage of every bit of the high-resolution masters that engineers are creating especially for us. The results, both for streaming and download, are virtually indistinguishable from the original 24 bit studio masters.

 

We are committed to delivering music as the artists and sound engineers intend it to be heard. We worked with many of the top mastering studios in the world to come up with workflows for creating the best possible masters for the Apple ecosystem—whether for streaming from Apple Music or downloads from the iTunes Store. 

https://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

For more information on how to prepare your mix for mastering, please get in touch! We are here to help and advise you to ensure we get the best out of your music!