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Contact us to upload your song and hear what it sounds like Mastered at Skeleton House.

You can Request A Quote to master your music according to the needs and requirements of your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mastering metadata, and do I need this to submit my files for mastering?

Mastering metadata is the information relevant to your music that tells the world who you are and makes sure you get paid for your music when it is played on music platforms and other media that may use your music. Metadata are specific pieces of information like Songwriter, Song Title, Album Title, Composer, Arranger, and more. The two numerical accounting metadata are your ISRC and UPC numbers that identify your songs and album so they can be tracked when played or used in various ways. It is best to have all or most of your metadata already acquired to submit to the mastering engineer who will enter the information when sequencing your music and creating files for duplication or digital distribution. However, in order to get started on making your music sounding the best it can, metadata is not necessary. Since mastering is as much the administrative organization of your sound files as it is the artistic handling of the final mixes, metadata is ultimately necessary to release music effectively and we highly recommend that you have the information ready.

What is the best standard source file format to submit for mastering?

When submitting your final mixes for mastering, submit the highest bit rate and sample rate files that are available natively to your project. The highest nominal standard is 24 bit/44.1kHz, so if your project was recorded and mixed at this format, do not apply any changes to your files as you are already working in a highly acceptable framework for today’s music reproduction standards. If the sample rate is 48kHz, do not change it to 44.1kHz as the mastering engineer will work in the native sampling frequency of the project. If your project is at a lower bit rate, do not upsample to 24 bit from 16 bit, and if your project is natively at 96kHz, there is no need to downsample to 24. When discussing your project and the format(s) available, we will be able to work with your native digital resolution and provide the best possible mastered results.

How much headroom should my mixes have to be mastered as well as possible?

When mixing your project, please allow for at least 3 to 6 dB of headroom in your final mixes, even as much as 10 dB is preferable to mixes with little to no headroom. A mix with adequate headroom has a better chance of being mastered to its fullest potential.

Is mastering always necessary?

Mastering can be considered artistically unnecessary if the mastering engineer is confronted with perfect mixes that cannot be improved upon in any way. In this case, it is the mastering engineer’s job to simply respect the mixes delivered and make no changes whatsoever to the audio quality but still organize the files into a mastered package that is a sequenced album ready for duplication and/or distribution. In this sense, mastering is always a necessary step in the completion of a project in order to be released.

Is mastering just making my mixes louder?

Mastering can result in your final mixes being louder, however this is only the result of careful tonal consideration. Mastering involves tools consisting of EQ and compression in very complex ways to serve the music to be heard in the best possible way on as many different playback systems as possible. We also keep track of the current perceived loudness standards in place for reproduction on various media. This is a result of having the appropriate amount of headroom in your final mixes to maximize each element of your music to be heard clearly and represented well.

What will I receive as a mastered product to submit to distribution and streaming services?

When you discuss the needs of your project, at the very least you will receive the highest native bit rate and sampling frequency mastered files to complete your project, which ordinarily are 24 bit/44.1kHz WAV files. Each project is unique and may require more variants or different files based on what is available, and we will be happy to talk about the options to get your music heard in as many ways as possible. Other than the standard High Resolution files, you may expect to receive other options such as 16/44 files for CD duplication in the form of DDP files containing all your supplied metadata, or you may also request high bit rate MP3 files or Apple Digital Masters standard AAC. The bare minimum standard 24 bit/44.1kHz mastered files are carefully made to conform to the latest and current guidelines proposed for Apple Digital Masters to be accepted by iTunes and other streaming platforms to have full technical compatibility. In addition to digital streaming and duplication we also offer Vinyl Mastering which has its own technical requirements to be cut properly into the lacquer. First revisions are free of charge, included in your quoted rate.

How long can I expect to wait before I receive a mastered product?

Our standard turnaround is 5-7 business days from the day that final mixes are received to be mastered. If your project requires express service faster than this, we can work with you to deliver masters for your deadlines.