When sending your music to a mastering engineer, it’s important to provide them with the proper files and file types to ensure the best possible outcome. In general, there are a few different file types and formats that are commonly used for mastering. Here are some of the most important files and file types that should be sent to a mastering engineer:
- Uncompressed Audio Files The most common file type for mastering is an uncompressed audio file such as WAV or AIFF. These formats are lossless and provide the highest quality audio, making them ideal for mastering. When sending uncompressed audio files, make sure to use a sample rate of 44.1 kHz or higher, and a bit depth of at least 24 bits.
- Stereo Mixes When sending your music to a mastering engineer, it’s important to provide them with the stereo mixes of your songs. This is the final version of your mix, with all effects and processing applied. The stereo mixes should be bounced as individual files, one for each song.
- Reference Tracks Reference tracks are songs that you feel have a similar sound or vibe to your own music, and can be used by the mastering engineer as a reference point when working on your music. It’s a good idea to provide a few reference tracks to help guide the mastering engineer in achieving the sound you’re looking for.
- Session Files If you’re working with a mastering engineer who also offers mixing services, they may ask for the session files from your mix. This allows them to make changes to the mix itself, rather than just applying mastering processing to the stereo mix.
- Metadata Finally, when sending your music to a mastering engineer, make sure to include all necessary metadata, such as the artist name, album title, and track names. This information is important for properly labeling and organizing the files during the mastering process.
In conclusion, when working with a mastering engineer, it’s important to provide them with the proper files and file types to ensure the best possible outcome. By including uncompressed audio files, stereo mixes, reference tracks, session files (if applicable), and metadata, you can help the mastering engineer achieve the best possible sound for your music.