MadebyJP Production Studio Blog

Welcome to the collective of all of my blogs. This is the main repository for all of my writing from articles about music, music production, client briefs, graphic design. Whatever comes to my mind that I like to write about. I hope you enjoy!

Mastering in a Digital World

Sep 5, 2022 | Mixing and Mastering

As an audio engineer I’m frequently asked “Can you master tracks without analog hardware”? The short answer is “Yes”. Computers and audio software has come a long way and many plug-ins are emulated so well its hard for someone who isn’t an audio engineer to notice. A lot of music you hear today has been mastered completely digital.

The industry has also had a huge shift in the past few years. More and more artists are learning how to record and mix on their own. Learning how to release music on their own. Becoming more “independent” so to speak. What does this mean for recording studios and mastering engineers? Well, it means that artists are starting to learn first hand the importance of having a good audio engineer handy! Being an audio engineer is more about our experience mixing and mastering than about the hardware. We have good ears when it comes to mixing and how music should sound, and what sounds good!

So back to the subject of using hardware to master. While hardware can make it easier to master, it is more than possible and acceptable in the industry to master digitally. There was even a big hoopla how the company MoFi is being sued for using digital mastering claiming all of their work was analog (aka. Hardware). Check out that story on rolling stone here

Here is my only advice to artists that are working on mastering their own tracks: Mastering can be very tricky and can absolutely kill a song if it’s not done well. If your new to mastering, I highly suggest that you do hire a professional to master your tracks. At least until you get good at mastering. Mixing and mastering are two different beasts and take a different mindset, as well as a different set of tools. I also recommend that you work with an actual person and not one of those sites that use “mastering AI” to master your track. Every artist and every song even can require different adjustments, and even different plug ins to make them sound the best they can and only a real person is going to be able to hone in on those subtleties.

So get to it, go make music!

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