FAQ

If you have any questions, please contact us at magicearsmastering@gmail.com.

 

Do you need the stems/individual instrument tracks or the final output track?

For mastering, we need the final mix track (not the stems or individual instrument tracks).

 

Can I still have limiters on the individual tracks?

Yes, you can have limiters on individual tracks (for example the kick, the snare, etc.).

You just can’t have limiters on the final master bus because these limit the overall output of the track and limit (no pun intended) what we can do while mastering. There’s no problem with a little mix bus compression on the master bus.

 

Is your studio open on the weekend?

Yes! Our studio is available seven days a week, so when we say that you will receive your masters within an agreed timeframe, this includes the weekend! Music never sleeps!

Feel free to order on Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

 

What format should my tracks be in to upload for mastering?

Tracks must be in WAV, AIFF or other high quality format. Please do NOT upload your tracks in MP3 format. We require this to maintain maximum quality.

Tracks must have at least -6db on the master bus. This means that the loudest part of your track cannot peak above negative 6db in volume.

We can easily increase the volume but we can only work with the headroom that you provide. More headroom means we can make it mo’ better!

Tracks cannot have any hard limiters on the Final Master Bus.

 

Why do you need my tracks to be at -6db before I upload them?

This ensures that your track isn’t clipping and leaves us plenty of headroom with which to work.

 

What genres do you do mastering for?

All genres, all styles! We are music lovers and enjoy every style. We have delivered high quality professional masters for genres we didn’t even know existed before we worked on the music. So bring us your Death Metal, orchestral Chamber Dubstep music with rap vocals (or any other hybrid you can think of). With EDM, Dubstep and many varieties of rap so popular these days, know that we can fatten up those genres with the best of them!

We approach every genre and every song based on its needs, so you can know that you are getting the highest quality optimized master for your genre.

 

Why can’t I just master my own tracks using mastering plugins?

• You need to have your tracks mastered in a professional setting or your they may be colored in a sub-optimal way that could yield inconsistent results on different playback systems.

• There are great advantages to having an impartial, fresh pair of (magic) ears listening to and working on your music. After recording and mixing, your ears can become “blind.”

• You run the risk of not being able to remove nasty frequencies that could ruin peoples hearing and destroy club speakers. Try getting a return gig after that!

 

How can you deliver high quality masters at such low prices?

Part of our mission is to provide musicians of all levels the opportunity to have professional quality mastering at affordable prices. Much of our business comes from repeat customers and referrals, so we make sure that our clients are 100 percent satisfied and that our prices are affordable.

 

Do you ever run specials?

Yes! We have a blog on the Magic Ears website, as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts. From time to time, we will run specials that will lower our already low prices! Check back often!

 

Why don’t you have a gear list?

Because the tools and gear are not as nearly as important as the ears. Nobody really cares what type of compressor or EQ you used, as long as it sounds good. And that’s the goal. And that’s the beauty of the rise of the home studio these days. That said, we have exceptional monitors and state-of-the-art, in-the-box tools. And we know how to use them!

 

I just purchased mastering but wasn’t automatically redirected to the upload form

This rarely happens. But if PayPal doesn’t automatically redirect to the upload form, please send us an email at magicearsmastering@gmail.com and we will just email you a link to the upload form.

Even if you don’t email us, we will contact you if we see that someone has purchased mastering but hasn’t uploaded tracks.

 

How long does it take to upload my tracks for mastering?

Depending on your browser settings and Internet connection it could take up to 1-2 hours. However one to three songs shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.

If you are having problems with your upload please contact us ASAP.

 

Will I lose any rights to my track by uploading them for mastering?

No, you retain full rights to your audio. Our only job is to make your tracks sound awesome and prepare them for distribution!

 

Why should I have my tracks professionally mastered by you?

• We ensure your tracks will sound consistent across all playback systems and guarantee their full tonal quality. In short: Your tracks will sound brighter, crisper, clearer, louder and fatter.

• We also eliminate all unnecessary frequencies that take up headroom, as well as harsh frequency spikes that can ruin speakers and hearing. This increases the “listenability” of your song and ensures that they can’t ruin speakers or cause ear-fatigue. This is essential for anyone who wants to play their tracks out in clubs or release their music commercially.

• We focus on the nuances of every track, ensuring that each track is exceptionally mastered.

• We provide one-on-one services and are available to answer your mix questions and advise you, as necessary. We can be a phone call, text or email away.

 

What are PQ Coding and ID Tags?

PQ coding and ID tagging allow CD Text, ISRC codes, UPC/EAN and Copy Protection data to be entered into the instructional data of a CD or downloadable file. ID tagging allows downloaded digital audio files to be identified by song name, artist, songwriter, date recorded, musical style, etc… The tagging can also allow for ISRC and UPC/EAN coding so that sales and radio play can be tracked by the owner of the recordings.

 

What is DDP formatting?

The final stage of the mastering audio process is to burn the final production master. The final product of the mastering session can be a DDP file.

The DDP format (Disc Description Protocol) is a data file that contains all of the necessary information for the creation of the glass master. The DDP file is usually be uploaded to the manufacturing plant’s web site.

The Glass master is a glass disc with a thin film layered on it. The data from the DDP or PMCD is burned into the film with a laser that creates the microscopic pits and lands that are part of the physical creation of the audio CDs you buy in a store. From the glass master, stampers are created to press the CD discs in a very similar manner as done with vinyl records. This process creates a Red Book standard disc sometimes called a CD+G.

 

How do we credit Magic Ears in our liner notes and for online distribution?

Thanks for asking!

For mastering: “Mastered by Adam Matza at Magic Ears Mastering”

For mixing and mastering: “Mixed and Mastered by Adam Matza at Magic Ears Mastering