Mastering FAQ

Please read through the items below and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

What is the turnaround time for mastering?

Most individual songs can be mastered in one day. Multiple songs, longer material and orders that arrive after noon Eastern will take a little longer.

What audio format should I send to Third Wave for mastering?

Your files should be linear PCM WAV or AIF of at least 16-bit depth, 44.1k sample rate. I'll also accept lossless compression formats such as FLAC.

Mix files should be at the same bit depth and sample rate as your multitrack files; do not change your bit depth or sample rate when bouncing to your mix files.

How do I place a mastering order?

Easy: Just send an e-mail with info about your project, such as...

  • where you will distribute your music (CD, web, movies, video games, etc.)
  • what you hope to achieve in the mastering.
  • a song sequence and any other details,  such as edits or cross-fades.
  • your contact information.

How can I exchange files with Third Wave Audio?

You can e-mail 192K mp3s for review. Larger files can be sent by...

  • Online file transfer services such as Dropbox or HIGHTAIL (formerly youSENDit.) E-mail the link.
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Server. Just ask for private login info to use the Third Wave server at no charge.

DVDs, CDs, flash drives and other materials can be sent to Third Wave Audio via...

  • Fedex, UPS, DHL, USPS.

What mix level and processing should I use?

Mix peaks should be no more than -.5 db, preferably around -3 dB.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU USE NO PROCESSING ON YOUR MASTER MIX OUTPUTS. Adding EQ or mix buss compression will severely 'limit' the possibilities in mastering. I can sometimes undo a bad EQ curve, but I can't restore your music's punch once you've squashed it with compression and/or limiting...

How should I name my mix files?

Mix files should contain the song's order and title ("01-title.wav", "02-title.wav", etc.)

Can you edit my material?

Sure. I will edit for different markets or to help a tune's pacing; just let me know what you want. Extensive editing will add a small charge.

What are your rates?

Complete 24-bit digital mastering is $50 USD each for songs mixed elsewhere; mastering is usually included with songs that I mixed. This includes all transfers, processing and simple editing, with the final masters returned by Net. If I have to do extensive editing I may add a small charge.

What are your payment terms?

For new clients I require 50% payment by credit card or PayPal before I start, and the balance before I deliver the final WAV masters.



See also: the Mastering Overview and Mastering Examples.

Top ↑

Copyright © 2018 Third Wave Audio. All Rights Reserved.