There is lots to say about mastering. Basically, audio mastering is the process of preparing a mix for distribution. This entails bringing the mix to the right loudness, balancing the tonal and dynamic content of a mix; adding interest to the track, editing track lengths, adding fades and crossfades, and editing metadata.
Your mixes come to me as finished pieces of art. Almost. More than likely they are quiet compared to what you hear on the radio, CD, or streaming service like Spotify. Striking the right balance between the right loudness and maintaining dynamic range depends on what you want and what sounds good.
Balance is another consideration. A mix may sound good on its own, but compared to other tracks on your album may sound tonally different. I strike a balance from track to track using compression and EQ.
Beyond dynamics and tonality there is a lot that can be done to enhance a mix. There are ways to make the vocal stand out and shimmer. Itʼs completely possible to make the guitars sound meatier, and to make the drums punch harder. It all depends on what you want and what your mix sounds like to begin with. Want a vintage tape vibe? I can do that.
A finished master is a collaboration between the artist, the session engineer, and the mastering engineer. I use my own discernment to create a sound that makes the work of the artist and session engineer stand out. Then I dot the Iʼs and cross the Tʼs and make sure you walk away with everything you need to share your art with the world.