Mastering Mastering

Hi,i have a track finished.I am going to eport as wave and then master.I have the stereo out fader at 0db.Should it be lower than this? Its not clipping,but im wondering do i need it lower for mastering.

There’s ^^ a great mastering reference, and nicely priced too - guaranteed to be helpful whether you do your own mastering or send it out. Check out his whole site as well - pretty awesome stuff.

For your original question - mastering engineers will often/always increase the gain of certain parts of the music as part of their process, so it makes their job easier if you don’t give them tracks peaking at at 0 dbFS.

Also, it can be tricky sometimes to remember whether your meters are showing you “Meter In” or “Meter Out”, I always have to remind myself to double check that.

Good luck!

pull the master fader down until it peaks aroun-6db it will be enough headroom for mastering guy.ALso 24bit is recommended highly

^^^ This is what I do. I currently export and record at 24bit. For the file I export to begin mastering on I never let the main output exceed -6db output. I always try to export it with a peak of -6db to -6.5db. When mastering I also don’t set the peak output to 0.0db but rather I set it to -0.3db being some older CD players can have distortion at 0.0db whereas that little bit of difference in -0.3db keeps it from clipping those older devices.


Assuming your not clipping the master buss when the master fader is set to 0dB, It will make absolutely no difference whether you reduce the gain at the master fader or reduce the gain when you master.

If you intend to master yourself within Cubase or Wavelab or any other program that supports 32 bit float, then if you want to keep the maximum resolution you should maybe consider exporting at 32 bit float.

Of course it is probably best to try to mix so you’re not peaking the masterbuss and give yourself headroom without having to take the mastebuss fader away from 0dB.

thanks folks.all advice taken on board.

Worth taking a look here too perhaps