Top Mastering Engineers for hire
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What is Mastering?
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**Grammy Award Winning Engineer** & *OFFICIALLY CREDITED ON 32 TOTAL GRAMMY NOMINATIONS* I’ve worked alongside: Kanye West, Yo-Yo Ma, PJ Morton, Jamila Woods, Kirk Franklin, Kurt Elling, Adam Levine, Cowboy Troy, Tom Higgenson (Plain White Tees), Donald Lawrence, Lupe Fiasco, Hezekiah Walker, Rihanna, Anthony Hamilton, Mavis Staples, etc.
Past-President of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) worldwide, Andres provides a FREE audio quality report that really helps you to get the most out of your mixes before mastering. Mayo boasts credits in over 3,000 albums released on all formats since 1991. Send us one unmastered mix and you will get a 100% free audio quality report in 48 hours.
Songs I have produced/mixed/mastered have garnered over 600 Million streams across the internet. As an artist, I understand the delicacies that make a song sound special. In this day and age, standing out is more important than sounding "perfectly polished".
Hi-Fidelity Radio Ready + Spotify/AppleMusic Ready — Love working on new genre blends + unique sounds - Recording artist, producer + songwriter, founder of Blossöm Records in LA. Years of garage bands and indie tours accumulated to Hey Monday’s signing to Columbia Records and tours w/ Fall Out Boy, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber + All American Rejects.
Camilo Silva F : 2X Grammy Award winner, analog mastering ! Award-winning mastering skills and technology at a price you can afford ! Why settle for some random A.I mastering platform when you can have a real, trained,expert mastering specialist listening to YOUR needs? The real deal !
Epicenter Mastering is run by Mastering Engineer Gentry Studer, (yes, like the tape machine). Gentry is a 3X Grammy and Emmy Nominated, Juno and MIA Record of the Year winning Mastering Engineer. Working with indie and signed clients alike including: Metallica, Spoon, Incubus, Wynonna, Jackson Wang and many more.
SAE graduate engineer with 14 years experience specialising in Electronic Dance Music and Bass Music. Working with clients that produce a wide variety of sounds from Deep House, Bass House, Trance, Future Bass, Trap, Mid Tempo, Dubstep, Riddim and everything in between.
Real Wordclass mastering services to achieve that Big, Fat, Warm and Punchy Major Label Sound thanks to a state of the art, no compromise, high end mastering facility. Only top notch analog equipment (Maselec, Prism, Sontec, Fairchild, KNIF, Tubetech, Vertigo) & top class sound techniques to make your tracks shine.
I help music feel alive in an overly saturated market. Mastering for French Montana, DJ Sluggo, Nicholas Jaar, The Happy Mess, and Ayo Jay. Winning APRA and Platinum awards, including nominations for Grammy, & Headies awards. EVERY PROJECT is a chance to shine, big or small. My mastering helps artists uniquely stand-out, Start a chat and let's talk
I've been in the industry for 20 years. I Work for independent artists and major labels. I put my ears before my eyes. Multi nominated and awarded for several albums. I offer a Free consultation previous to mixing and mastering process.
Certified Platinum! Mixing & Mastering engineer for Wiz Khalifa, A-Boogie, Shordie Shordie, Lil Baby, etc... I recently mixed and mastered Warner Bros artist Shordie Shordie’s single “Betchua” (Over 300 million streams) and 300 Ent. artist Tate Kobang's "Bank Rolls Remix" (#4 Spotify #22 Billboard, HBO "Ballers", MTV "Wildin Out", Playstation).
I'm Dave Blackman and I own and run Hiltongrove Mastering, a dedicated mastering facility based in the Essex countryside. We're an Apple approved MFiT provider, and I've been a mastering engineer since 1996 - I'd like to think I know what I'm doing by now! Past clients include Coldplay, Keane, Killing Joke, and Echo and the Bunnymen.
Mastering Grammy winning and Billboard topping albums, Garrett Haines is a Tape Op Magazine Senior Contributor, and aspiring renaissance man. He focuses on styles: with driving beats, alternative rock, and melodic Americana (Jolie Holland, Watermelon Slim, Ryan Pollie, Wiz Khalifa, Zao, Victor Bailey, Struggle Session, Fuse, Sugarfree Allstars)
Of the thousands of records I've Produced, Mixed and Mastered, the one EVERYONE has surely heard is the hit single from Quentin Tarantino's PULP FICTION..."Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon". i am KRAMER, founder of SHIMMY-DISC, producer of LOW, GALAXIE 500, WILL OLDHAM... Nowadays, I spend most of my time on my own music, and on MIXING & MASTERING.
Multi Platinum, Grammy Award Winning Mastering. I'd love to hear your mix! We can work together to make sure your mix is everything it can be prior to Mastering. I've worked with all the Major Labels as well as many, many indie artists.
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What is Mastering?
Mastering adds the final sonic touch to a mixed song. It is the final process performed on a song before it gets released and distributed. Mastering aims to address the following issues
1. Matching a song's sonic character to that of other songs on the same album or sequence, so listening to them in sequence feels natural.
2. Optimizing loudness, so the song doesn't sound softer than other songs that might be played before or after it.
3. Adding the last touch of sonic enhancement to the mixed song, addressing macro problems such as harshness, muddiness or lopsided stereo balance, and complementing the mix with subtle global adjustments to EQ, clarity, warmth, punch and wideness.
Mastering is a quicker process than mixing and makes less of a difference on the overall sound of your song than mixing, but is nonetheless important as a finishing touch after mixing. It polishes the final mix so all the elements sound as good or better, while achieving extra loudness and 'glue'. Mastering is the final bridge between the mix and distribution.
No two mastering jobs are the same. The nuances of the source material make all the difference in how the engineer approaches mastering, and different engineers have different styles. Engineers may need to merely fine-tune a recording before it's ready to be distributed. Other times, a mix might require a significant amount of cleaning up. Regardless of the project, the goal of mastering remains the same: to ensure audio sounds great across multiple platforms and on different speakers. Mastering is as much a creative art as it is a science and is just as important as other elements in the production process. Get it wrong, and your listeners might think a track sounds "too loud and harsh" or "too muffled or weak" Get it right, and assuming the production and mix are good, your listeners will enjoy the experience.
Different Mastering Techniques
There are various techniques involved in audio mastering. Engineers might use some or all of the following:
Compression and limiting: Compressors and Limiters reduce the dynamic range of the final mix, and when used with taste, make the mix sound fuller, louder and more cohesive. It's easy to squash a mix with poor use of compressors and limiters so you want to work with an engineer who has experience, a good listening environment, a great set of ears and good gear.
Clipping: Some mastering engineers push their A to D converters or use software clippers to subtly lop off the peaks of an audio file, to achieve increased perceived loudness.
Equalization: Optimizing for a sonic balance that complements the song, often described in adjectives such warmth, huge bottom, brightness, openness or airiness.
Sequencing and spacing: If you are mastering an entire album, spacing lets you determine the amount of silence between each track, sequencing of their order, and fades during song endings.
Creative Effects: Other effects include subtle reverb on the whole mix, distortion, stereo widener or filters.
Restoration: This process gets rid of any issues or unwanted sounds, such as pops, clicks, hum, and hiss.
Preparation for distribution: Some engineers will prepare audio files based on particular specifications of online music stores and streaming websites such as iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, or CDs. This might entail adjusting the file format, bit rate, sample rate and metadata depending on your needs, and the platform you are distributing to. Other mastering engineers deliver a high resolution Wave file is often sufficient based on your needs.
How to Choose a Mastering Engineer
Not all mastering engineers are the same. Some important factors to consider when choosing an engineer are experience, gear, listening environment and specialization in a particular genre. There are some benefits to choosing an engineer who has mastered recordings in your genre. Listen to examples of his or her work. This gives you a feel for their work and lets you decide whether an engineer is right for you. Do they specialize in mastering? It might be fine that they do other things, as long as they are devoted enough to the art and science of mastering to have the proper gear, a well tuned critical listening environment and experience.
On SoundBetter you can listen to sound samples, research a mastering engineer's experience, and read reviews of previous clients.
Keep in mind that while the most renowned sound engineers might charge thousands of dollars for their services, some offer reduced rates to indie artists and producers. Also, some engineers might charge you less if you pay for several songs or an entire album in advance. Keep in mind that mastering is a relatively affordable step in the process, so probably not worth skimping on.
How to Prep Your Mixes for Mastering
The first step of preparing a mix for mastering, is to be sure you love the mix. Don't expect mastering to fix a mix you don't love.
Once you are happy with the mix, simply export the tracks to a stereo file from your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), with the same sample rate and bitrate as your original mix session. If it's 16/44.1, use that. Same goes for 24/48, and so on. Don't upsample (export from a lower to a higher sample rate).
This is probably the most critical piece of advice when sending a song for mastering - Make sure there is headroom. In other words pay attention that you aren't clipping or regularly peaking your master bus. The mastering engineer needs some room to manipulate the audio file. A mix that is very 'hot' doesn't leave them that room. One of the biggest pet peeves shared by engineers is audio mixes that are too loud. These recordings are difficult to master and might result in a finished product that sounds very similar to the final mix. -3 dB of headroom is usually fine, but the rule of thumb is simply make sure the mastering engineer has headroom to do their work.
If you have any plugins on your master bus, you can remove them, unless they are creative effects that are integral to the production. Generally speaking compressors, EQs and limiters should be removed. If this causes your track to clip you can just pull your master fader back a bit, or leave a limiter on, but set it to no gain reduction - rather just to catch the few peaks, so you don't clip the DAW's master bus. If you do leave a limiter on, make sure you have dither set to 'off'. If you see the limiter is gain reducing a lot, even though you didn't set it to gain reduce (i.e you set it to 0 or -.01), that means you're hitting the input of the master bus too hot, and you should pull back the faders on your individual tracks. If you do need to pull all your individual tracks down by a couple of dB, make sure you account for tracks that have automation written as they may 'bounce back' to their original position. You can avoid this by lowering all the tracks through the automation, rather than using the faders.
Make sure you review your mix to remove any pops or clicks. You may not notice these but if they exist they may be accentuated in mastering. It's helpful to listen to individual tracks soloed to catch these. Pay particular attention to where you have edits. If you didn't fade edits, you might have digital pops that are easy to miss when many tracks are playing together, but that should be addressed.
Lastly, align your expectations. Some clients expect too much from mastering. There are subtle things that can be done in mastering to shape and optimize loudness, tone, punch and intensity. However mastering is not mixing. Mastering can only slightly improve a mix. It doesn't replace the need for a great recording, production and mix. Those are the ingredients that make all the difference. Mastering is just the cherry on top.
Master your songs
Mastering is best left to professional mastering engineers. It is affordable enough, that squeezing 5% more shine out of your track, as opposed to reducing the quality by 5% by not working with a pro mastering engineer, is usually a good investment after you've put in all the work to get to that point. Prepping your mixes for mastering and hiring a great engineer with experience in your genre could provide you with just the right touch to take your track from great to awesome. Do remember though, that a mastering engineer can shine a diamond, but not create one.