Producing Your Music The Right Way
When it comes time to produce your music, there are two distinct directions you can take. Both start with months and years (not to mention lots of cash) spent putting together quality work inside the recording and mixing studios, yet the paths diverge as soon as they get to the mastering house.
The tempting path (yeah you know the one) at first glance is where you decide to get your mastering done quickly for the least money. Mastering is just seen as something you do as a last minute step to catch errors and make small adjustments that aren't extremely necessary.
However, the lure of this path inevitably wears off. You soon find out this path is full of potholes, as the reality of having to compete among thousands of other artists becomes reality.
Of course, most artists don't take this path because they want to. They simply don't know what can be achieved during the mastering process with a skilled mastering engineer. Therefore, the cheap guy seems like a pretty good deal.
As a result, their albums lack that certain "Edge" to put themselves ahead of others in the market. So, they are less likely to catch on.
I am not talking about just in the short run as their music fails to capture as much attention as it could , but, also in the longer term as fans soon forget about the album because it simply doesn't measure up with the professionally done competitors.
This is compared to the second, less traveled path where the quality sound lies (and more album sales as a result).
Instead of it being a last ditched effort, mastering is given the attention and time it deserves. It's where the artists are actively involved in discovering what can be achieved. They work one-on-one with a skilled mastering engineer and describe exactly what they want their final vision to sound like.
The engineer then offers feedback (based on years of experience) and adds that certain extra quality that brings out the greatness in your music so it remains in fans' CD or MP3 players for years to come.
Simply put, there really is no choice. As with many things in life, it's actually a lot more expensive to go with the "cheaper" mastering house. And, if you want your music to be remembered as one of the great ones by your fans long into the future, then do yourself a favor and don't skimp on the mastering for your music production.