I have been told that the lower in volume I export my track the more “headroom” you will have to master and therefore better quality.

Technically this is true. However, you do not want to go too low in volume as the lower you go the more signal you will lose in the inital export, which can ruin your track in the maximization stage in mastering. Generally -3db is the ideal level you want to export with the intention of having your track mastered; meaning that the volume of your track should not exceed -3db in volume. The empty space on top is called “headroom.”

If you are working with a good sound engineer they will adjust the volume during the mastering process to ensure you have enough headroom to master the track. We usually find ourselves adjusting tracks to anywhere from -5db to -6db peak volume for mastering. In other words, you want to export at the loudest possible volume to ensure you get all the signal through while still leaving enough headroom for the mastering process.

Can you send me a preview of your mastering before I pay?

We were happy to be able to provide this as a free service for 6 years. However, due to growing demand for our services we are unable to at this time. Instead, we now request a payment to be completed before we begin your project. We are glad to provide a 100% Money Back Guarantee on all first time orders for new customers.

What kind of files can I expect back when my mastering is completed?

With each project you can expect to receive all your mastered files in the following formats.

  • 24bit/WAV
  • 16bit/WAV
  • 320k/MP3
  • Lossless MFit format (Mastered for iTunes)

Should I send you my track as one single WAV/AIFF file or separate each individual channels/instruments into their own audio files for mastering?

It depends on the needs of your track. For single track mastering we prefer a single WAV or AIF audio file. For stem mastering projects we prefer them separated out. For more info on preparation please see our prep page here: www.darkroommastering.com/preparation

Can I just send you my project file?

Unfortunately we cannot work with project files as we will not always have the same DAW program and plugins that you are using in your project. We prefer you send us only 24bit or higher WAV or AIF files.

I only have an MP3 file from an old project. Can you still master it?

We prefer not to work with MP3 files as we would essentially be mastering an already compressed file. However, we will do what we can to revive an old recording. We do not recommend distributing professionally.

How soon can I expect my project to be completed?

For single song mastering you can expect to have it ready within 3 business days. For stem mastering projects 3-4 business days. And Mixing projects 5 business days.

Should I leave my processing on the master channel turned on when exporting for mastering?

Any processing on the master channel should be turned off when exporting. I.E. Compression, EQ, Limiting, etc.. If you already have compression on the master channel please keep the threshold to a minimum.

If i'm not satisfied with the mastering results at first, can you make edits before sending the final version?

Yes, we can do 1 round of adjustments to the original master at no cost. Any additional rounds of adjustments will require a small fee of $15 USD.

Can I make adjustments on my end and send you a new mixdown after listening to the mastering?

We prefer to make the adjustments on our end whenever possible. However, if you prefer to send a new mixdown of your own we can do that too. The cost for this service is $15 for new mixdowns after the mastering has been completed. This covers the additional time it will take to download, process, and make any small adjustments before re-uploading the final files.

I’m from outside of the U.S. Can I still use your services?

Yes, we cater to musicians all around the world. We use Paypal to send and receive transactions which you can use worldwide.

What kind of payments do you accept?

We accept PayPal and all major credit & debit cards. Payments are accepted using PayPal and are 100% secure using PayPal SSL.