Have you ever wondered why your tracks don't sound like the ones on the radio? That might be because commercial tracks are always mastered before release! Luckily, Sweetwater carries all the mastering tools you need to help your music sound better than ever. But choosing the right mastering software can be tricky, especially if you're not sure what you need. Fear not! We’ll tell you what you need to know to get the right mastering software for your particular needs.
What is mastering anyway? Mastering is the final stage of processing music — the last stage your tracks should go through before being released. The point is to make tracks sound as good as they possibly can across all playback devices. Not to be confused with mixing, mastering isn’t as concerned with how all the individual elements of your song sit together — it focuses on making sure everything is perfect when it comes to the overall tone, punch, and loudness. Mastering affects the entire track as a whole, not individual tracks.
Do you want to gently even out the dynamics of your tracks? Look for software with compression capabilities! Compression allows you to make the louder parts of your tracks quieter and the quieter parts louder, so you end up with a final product that feels even. If you want to get rid of uneven parts where volume rises and falls unexpectedly, compression is the way to go.
Want to tweak specific frequencies? Grab software with a built-in equalizer. Applied gently in the process of mastering, EQ can make your tracks sound sweeter and more tonally balanced.
And for the finishing touch, look for a limiter. Limiting drives the track's input gain, but leaves the output level at 0dB. This gives you the ability to push the overall volume of the track up to commercial levels without distorting.
Compression, EQ and limiting are the three basic mastering tools, but we also carry products capable of much more! Many of them include analysis tools, which allow you to see what is really happening with your tracks. You can also grab mastering software that offers stereo widening, mastering reverb, and more.
Sweetwater carries an array of mastering software tools that are compatible with both PCs and Macs, so be sure to choose a program compatible with your operating system.
Ready to start mastering right away? You can! Check out one of our instant download options, and start mastering from the comfort of your sofa. Of course, if you prefer a physical disk, our fast shipping will make sure you get it in time. We also carry academic versions for those of you who are teachers or are still enrolled in school. Take advantage of a sweet discount!
If you have any questions about the various features of the mastering software we offer, please give us a call. Our Sales Engineers are happy to help!
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.