Q. What format should I send files for mastering?

A. I have no preference for either WAV or AIFF formats. Please ensure that you send the highest quality version of the mix that you have. All modern DAWs should export in at least 24-bit resolution and with a sample-rate of at least 44kHz. If the only version of the file you have is an .mp3 then I can work from this, but the results are going to be limited by the lossy file compression.

Q. I mix with a compressor across the mix-buss, should I take it off before mastering?

A. No. If you mix with a compressor this will have a huge impact on the sound of your mix. If you take it off the mix buss your mix will fall apart. Better that you leave it in. The same goes for any EQ that you have added to the mix-buss. If you are unsure you can always send me a processed and un-processed version. However, if you have applied any limiting across the mix-buss please print a version of the track without any limiting for mastering from.

Q. Should I send my mix as stems for mastering?

A. I prefer to master from a single stereo mix rather than stems. If you have a specific reason for sending stems then this can be accommodated, but please contact me in advance so we can talk through the process.

Q. What are ISRC codes, do I need them, and where do I get them?

A. ISRC codes are the International Standard Recording Codes used to uniquely identify songs, similar to ISBN codes on books. Each code should be 12 characters long, and will help royalty collection agencies to identify recordings in order to make payments. You can buy them and find more info from the PPL.

Q. What is a DDP?

A. DDP is a mastering format used for audio CDs. It was created by Doug Carson Associates to improve reliability, throughput and efficiency in the CD glass mastering process. DDP stands for Disc Description Protocol. The DDPi format, which I supply contains all the audio information, PQ points (which describe where each track on a CD starts and ends), and other metadata necessary to print a professional CD.