What Is Mastering And Why Do I Need It?


  • Mastering is also referred to as CD Mastering, Audio Mastering, Digital Mastering, Music Mastering.... It is the process used by audio engineers to perfect the overall sound of your mix by bringing all the elements of your mix into balance, sharpen focus, and increase the perceived loudness by utilizing special eq, compression and limiting techniques. We will also make sure that the music translates well to any kind of listening environment be it at home, on the radio, in clubs or even laptop speakers.


  • A good Mastering can get your music from the sound you are trying to achieve to the sound you want. Using Sonar Mastering will ensure that your tracks can sonically compete in today's music marketplace.

How Do I Prepare My Tracks For Mastering?


  • Sonar Mastering encourages engineers and producers to use the highest practical sample rate and longest available wordlenght for production. Our Mastering Studio is able to accept most files with sampling rates up to 192kHz and 32bit. We are happy to see well labeled 96kHz 24bit files. 

  • If you are sending files to Sonar Mastering make sure you do not sample rate convert yourself, leave it at the same sampling rate and bit depth as the multitrack without dithering.

  • We suggest that your stereo mix-down levels should not exceed -3db ideally they sit somewhere between -10 to -3db.

  • Make sure to check all channels of the multitrack during and after mixdown for clipping. If there is a clip, we recommended reworking the mixdown to avoid internal clipping.

  • To provide you with the best possible mastering results, leave your master bus free from any form of processing like compressors and limiters etc… If you do post processing, please send us both clearly labeled versions. 

  • Please make sure that all files are correctly labelled before uploading your tracks and provide us with as much information as possible in the upload form. 

  • Before uploading tracks we advise to create a ZIP file of your song(s) to assure no loss in the up and download process.

  • Communication is very important between you and the Mastering Studio.  Any additional Information you can provide us with about your track is very helpful to us! The more you can tell us how you would like your masterered track to sound, the better job we can do for you!



If you have any more questions about the preparation for the mastering process please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

What Do I Get?
  • The mastered tracks that we usually deliver to you for digital release include:


  • The mastered file in the same resolution as received (which you will need for Itunes)mp3 (320kbps)

  • Audio CD format (44.1kHz 16bit)


  • Upon request we can also provide you with a DDP File for the CD manufacturing plant.


  • The information you provided in the upload form will be embedded in the metadata of the mastered files where applicable. We can also provide you with most other formats. It is also possible to get a hardcopy CD for a small adittional shipping and handling fee.




Mastering For Vinyl
  • Please contact us if you are planning to release your tracks on vinyl. The mastering process is slightly different to digital releases and we don’t want you to run into problems at the pressing plant. 





  • Here is a little explanation what the ISRC is and how it might benefit you:


  • The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. The ISRC provides the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments and, in many territories, is increasingly becoming a tool in the fight against piracy. By identifying all sound and music video recordings that are released, regardless of the format that they are released in, the ISRC enables the tracking and tracing of these recordings through the music value chain. 



Sonar Mastering // FAQ