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Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need professional mastering?

The goal of mastering is to fix the balance issues and enhance the audio characteristics of your music - like putting the icing on the cake. This is the final step before your song or album goes to be distributed to consumers. Especially with the changing trends in the music industry, having your songs and album mastered can be the difference in getting your music noticed.

What is stem mastering?

The process of 'stem mastering' simply means bouncing stems for mastering rather than a stereo mix in a single file. This allows the mastering engineer additional scope to discreetly enhance and optimize any specific set of instruments within a mix, providing far more control over the sound of the final master than a traditional stereo premaster ever could.

What is the process of mastering?

Mastering is the final step in the audio post-production process. The purpose of mastering is to balance the sonic elements of a stereo mix and to optimize playback across all systems and media formats. Mastering also ensures uniformity and consistency of sound between multiple tracks on an album. 

How to prepare a track for mastering?

You can check our pre-master specifications here.

Why should I use an engineer instead of AI Mastering?

The biggest problem with AI mastering is that it ignores the unique aspects of each track. Due to the lack of human ears involved in these services, the AI is only relying on what it "sees" in the waveform to decide what to do.


What is the difference between a Mp3, an Uncompressed WAV and a HD WAV?

The WAV file is one of the simplest and oldest digital Hi-Res audio formats. It was originally developed by Microsoft and IBM in 1991. WAV is an uncompressed format – this means the recording is reproduced without any loss in audio quality. HD Wav's offer downloads at 24 bit with sample rates higher than 44.1Khz, and can go up to 96k. Uncompressed WAV's are the second highest quality besides HD WAVs, but are also smaller in size. Uncompressed Wavs are downloaded as 44.1 Khz 16 bit, which is an industry standard for CD's and other audio formats. Unlike WAV, MP3 is a compressed and lossy format. It means that converting any audio to MP3 will reduce its original quality and also reduce the size. The reduction in size and quality results from data being thrown away.

What is the difference between mixing and mastering?

Mixing marks the start of post-production, where an engineer carves and balances the separate tracks in a session to sound good when played together. With tools like EQ, compression, panning, and reverb at their disposal, mix engineers reduce clashes between instruments, tighten grooves, and emphasise important song elements. While mixing, you make lots of adjustments - some quite heavy-handed - to each track. After all, your adjustments only affect that particular element. Mastering is the complete opposite - it uses subtle broad strokes that affect the entire song. A mastering engineer takes the stereo mixdown and both corrects and enhances sonic elements to ensure optimal playback quality across all systems and formats before distribution.

I want to upload a song to Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud, what file type do I need?

Unless you’re signed to a label, you have to work with an artist aggregator or distributor to get your music placed on these various services (with the exception of Soundcloud). In order to upload your music properly distribution sites will accept audio of 16 bit (sample size), 44.1 kHz (sample rate), 1411 kbps (bit rate) stereo WAV files. Apple transcodes the lossless file given to them to AAC (advanced audio codec) at 256kbps. They then stream this file through Apple Music. Soundcloud allows you to upload .MP3's or Uncompressed / HD WAVs, but Uncompressed or HD .WAVs will sound better on Soundcloud than .MP3's will.

What file types can RV Audio work with?

We offer support for all .AIFF, .WAV and .MP3 files.

I already have a mastering chain on my song, do I need to remove before submitting?

We have the most effective mastering effect on your music if you do not have a chain on your file.


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