Dubb Spot Records receives a lot of submissions from various Artist/Producers from all around the World. We have noticed through interaction with these Artist, that the understanding of mixing and mastering is thought to be one of the same. Since mixing is a service that Dubb Spot Records offers, we thought it would be good idea to put together a preliminary guideline of what we need to master your music properly. You the producer/beatmaker, will also gain some valuable knowledge by using these guidelines. You do want your project to stand out and have more clarity than the common submission, CORRECT? Try to become familiar with these tips and your next project will be a step above the competition in this here Hip Hop World!!! Here are some good guidelines to live by that we ran across from those guys over there at eHow.com.
Mixing Hip Hop Music for Mastering
The first thing to do always is make sure your mix is clean to begin with. There is a saying in the industry, garbage in garbage out. Noise and hiss can be considered an aesthetic that some Hip Hop music producers prefer, however, if it is not your intention to have noise or hiss in the track then get rid of it. To do this you can use some expensive professional hardware processors or if you are rocking the laptop you can get some free WAVES type of effects also.
Stay away from over filtering. Over filtered music can sound muddy. If you are the type that has your routine effects, you have to add to every track, next time switch it up and just add effects that complement the mix and what you are trying to hear. This might make your mix a little more crystal clear. Mastering engineers agonize when they listen to over processed & over compressed tracks. There are some things even they can’t fix.
Most mixing engineers would suggest that you mix your tracks to a -3db output if they are going to be professionally mastered. This allows headroom and preserves the dynamic range of your music. Without a dynamic range the final track will sound thin and weak. The trick is to make the track as loud as possible without over compressing so the mastering engineer can run the track through their expert compressors and vintage gear.
Backup your masters. Labels and artists sometimes require master copies of the original track. Sometimes they request this even when you still hold rights to the recording as well. So, a common practice would be to make a backup copy of the hard drive or memory card you made the music on before you submit it. Especially regarding the beats. If you have custom sounds on there the record company may own the sequence but usually the individual sounds are still yours. Such as synthesized sounds that you design from scratch.