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An interview with Disc Makers’ SoundLab Senior Mastering Engineer, Paul Elliott
Paul Elliott, senior mastering engineer at Disc Makers’ SoundLab mastering studios, offers a few tips to help artists get the most out of their mastering sessions, as well as some of his own opinions about the role of mastering in the album-making process.
First, prepare an accurate track listing – in the proper order – of all the songs you are sending to the mastering engineer. If there are any alternate mixes, be sure those are clearly labeled and tell the engineer which one you prefer be used. In fact, it’s best not to send anything to the mastering session that you don’t plan to use. And don’t refer to a song by a nickname – that can cause confusion and end up delaying your project.
Other small things that you should tell your mastering engineer include whether you want to keep the count off on a particular song or have it removed. If there’s a particularly long jam at the end of a song, let the mastering engineer know if you want them to fade it out or keep all of it – don’t assume they’ll know what you want. Songs with abrupt endings can have a very dramatic effect, but it’s nice to let the mastering engineer know that’s what you intend it to sound like on the album.
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