FAQ The Mastering Process
Here are some answers to very commonly asked questions about mastering:
Q: What is the mastering process?
Mastering is the process of optimizing and balancing several different mixed songs; so that they sound even and consistent with each other and then placing them in a specific sequence (running order) for final duplication.
Q: Should we master our recording?
Yes. Mastering makes the difference between amateur and pro productions. Remember that every professionally made CD, record and tape you have in your collection has been mastered.
Q: How much will it cost to manufacture our product?
These prices are only estimates. Specific costs may vary. Check with your duplicator for real numbers.
A run of 1000 CDs cost about $1250, but that can vary depending on the quantity you make, simple packaging is usually included in the base price.
Fancy jewel cases, inserts, and back cards are extra.
Most CD duplicators offer package deals where they'll duplicate and provide printed material for one price.
Most include UPC bar-coding and shrink-wrapping too. If you'll be distributing your product in record stores, you'll need a UPC code. Digital uploads to sites like iTunes will require you to have ISRC numbers encoded into your songs as well.
Here's a quick link for all of the details of UPC codes.
Here's a quick link for all of the details of ISRC codes.
Q: Should we do a slick package?
Make it nice, people remember things that grab their attention. At the very least you should have printed labels and cards with your contact info available.
Q: How long does it take to get our stuff back from the duplication house?
Most duplicators take about a week, more for runs over 2500 units.
Backlogs may increase late in the year because of holiday 'crunch time' compilations. They ease up around February. Late spring is the best time of year for a fast turn around.