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OK! you've recorded and mixed all the tracks down, to your tape system, CDR or hard drive... now you need to order them, that means make sure that the ending of one song works with the beginning of the next song. This insures that when the songs are played in the order in which they are found on your finished work that a cohesiveness is achieved. This is just one part of what is call mastering, and there are a number of ways you can do it:

A) You can have the studio where you recorded your music do it, however you need to insure that they have their own mastering equipment or you may simply be transferring your already finished mix from one source to another. Remember, your goal is to placed the songs in the final order that you have decided on, and at a consistent volume. Your goal from a volume perspective it to make it as "hot" as possible, that ultimately means that you want the greatest overall volume achievable without distortion. You also what to make sure that each song has and appropriate amount of space between it and the next one (typically this is between 2-4 seconds). Another thing that you may wish to consider doing is to "sweeten" the mix, which means to change EQ and reverb settings on each track in order to provide the best impact of the song based on your intentions as an artist. If you have the cash and the willingness you may wish to use a mastering house.

B) At a mastering house you will be provided potential endless sonic opportunities and creative possibilities. The equipment that a good mastering-house can offer will provide you with editing capabilities of desk top computing. You will be able to edit your performance on a computer system, rerecording those tracks you may not have been very happy with, or may even replace it with one from another section of the song, or a different one for that fact... yes we are talking "cut and paste", it's not just for word processor anymore!. The technologies available today also provide the ability to add effects such as cross-fades between songs, as well as many others. The key advantages of using a mastering facility is using a fresh set of professional ears, the "mastering engineer". It opens up many other possibilities for you, such as making those final tweaks to your recording as well as offering a new perspective of hearing you music on different high quality hardware.

At EIS we can offer a number of services related to the mastering phase of your project so drop us a line at musicservices@eigg.com for further information.