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What is mastering?

Ever wondered why your tracks sound quieter and smaller than the billboard charting music? Best sounding music is well balanced in tone and dynamics. This is what good mastering can achieve. A good master can sound effortlessly loud and emotionally impactful.

What is the best loudness target for mixing?

There is no one target. Every song has its own comfort zone. General recommendation is to avoid unnecessary gain reduction (compression, limiter, etc) for the sake of loudness measurement.

Generally speaking, if your mixes are anywhere between -24.0 ~ -10.0 LUFS, and has a maximum peak value of -12.0 ~ -1.0 dBFS, you have nothing to worry about.

Which sample rate and bit depth should I export my tracks for mastering?

Export your tracks in the sample rate and bit depth you used to record/mix. No need to up-sample or down-sample. 32 bit float is great, 24 bit is absolutely fine, and 16 bit is ok too.

Why do I need mastering?

Mastering can enhance already great parts, reveal potential weak elements, and optimize your songs as a wholeExperienced mastering engineers know exactly how your songs will translate from your mixing environment to real world playback systems (earbuds, cars, etc.)

What is the best loudness for mastered tracks?

It all depends on the vibe of your song. Some songs can be pushed to the limit and still sound great, while other songs should preserve their dynamic range to sound most compelling. Generally speaking, anywhere between -8.0 ~ -14.0 LUFS is a good landing spot for popular music

What is loudness normalization?

It is a song-to-song automatic volume adjustment feature that streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify use. Loud tracks are turned down so they can be played back to back with not-so-loud tracks without volume bumps

How should I prepare my mixes for mastering?

Export your stereo tracks in WAV (.wav) format in the sample rate and bit depth you used to record/mix. Send it over to us via Google Drive, WeTransfer, Dropbox, or any other file transfer services.

What is ISRC?

ISRC is a 12 characters long ID that acts like a digital fingerprint for each of your song. Most of the popular distribution services (CD Baby, TuneCore, DistroKid, etc.) will automatically assign ISRCs for your songs so you don't need to worry about anything.

What is immersive (spacial) audio?

In immersive audio, you can surround the listener from all directions with your music. Both Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio are designed to work well on headphones.

Are different masters needed for streaming, YouTube, SNS, CD, vinyl, cassette tape, etc?

We deliver a master file that can be used for most distributions: Streaming releases, CDs, and SNS posts.

For vinyls and cassette tapes, a totally different master must be made (at an additional cost). We can also create a DDP file for traditional CD manufacturing. However, Ecotone Lab does not cut vinyls.

For YouTube, a dedicated different master can be made, upon request at an additional cost, that is optimized for YouTube's loudness normalization. This can be helpful for tracks that are mastered really loud and still need to translate well on YouTube's normalization that users cannot disable.

How can I do immersive audio?

You can start by mixing in stereo and then expand into immersive audio, or you can start mixing in immersive audio right away! Either way, feel free to contact us for an advice or to go immersive with us!

How should I prepare for immersive audio format mastering?

For Dolby Atmos, please prepare ADM BWF files.


For 360 Reality Audio, please prepare SAM/WAV file sets.

If you haven't mixed in immersive audio formats, contact us for immersive audio mixing!

Can you do stem mastering?

Yes. If you are in need for stem mastering, feel free to contact us!

Can you do in-person attended sessions?

Ecotone Lab is located outside of central Tokyo and we usually do not take in-person attended sessions. If you want to see Toshi in person, please contact Saidera Mastering where he also works at.

What if I don't like the master?

We offer 1 free alternate version, so feel free to ask for a fix/change! 

First time customer discount?

YES! Use promo code: FIRSTTIME25 for 25% off discount!

Do you cut vinyl?

No, Ecotone Lab does not cut vinyls. But we can direct you to a great vinyl cutting facilities! Contact us if you are interested.

Can I cancel my order?

Yes, however, we cannot promise a full refund after the mastering process has begun.

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