That song is not loud at all” we might have heard this from people all the time. There is also a group of people who are running to get the song as loud as possible. When this is all happening at the same time where would you stand when it comes to mastering would you support it or walk against it.
There are levels to mastering as well. People who master at about -14lufs they are like the sane people who you see in the real world then as it goes down to -6 and 5 lufs its like a mad world where you won’t even able to listen to it in normal speakers.
Music needs to be mastered to be perceived at the same level of loudness across all technology and devices. Mastering makes the music sound louder and increases perceived loudness.
Mastering music is needed because of a variety of reasons and we will be discussing that in this article and what are certain factors that actually influence the mastering process as well.
Strap yourself for the ride into the post-production of the music production process call as mastering, let me give you the short answer first,
How do we perceive music loudness?
There are a lot of things that go into mastering a song and some people are even religious about it, like their templates and their plugin chains and their processes. If you are interested check out my article on how the mastering process is done as well.
Even though mastering is done to polish the sound to be amazing when you listen to it on any device, certain problems come along with this. People use different levels of loudness when it comes to mastering values.
The perceived loudness also mentioned by the term called as LUFS is the actual measure of this.
Have you had an experience where you listen to a song and its loud even at an optimum volume? Its because it’s mastered in a way to be loud. Remember I talked about the insane guys at the top of this article, they do this stuff on the regular.
If you see their songs there won’t be any ups and downs in the audio waveform.
It’s like a flat rectangle, crushed to its core. That’s one way of destroying the dynamics of a song.
Btw if you are interested check my article on can you master an mp3?
Why mastering matters?
Imagine going to a rock concert and listening to Justin Bieber whisper baby baby… in your ears, that’s how it feels like when you listen to a song that is not mastered properly.
It feels as if the song has lost its power and control.
Songs are made to convey emotions and feeling the volume dynamics that are in the song actually brings out the emotions that the artists want to convey through it.
When you master the song properly the dynamics are emphasized properly. if you overdo it, you are completely destroying what the song is actually meant to do in the first place which is conveying the story.
Mastering should be a tool to make the song to convey the story better rather than a tool to make it sound better.
No matter what it is, either it is mixing or mastering whatever it’s intended to do that is what it should be doing rather than doing a whole bunch of effects that just ruins the song.
Mastering a song is absolutely necessary once it’s mixed and ready to be released out to the world. It’s an important step of the music production process as well. You cannot release a song without mastering its 20th century.
If you do that then the song is going take a big “L”
People always use the word preference a lot when it comes to mastering but you have to true to yourself when you make an artistic choice as well.
Maslin JE is a Music Producer/Composer Who has been working in the Music Industry for over 10 years. Having an evolution from being a church keyboardist to becoming a full-time entrepreneur he has gained an abundance of experience in music production and entrepreneurship.