If you’re interested in using AudibleOddities for your next project and would like to talk, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to discuss your project over the phone or email. Please refer to the specifications, recommendations, and guidelines below for a fairly straightforward overview of what we will want from you.
• File Types:
Please supply your files in their native resolution. Don’t upsample or downsample them. We prefer to work with 24bit files, but we accept any combination of bit and sample rates, and virtually any file type, though Wave and AIFF are the most common.
Be careful to send files that haven’t clipped 0dBFS in your DAW and avoid sending songs that have been squashed using limiter plug-ins. In mastering, we can get it just as loud, and usually much louder while retaining more punch and transient clarity. Bypass any plug-ins that exist on the main output channel that you are using solely for level. That’s not to say you should remove everything on the master channel, just the final limiter. If there are plug-ins on the master channel, such as compressors or EQ’s that you feel contribute to the songs character and feel, by all means leave those there. But it’s important that you don’t clip the master channel, not only to allow us room to work, but also to allow for as much clarity as possible in the finished product. And as a reference, if you mixed into a limiter, you can also send the version with the limiting or clipping so we have an idea of the level you were shooting for.
• Mastered For ITunes (MFiT):
AudibleOddities is an Apple approved supplier of MFiT masters. If you’re selling your music on iTunes and would like to take advantage of Apple’s new “Mastered For iTunes (MFiT)” format, you’ll need to supply us with 24bit mixes. Ideally, the sample rates should also be higher than the standard 44.1kHz with 96kHz being preferred, but currently, only the 24bit specification is mandatory. We’ll retain this high resolution through the entire mastering path, and carefully prepare the masters according to the MFiT specifications. Masters created for this format can be up to 1-2dB lower in volume to account for inter-sample-peaks (ISP’s) and clipping which can become distortion during playback of the AAC format. Put simply, files prepared for MFiT will play distortion-free, providing the end-listener the highest fidelity in a lossy format.
• Track Notes:
It’s helpful if you can point out anything specific about the songs you’d like addressed that you couldn’t accomplish in the mixing stage. Include these in the track-notes field located on the project form.
• Cross Fades:
If your project includes cross-fading between songs, send songs that have already been cross-faded and then cut into separate tracks. We can maintain their seamless transitions during mastering. Or, provide us with as specific times as possible regarding your desired overlaps between songs.
• Fades In & Out:
Please include fade-out times if you have a specific requirement, otherwise we will use our own discretion when truncating and adding fades to the beginnings and ends of files. If you’ve already done the fades and/or trimmed the files, let us know and we’ll preserve them.
• Stem Mastering:
Stem mastering can be a great way for us to correct problems or make changes without affecting other components of the mix. Essentially, we’re still just mastering it as we would a stereo file, but because everything is separated into groups, we have a greater degree of control over how we make changes. The main problem we run into is that this process can be mistaken for handling some or all aspects of mixing the song, which we don’t do. So you want to get everything exactly as you think it should sound before you print stems. Please note, stem mastering is billed differently than stereo mixes. Please check the rates page for pricing.
When supplying stems, make sure they are synchronized, beginning at the same timestamp. Each stem represents a submix of song components. For example:
Stem 1: Percussive elements.
Stem 2: Bass Instruments.
Stem 3: Guitars, Lead Synths, etc.
Stem 4: Vocals, Chorus.
Stem 5: Hi-Hats, Cymbals, or any intricate detailed samples sitting up in the top of the frequency spectrum.
ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, independent of the format on which it appears (CD, audio file, etc.) or the rights holders involved. ISRC’s are widely used in digital commerce by download sites and collecting societies and they provide the means to identify recordings for royalty payments. In mastering, we can embed your ISRC’s into a DDP or CD master but standard Wave files don’t currently support them as metadata. You can get your codes by applying here: https://usisrc.org
• CD Text and Metadata:
CD Text is different than what you see when you load a CD into iTunes and the information automagically loads. CD Text is stored on the physical CD for the purpose of displaying album information in compatible CD players. But the information that shows up in iTunes is pulled from online databases, like CDDB or Gracenote. We handle CD Text here in mastering but this online information can be submitted by anyone using iTunes or any equivalent program supporting submissions to online databases. We recommend you take a CD that you get back from replication, insert it into the CD drive in your computer, and then with iTunes, tag the album exactly the way you want it to appear for others. Choose “Submit CD Track Names” from the advanced menu and this ensures you are the first to submit the info to the online database so the information will appear for everyone just the way you intended it.