Guidelines

Ready to submit your mixdown to us for Mastering?  We’d love to work with you!

Here are some general guidelines to help ensure the highest quality master possible.

File Type & Resolution
We will take any file type and resolution, but prefer 24 bit at native sample rate. We can take any audio file format, but please submit a lossless format if possible (WAV, AIFF, FLAC ALAC etc.). When you bounce your project from your DAW, please apply 24 bit noise shaped dither. DSP calculations extend internal word length, and by the time digital signals have hit your Master buss, they will likely be above 24 bit in length and will need to be dithered to 24 bit to be free of truncation errors.  Don’t worry about the dither noise.  24 bit dither is applied at the noise floor, which for 24 bits is -144 dbFS, well below the range of human hearing, and therefore the dither noise will not be audible.  However, if you don’t dither then truncation errors can reach as high as -96 dbFS, which can be audible at high volume!
RMS & Headroom
Ideally please mix to an RMS of -20 dbFS with your highest peaks at -6 dbFS. This will provide 14 dB Peak to Average which is ideal for Mastering. We can work with any audio as long as you have not clipped your Master Bus.  In general, it’s a good idea to leave plenty of headroom on your master bus because internal meters often report inaccurately low peak levels when they don’t account for intersample peaks.  Please also remove any limiters on your Master bus as we use state of the art limiters and can usually achieve better dynamic balance on your master bus here in the studio.
General Mixing Advice
The best mixing advice I can give is to make it sound as good as possible on as many sound systems as possible.  After you bounce out your mix that you are HAPPY with, give it a listen from beginning to end.  Listen and make sure everything is there (there aren’t any instruments muted on accident, or something that went wrong in the render).  Then, I would suggest getting away from the song for a couple weeks and then with fresh ears and a fresh perspective listen to it again without looking at your DAW!

Take a moment to really critically listening with your eyes closed.  Listen to the mix now on a few different sound systems.  Is it translating?  Get to a place where you are happy with your mix and have lived with your mix long enough to know that it is something you are truly proud of, THEN submit it to mastering.

ISRC
The 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. ISRCs are widely used in digital commerce by download sites and collecting societies. An ISRC can also be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments. At PrismaPhonic, we can embed your ISRCs into the WAVE and DDP files.  Please apply for ISRCs here: http://www.usisrc.org/