Finnish tech start-up CloudBounce recently launched their upgraded CloudBounce 2.0 mastering engine and it’s big news for producers. It’s the most advanced mastering system out there, using cutting-edge audio technology and artificial intelligence to to analyse and identify the subtle differences between genres to deliver the fastest, most versatile and highest quality automated masters yet.
We caught up with CloudBounce CEO, Anssi Uimonen to find out why he thinks it’s so important to bring mastering into your creative process, when producing tracks.
1. To Reach A Commercially Competitive Sound Quality
Mastering is a true balancing act on many different levels. By getting your music mastered, you will make sure that it can stand against competition – whether it be sending out demos, jingles, stems or full songs to a label or publishing them online. Mastering is a vital finishing process to give your music that final enhancement and sheen.
Mastering will make your mix come alive with some nice added colour and take it to a commercial level with proper loudness, weight, clarity and smoothness. Don’t let your music get unnoticed and pale in comparison to others. Get it mastered properly, so that it punches well above its weight in any environment – a night club, car, radio, etc.
Example: it is a fact that most record labels and DJs receive tons of demos. Unmastered songs may go unnoticed by the receiver, as they may pale in comparison to mastered ones.
2. Bring The Best Out Of Your Music
The goal of mastering is simple: emphasize all the good qualities of your music, reach a balance, and present it in a favourable fashion. Also remove or reduce harsh qualities that affect the listening experience adversely.
Mastering is not about drastic moves: it’s more about subtly bringing those fine and favourable nuances up. However you get your songs mastered, be it an engineer or an algorithm, it’s vitally important to know your genre and its specific features for the best possible outcome.
Example: anyone who’s played non-mastered songs in a club has noticed they may come out a bit weak and with not enough impact on the dancefloor. Having your song mastered addresses this, increasing your chances of getting noticed and giving your music that little extra punch it needs.
3. Get Objective Views On Your Music
Letting someone else do the mastering can be highly valuable. You, being a producer, will always be biased about your work. After countless hours of producing and listening, it’s very easy to lose objectivity. An experienced mastering engineer or service can help by emphasizing what’s good, bad or ugly. For example, at CloudBounce we’ve seen many of our users bouncing out multiple takes of the same song – to get that instant sense of how the final outcome will be – and then going back to the mix to fix any unfavourable qualities in their mix.
The ability to get direct feedback, sharing thoughts and giving cues to another human being will lead to better results
4. Learn To Mix Better And Listen Critically
Getting your music mastered will most definitely help your mixing abilities. Although mastering is very important and has its place as the final stage of treating the audio, the mix remains the king. There’s only so much a mastering engineer or a professional service can do. If your tracks are mixed well, the mastering will be the final icing on the cake, but mastering can also help a less-than-ideal mix to an extent.
Bouncing mixes back and forth during mixing phase, or observing and discussing with an experienced mastering engineer, what he did to your track, can really aid you in learning. Training your mind and ears by critically listening to the mastered results, reference tracks and other mastered audio sources, you will learn to understand frequencies in context and mix better.
We at CloudBounce want to help producers and make mastering easy for them. We also involve them in the process by letting them use our post-mastering options to nudge the sound – to get it where you want it in terms of brightness, loudness, bass, etc. The process of letting you compare your premaster to the actual master is a great way to learn and hear what happens.
5. Close A Chapter With A Song Or Album
Being creative as a music producer isn’t a walk in the park. Due to the nature of these aspects, many of us try very hard but are often left with a pile of unfinished songs, riffs, ideas and one-minute-long overproduced jingles.
So, getting your music mastered – and entering the final stage, mastering – also means that you’ve made it! You got the song or album done, and it’s finally ready. By setting clear goals to get your music mastered can really help you set deadlines and focus on finalising a mix. Therefore, mastering can help you get there and promote the feeling of joy of your accomplishment and help you move on to new projects.
CloudBounce is offering 3 free masters to anyone who signs up to try out their brand new CloudBounce 2.0 mastering engine (offer available until end of April 2017). Go to www.cloudbounce.com/freemaster