My Band Recorded An EP, Should I Have It Mastered?

My band recorded an EP with Ableton Live. It sounds good, but it’s not professionally recorded. With this said, is it possible to bring the files to someone to professionally master?

I would like to help with some advice. Mastering is what makes your recording “Radio Ready.” It is the final stage every recording artist needs before releasing an album. They add final compression and EQ, look for trouble frequencies, and sometimes apply additional effects. It is a subtle process that can make or break a great recording. Too often bands skip this step, and attempt to do it themselves or pay someone $20.00 from a no-name website. I have worked with many artists, and they all have their recordings mastered. If you go cheap, you’re wasting your money. I usually pay about $150.00 a song, and only use top mastering facilities. These are pros with rooms and equipment designed for the sole purpose of mastering, and not just a plug-in!

That said, you mentioned the song is not professionally recorded. If that is true, I wouldn’t waste my money on mastering. I get recordings from artists all the time. No matter how good the song, I won’t listen to more that thirty seconds of it if the recording is less than top notch. The first song I released to radio stations years ago was a great Christian song. I can’t begin to tell you how many radio stations stated they loved the song, but would not play it because the production was not up to their standards. Sadly, I spend many hours recording the song and had it mastered.

If you’re just selling it to friends… go for it. However, if you want to shop it to the industry and seek radio airplay, either spend more time leaning audio production and migrate to Pro Tools, or go to a good studio.

God Bless, and Good Luck!