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Chapter 19. Mastering > The Case for Professional Mastering

The Case for Professional Mastering

If you are releasing a CD on a commercial label or plan to print CDs in large quantities to be sold for profit, you should seriously consider hiring a professional mastering engineer. Top mastering engineers have the experience, ears, and gear to make your mixes sound fantastic. They spend their lives listening to full program material and getting it to sound its best, and they are paid handsomely to do so. A good mastering engineer can make a huge difference in the sound of your tracks and can be worth every penny he or she charges.

There are also bad mastering engineers, just as there are bad recording engineers, bad drummers, and bad kissers. You should avoid all of them with equal determination. It's entirely appropriate to ask for a sample from a mastering engineer, and be sure to ask for—and listen to—“before” and “after” tracks before agreeing to a deal.


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