What if I can’t afford mastering?

In by Blake Eiseman

As I said in the question above, I am not a mastering engineer. I understand, however, that budgets can sometimes be tight these days. So as an alternative, if your budget simply does not allow for the added expense of mastering, I can include a “mastered” reference along with the mix. Please discuss this with me before the mix process begins, since my mix packages do not include a mastered version.

Also, I need to be clear that I do not pretend to be able to master at the same level as a dedicated mastering engineer. I simply offer this as a courtesy to those who have no other alternative. I still strongly recommend that you use the first option, and have a mastering professional master your music.