File Types, Sample Rates and Bit Rate
When sending digital audio files (WAV, AIFF, etc.) please use the highest sample rate and bit rate that is native of the mixing session. There is no need to down sample or up sample them in preparation for mastering. I can accept and work with almost any file type and sampling rates of up to 192kHz. 24-bit files are the most common and preferred bit rate.
To prepare a mix for mastering there is no need to use a brick wall limiter severely on the master channel. A dynamic mix will be easier to master than a squashed one with no more room for adjustments. It is important that the master channel not clip to retain all of the dynamics and transients that relate to impact and punch of the mix.
The proper stage to add fade-ins and fade-outs is during the mastering process. This allows all of the compression and equalization adjustments to be maintained through the entirety of the mix, prior to the fade-in or fade-out. If you have a specific requirement for a fade, please include that in any notes sent to the mastering engineer.
Album Title, Artist Information, Track Names and Track Order
During the mastering process and final master delivery all track titles, track order, artist information and album title will be embedded in the final master CD-R and DDP Image as CD Text. This information is stored on the CD’s table of contents and will be displayed in compatible CD players. This information differs from the track titles that are shown when the disc is loaded into iTunes. iTunes pulls its data from the online database Gracenote. If you are an independent artist working without a label or distribution you can submit the track titles from the final replicated CD from the duplication facility. From within iTunes you are able to fill in all necessary information and submit the track titles.
Along with the CD Text, ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) information also can be embedded into the final master CD-R and DDP Image. The ISRC 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. You can obtain an ISRC from either the recording label you are working with or independently on the ISRC website.