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How to submit your music to The SoundLAB for audio mastering

There are a few technical aspects to keep in mind when delivering your music to us. But don’t let that intimidate you. We’ll walk you through how to properly submit your music so you can get the most out of your master.

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Delivery format

We recommend hi-resolution formats such as WAV or AIFF files at 24-bit/44.1K (or higher sampling rates). Compressed file formats such as MP3, AAC, or WMA files are not recommended as a source for mastering.

Can’t submit a hi-res version? We also accept any of the following formats:

  • Audio CD
  • Data Files at 16-bit/44.1K sampling rate (WAV, AIFF, FLAC, etc.) on CD-R, DVD-R, flash drive, or via upload
  • Digital Audio Tape (DAT)
  • DDP file sets (on CD, DVD-R, flash drive, or via upload)
  • 1/2" or 1/4" Analog Tape

*See below for additional technical information for analog tapes

It is recommended that processes such as compression, limiting, maximizing, etc. are not applied on the stereo buss during mixdown. A master that arrives already compressed and/or limited greatly reduces the ability of our mastering engineer to deliver the best sounding audio master possible.

What to keep in mind during your mixdown

Masters with excessive levels, clipping, or audible distortion may also prevent us from mastering your music project to its fullest potential. Leaving 3-4 dbs of headroom during mixdown is a good rule to follow to avoid clipping and distortion on your master.

If any of the above issues are found on your submitted master we may request that you correct the issue and submit a new master before we proceed.

The SoundLAB mastering questionnaire

It is very important that you download and fill out The SoundLAB mastering questionnaire to help our mastering engineers get the most out of your audio master.

If you are submitting a physical master, please include a copy of The SoundLAB mastering questionnaire with it.

If you are uploading your master you will be able to fill out a SoundLAB questionnaire during the upload process that will be submitted electronically with your files.

*Additional analog tape technical requirements:

  • Analog tape must be ½” or ¼” 30 ips, 15 ips, or 7 1/2 ips
  • Alignment (test) tones at head: 1 kHz, 10 kHz, and 100 kHz at 0 dB operating level
  • Indicate type of noise reduction, if any, and include proper tones
  • Leader tape at head and tail of tape (15 seconds minimum) and two to four seconds in between songs
  • Tape slow-wound, tails out, in properly labeled box

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