The Cost and Value of Mastering
What can one realistically expect to pay for mastering?
The range is huge and one tends to get what one pays for. Here is a good guide (for a 10-12 track record):
· $200-$300 - Cheaper options /mainly online
· $700-$2000 - An engineer with a fair amount of experience, and this usually allows for a full day in the mastering studio and a couple revisions.
· $2000 + - usually multiple days in the mastering studio, or one of the top mastering engineers around (Bob Ludwig, Doug Sax)
Fitting Mastering Into The Budget
Mastering is the final stage of the recording-making process, and it is by no means the least important. If one considers all the time that one spends making the record, the money for the recording, the mixing, hiring musicians, and the amount of CDs/downloads to be sold (etc), paying a little more for quality mastering amounts to not much extra cost per unit. One should try and budget for this at the beginning stages of the recording process, even though mastering is the final step!