A premaster is used as a master copy when manufacturing/duplicating CDs at the CD plant. You may have the premaster delivered to you as a digital DDP-image or as a physical CD-R. All premasters are error checked digitally, but will also be thoroughly listened to for double security.
Multichannel mastering (a.k.a. stems) provides much more flexibility for precise adjustment but is more time consuming and therefore slightly more expensive. Multichannel mastering can be especially beneficial when for some reason the mixing process has challenging due to difficult room acoustics for instance.
Free test mastering
New customers can try out this service through a free test mastering. After mastering, you get a high resolution file where the start and end of the song has been cut off. The complete master is then delivered once the mastering has been approved, and full payment has been received. Test mastering is always done as time permits.
Mastering should not be a "rescue operation". That's why all customers are offered free mix-feedback. Material entering into mastering should sound as good as possible right out of the mix. That will allow for a much better end result.
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Music In The Making is certified for Apples Mastered for iTunes and recommend it for mastering for digital distribution. Ask about ”Mastered for iTunes” before you next mastering session.
1-4 songs.............1-2 days
5-10 songs..............5 days
> 10 songs...............7 days