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How much headroom should you leave for mastering?

When mixing down your song you will want to leave a bit of headroom for when it gets mastered. Mastering is the final polishing of a track with overall compression, equalization and making a bit louder without distortion. So the mastering engineer needs a bit of room to work with. If you submit him a mixed track that is too loud or hot, the final mastered track will be most likely sound too squashed and or distorted. See when you add EQ, you are also adding some volume to the track because you are essentially raising the volume of certain frequencies of the song. So most engineers say to leave them at least -2 to -3db of space for them to work with. Also, never compress the overall track before mastering.

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www.hardcorejamz.com (Playing Hip-Hop and R&B)
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Submit music on either site

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