Mastered for iTunes
Mickey Wilson is an Apple approved 'Mastered for iTunes' mastering house. If you are interested in having your music mastered by Mickey and are wanting to submit your music through your publisher to have an MFiT badge and be placed into the respective category in the iTunes Store® or Apple Music store, then please read carefully below for simple pricing and mandatory guidelines.
|1 - 3 Songs||4 - 6 Songs||7 - 10+ Songs|
|Mastering||$35 per song||$30 per song||$25 per song|
NOT SO SIMPLE MANDATORY GUIDELINES:
If you are wanting your music mastered by Mickey Wilson, please make sure you follow these important bullet points:
- When you send your mix, please make sure that your mix is FINAL and you are satisfied with the mix on its own. Once the mix is mastered it will be baked, meaning that there is a point of no return; I can only make a few adjustments to the final product before determining it is a mix issue. Please please please do your best to make sure your mix is 100% solid and ready for the mastering process. If you are unsure, take your time and adjust your mix as needed.
- NO COMPRESSION OR EQUALIZATION! Please do not apply any compression/equalization to your stereo output bus or master bus. There absolutely cannot be any compression here, since this will be squashing the music and will make it considerably harder to give you a quality product and allow the mastering process to be properly executed. (Compression on individual tracks/drums is okay here, however if you are squashing/compressing an individual track, keep in mind it is still going to reduce dynamic range and overall quality of the individual track. There are cases where it is okay to compress on track stems; this is a case by case basis and needs to be adjusted with taste. Please refer to any informative teachings about compression if you are unsure about this or unsure what compression means. If you are having a mix engineer do this, then they should already know)
- GIVE ME HEADROOM! I require at least -6dbfs to -3dbfs of TRUE PEAK headroom, however I prefer you or your mixing engineer to bounce your mix tracks at -20dbfs of RMS or -23 LUFS. This will ensure proper Signal-to-Noise ratio, dynamic range, and prevent clipping. If your mix has peaked to even -1db, there is a good chance that it will still clip when analog/digital conversion is applied, therefore the lower the better.
- 24-BIT .WAV FORMAT! This is extremely important. Since Apple's MFiT guidelines require a 24-bit recording, please make sure that in your entire process from start to finish with your music (even from when it was recorded) is 24-bit. If you have any audio that has gone to 16-bit, it cannot be up-converted. Keep in mind that there are certain cases where some audio/sfx in your music may be 16-bit. This is okay, however 95% of your music must be 24-bit. Plus, 24-bit sounds so much better than 16-bit! We're beyond the technical advancements of Compact Discs.
- 44100 khz - 192000 khz SAMPLE RATE. Just as above with 24-bit recording, please make sure that your music is recorded at the highest sample rate possible. If you send a 44100 khz your music won't necessarily sound considerably better than a Compact Disc, however the 24-bit will still help out. Apple doesn't disqualify music if it's at 44100 khz, but it also isn't looked upon as the "best" sound quality available. If it is a soundtrack, you must send your music at whatever the sample rate would be used for the movie. As long as the sample rate meets within these specifications listed, then it will be acceptable. (Again, the higher the better)
- TRY IT YOURSELF! Now, if you are a musician/composer and you do not trust yourself with mastering, I understand. I had the same thought once, however I decided to take the proper steps and gain all the knowledge possible from many various sources, including but not limited to: books from libraries, online tutorials, forums, and even world renowned/famous mastering engineers. Typically you want another set of ears to process your mastering, but if you are convinced you have a great set of ears and you are willing to trust yourself, then be like Shia LaBeouf and JUST DO IT! If you are willing to help yourself learn how to master, I am more than welcome to provide some tips if you have questions. Please feel free to contact me via my contact form in the header. Also if I may highly suggest, please purchase Bob Katz' 'Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science' (3rd edition). This book contains pretty much everything you need to know. I do not recommend reading this book until you have learned from all other sources though, as the book is quite complex and may confuse easily since there are a lot of concepts and terms that may be difficult for some to understand who may not be as familiar. I also recommend his 1st edition copy. They have their differences, but they both are important as the K-20 scale is still a fundamental part to how I master, fusing this with the LUFS scale.
- NO GUARANTEES! This is probably the most important bullet point I would like to focus on. Regarding the fact that Apple has a specific set of requirements for Mastered for iTunes placement, there is a possibility that your music may not be compatible. By the end of the day, I have to approve your music to make sure it adheres to Apple's policies and concurrently I also have a reputation to protect. Typically I can make any mix that follows my guidelines a great Mastered for iTunes master, however there are still cases where there may be some type of issue with the mix from the mixing engineer. There is a loudness plague going around, and the loudness war appears to have been won by the EBU and ITU international committees. There are still mixing engineers and mastering engineers in the industry that do not seem to care about these laws and guidelines regarding loudness, and continue to squash their mix. I refuse to make a "loud" mix by applying large amounts of brickwall limiting. Either I will take a mix and bring down the overall volume to meet these standards, or I will simply deny it. I do not approve everyone's mixes that submit to me, and keep in mind that any mix sent to me will first need to be evaluated to make sure that the work can be done. Please do your best to protect the integrity and dynamics of your music and your mix to ensure that your music will be accepted. I will allow mastering of tracks to -14 LUFS which is radio standard such as Spotify and YouTube, but no louder than that because -14 LUFS still retains a decent amount of headroom and is now industry standard for radio play.
If you have read the above then you agree to these terms and will know that there are no refunds available after the work has been completed. If you send a mix and you have received a denial notification, please try your best to either fix your mix one last time or make the necessary changes to your future projects. You will not be charged if you send your mix and there has been no work completed. If you send your mix and it is accepted, but needs some kind of minor re-work, please do your best to have this performed in a timely manner.*
Thank you for your interest in having your music mastered for iTunes. If you would like to proceed, please contact me via the contact form in the header and in the message explain that you would like to have your music mastered for iTunes and acknowledge that you have read the pre-mastering guidelines listed above.
Film Composer | Sound Designer
*Prices above are subject to change, and also prices are for either standard mastering or MFiT mastering. Both processes are the same and Mickey Wilson masters everything to the Mastered for iTunes standard, which even more strictly the EBU R128 international standard for overall program loudness.