Online Mastering for Compact Disc and Digital Media


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Online mastering is the final process your music passes through on its passage from inception to the listening experience. Mastering will ensure that your songs are set to reproduce proper tonal balance and dynamic enhancement for digital distribution. Simply said, mastering is what makes your assorted group of songs into an evenly mixed recording.

The popular notion that mastering is primarily about optimizing levels, has unfortunately drawn many engineers, as well as novices, into the mastering arena. The outcome has resulted in overly compressed and processed tracks with borderline distortion. These days especially with the growth of home studios that may not have the luxury of an acoustically designed studio,  mastering has become one of the most important steps in the process of creating a file for digital distribution or compact disc.  Modern recorded music needs to translate and sound its best on a wide variety of playback systems from ear buds to high-end audiophile equipment. Only with the use of a professionally designed audio studio is this possible.

Remember, you will not be ‘mastering online’ using a computer algorithm, rather you will be using the Creative Audio Works website to send your tracks to us.  Your songs will then be mastered in the traditional format – in a professional mastering studio. We work closely with each artist to make sure they get the sound they want.

Mastering engineer Stewart Adam, with 35 plus years of audio experience, uses our state of the art studio design, mastering equipment and software that allows Creative Audio Works to provide outstanding audio mastering services at affordable rates.

Contact Creative Audio Works for more information

Free Mastering for 1 song

Wondering how your original music will sound?  Try us risk free. We are confident that once you hear firsthand how your track sounds after being mastered by Creative Audio Works, you’ll want the same treatment for all your tracks! Contact Creative Audio Works for more information about your project or upload your file here through our We Transfer account.

Online Mastering and Restoration for Re-issue

Many record companies reissue analog recordings from a bygone era into digital formats. Creative Audio Works has been providing audio restoration services for 15 years and now with our online mastering service we can help you with your reissue of classic recordings.

Here is one example of a before and after mastering for the release of “One-By-One” preformed by the Bedrock






Before and after mastering completed for So Cruel preformed by Mutt.






Before and after mastering of Acid Easy preformed by The Guestz.





The Process

During the mastering process there are many adjustments that are made depending on the musical genre, instruments, and mixed levels. Some of the expertises the mastering engineer will provide include:

  • Lend an objective “ear”
  • Stereo Field Optimization
  • Tonal balance of each track
  • Dynamic compression and limiting
  • Eliminate noises between tracks
  • Adjust fade on each song as required
  • Optimize spacing between tracks for best listening experience
  • Add ISRC codes for distribution rights
  • Add CD-Text information (Artist, Title, Track Names, etc)
  • Create a Master Disc
  • Special attention in noise reduction, if needed at additional cost.*

Sending your Files

Please send the final mix of each song you want us to master. We request that you turn off effects, compression, equalization, loudness maximizes, multiband processing etc. on the mix sum buss. Before uploading your tracks check the mix to assure that no clipping has occurred while recording. We recommend that you leave at least 3db headroom before clipping. This means the peaks of the signal should never exceed the -3db mark.

Finally, for professional mastering results we need WAV or AIFF files of at least 16 or 24-bit resolution (24-bit resolution is preferred) with a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz or better. Please do not upload any file formats reduced to MP3 or equivalent lossy audio formats, which are inferior quality.

Mastering Rates*

1 Track  –  $ 75.00
2 Tracks – $145.00
3 Tracks – $210.00
4 Tracks – $270.00
5 Tracks – $325.00
6 Tracks – $375.00
7 Tracks – $420.00
8 Tracks – $460.00

Each additional track – $55.00 (example 10 tracks will cost $570.00)

Red Book CD and DDP Mastering

Red Book CD Master. $45.00
DDP Master. $45.00.

Audio Restoration

*Additional noise reduction will be charged @ $75 per hour and billed in ¼ hour increments there after.

ISRC Codes (International Standard Recording Code)

ISRC codes are assigned to songs and encoded onto a CD for tracking purposes (royalties, etc.). Each song will have a unique code that’s a series of 12 letters and numbers (think of it as a special bar code for each song). To obtain an ISRC code, you’ll need to register with the RIAA. The RIAA charges a one-time fee of $75 to register. To get your codes, visit the RIAA Web Site to register.

DDP Image File Option

The DDP (Disc Description Protocol) delivery format is the standard for delivering projects to CD duplication and replication facilities. DDP is a series of data files that can be read by CD replicators. These are not music files that can be played on a standard CD player. These are strictly data files and represent the most reliable way of submitting your project to a replicator. 

Audio CD-R 

This delivery format is an Audio CD that can be played on standard CD players. The sound quality of your replicated CDs will be identical whether you choose a DDP Image file, or an Audio CD-R as your replication master.

Your Project

If you are ready to begin your mastering project, visit our Project Submission Online form to begin.

After uploading your work it will be checked and approved. You will be notified regarding payment at that time. 
 When payment is received mastering will commence. We use Square Up to securely process payments. Your files are delivered as digital files for internet delivery depending on your needs or a DDP file for CD replication.  

Payments are processed via Square Up.



Contact Creative Audio Works for more information about your mastering project.