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Guidelines (In brief) -

  • Output Level - At the songs loudest point you should be no higher than -5db.
  • Format - WAV or AIF Uncompressed Audio, Stereo Interleaved.
  • Multiple Songs to Upload? - To make your upload faster, pack your files into one file using WinZIP, WinRAR or Stuffit.
  • References - You can include a commercially released song, as a guide for how you intend your master to sound.
  • Email us to confirm receipt of your upload - info@headroommastering.com

    Don't worry if you don't understand any of the guidelines, just Email us and we'll be happy to help you through the process
File Preparation Guidelines
How to correctly prepare your audio files for the best mastering results
The Peak Level / Your Output Level
  • Please check that you have 5db of headroom in your audio.
  • In other words - The loudest part of your song (or the peak) should be no higher than -5db (Minus 5db).
    0db is the ceiling for digital audio, having your audio peaking at -5db will give you 5db headroom.
  • The number one mistake for clients submitting songs is an export level that is too hot and soft clipping / distortion is introduced into the audio.
    For more information on the term 'clipping' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipping_(audio) 
  • If possible - Please leave 20 seconds of silence at the start of the song.
    If you have already done your own fade out at the end of the song then leave 1 extra second of silence after the fade.
Stereo Buss / Main Output Mix Effects
  • Please do not add EQ, Compression or Limiting, etc to the entire mix.
    For example don't add a limiter or compressor to the stereo buss / main output and then export your final mix with it on.
Sample Rate
  • Keep the final in the native sample rate that you've been working.
    Acceptable sample rates are 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz.
    The sample rate of an audio CD is 44.1 kHz.
Bit Depth
  • Bit depth can be 16,24 or 32 bit.
    The bit depth of an audio CD is 16 bit.
File Format
  • Files should be Stereo interleaved and uncompressed.
    WAV or AIF files are preferred.

  • MP3's are accepted but please be aware that the file size compression applied to an audio file to create an MP3 will degrade the quaility. They are considered a low quality format.
    Here is some more information on MP3 compression audio quality - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#Audio_quality
File Name
  • Please ensure that your songs are correctly named.
Album Length
  • Full length albums should be under 74 minutes in length minutes to adhere to the "Redbook" standard.
    This will make sure that there will be no errors during the duplication process

Please feel free to Email us with your questions

Headroom Mastering
PO Box 34, Waldwick, NJ 07463, USA.
Phone: (973) 551 0394