We are soon going to be recording what will most likely be our upcoming debut album. The songs will be recorded in a modest studio with help from the guy who owns it. He offers us help with both the recording and mixing.

What he doesn't do however, is mastering. Now, we don't have a label yet but we will try to get signed as soon as the album is recorded. Is mastering necessary for us?

Obviously we believe in our music and want it to sound the best way possible. If mastering helps this then it's a no-brainer. Will it though?

We will probably send the recording/mixing to a professional studio for the mastering if it's necessary. Unfortunately we don't have the budget to record and mix our stuff in a professional studio, but the mastering we can afford. What do you think?
depends on whan your goals are... if you plan to put your music on web, then master should be applied in order to enhence lower frequencies because comp speakers usually dont produce lower range that good... then again, if you are to put it on a cd, again mastering must be applied... companies who make cds usually require a mastered track...

just 2 out of million examples...
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See if you can get signed firsthand, remember to say that it hasn't been mastered yet, but that it will be.
Yeah mastering is pretty necessary, it normalizes the volume throughout the track. If someone turns it up to hear it on their car radio, they might get blasted when the heavy part kicks in, Mastering prevents this.

There was something on this in the columns section about a week ago.

EDIT: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_home_recording_studio_survival_guide_chapters_1-6.html

I know you're not using a home studio, but there is good information on Mastering in this article. Its under the second-last heading: "Mastering The Compressor"
Last edited by Icarus Lives at Jul 27, 2010,
Mastering is going to be necessary. Another point that doesn't appear to have been brought up by other posters is that if you're shopping around for a label / trying to sell your CD / trying to make people like your album mastering evens out the entire album. One poster said that within specific songs mastering will help to even out loud vs soft parts. While this may be true to an extent that should be done in the mixing, not mastering. Mastering is more useful for getting volumes across the entire CD even. Big bands need this because often times different producers produce songs, so the levels across each individual songs in the album are uneven. Mastering corrects this. Otherwise, some of your songs may be offensively loud, followed by a song that is difficult to hear without cranking your stereo.