Quick, easy answer. Online Mastering is basically an algorithm-and automated mastering service offered by many major recording companies today. Online Mastering services tend to offer a lower cost and quick turnaround, but at the sacrifice of more expensive formats, high-quality mastering, and even an ability to immediately process a new mix in a uniquely creative way.
In traditional Mastering, an engineer works with a large room of speakers. Mastering begins with just one speaker playing a track, followed by another, usually the left or right side of the studio. Next, tracks are played from a main stereo track, and then from a surround sound track. The engineer mixes the first track and sends it out to all artists and engineers. They are then mixed and edited with additional speakers and any other tracks that need cutting.
With online mastering services, the engineer has to do everything manually. First, he has to send each track individually to each engineer. Then, he has to manually mix all of those tracks using his own preferred mastering tools. Even though he doesn’t have to leave his desk, he still has to listen to each track over again in order to make sure that it’s being mixed and edited correctly.
Although most engineers have mastered their local studios using hardware and software, this method is usually not ideal. Many amateur audio engineers have mastered their own tracks and played them for others, but those amateur engineers typically don’t have good enough equipment, software, or training to produce a final mastered product that will be acceptable to a label. Mastering online, on the other hand, is done entirely digitally, using powerful programs like ProTools that allow engineers to quickly and easily edit, mix, and master their audio tracks.
Using Online Mastering services allows an engineer to create multiple mixes of each track. He can do this by cropping individual tracks, combining them, adding other sounds, and much more. He can even compress and enhance the songs digitally. An engineer can even add effects to the songs and different parts of the audio tracks using various plugins. The possibilities for audio engineering with online mastering services is nearly limitless.
In today’s world, there is so much going on that sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of everything. Audio engineers are very handy people to have on board, especially when it comes to mixing tracks and editing them digitally. You can guarantee that when you call an engineer to come and do something for your track that he’ll be able to complete your project exactly how you want it done. So if you’re ready to take your music to the next level, you might want to consider an online mastering studio. There are several out there to choose from, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that fits your needs.