Making the Master Disc

I am currently waiting for the master disc to arrive to me in the mail so I can give it a final listen. Note to all of you out there who get to this point in your work. This is the point, after the hours of songwriting, pre-production, recording, dubbing, mixing, listening, and finally mastering to pay close attention to this one final detail. Look at it in this light.
Sending the master off for pressing is like coloring something in with a permanent marker. This is the point where everything is distilled down on two stereo tracks of audio, your baby, and it this will be the way it will sound to everyone who listens to it.
Something to keep in mind before sending it off. This would actually be in the mixing phase: reference the overall sound in different sources. Granted the days, at least for everyone but true audiophiles, of the HI-FI are almost gone and your listener will be hearing your work on some really tinny sounding ear buds or through their car radio it is good to play the thing on as many sources as you can (the old boom box, the house speakers, your own tinny earbuds, a good set of cans) and get the feel of how it is going to sound on these different sources.
Though this may be the new age of the single those of you who are still thinking in album terms need to have the first three songs be the ones that are the strongest. Of course you want all of them to be the strongest but you have to be honest with yourself and not scared to ask others what they think, given that you think their taste is important. Or it might be good to have someone just randomly listen and tell you their first three favorites. Often people’s, and your own, first instinct, the gut one, is usually right so don’t forget this.
Depending on the mood you want the overall thing to have I would even chart it out with a curve representing your strongest material at the front and arching down and then back up at the end if you want to impact the listener. Just remember to put it out their early with the strong stuff, the songs you get the best response from.
Best of luck if you have reached this point. And those of you who dream of putting that first disc or album out: Get with it! The process becomes much better after you get that first one under your belt. Take mental notes and learn how do improve each time there after.
Go practice your guitar!

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