Golden Mastering

Source Preparation


This is a list of guidelines to use when preparing a source recording for mastering. Adherence to the following will speed the mastering process and help ensure that the end result matches what you want. If you have any questions that are not answered below, please contact us.

Accepted Source Formats

  • Audio Files via ftp: WAV, AIFF. Sample rates 44.1 - 96k (24bit)
  • DAT (44.1 or 48 kHz @ 16 bit)
  • Data CDR/DVD (WAV, AIFF or SDII Files up to 96k)
  • Masterlink CD24 (44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96 kHz @ 16, 20 or 24 bits)
  • Tascam DV-RA1000 DVDRW
  • 1/2" or 1/4" Analog Tape @ 15 or 30 ips (Dolby A or SR)

General Guidelines for Preparing a Source Recording

  • Sequence the songs in the order they are to play on the final master. Pause times between songs may be approximate. For only vinyl orders, Single wav files for sides A and B may be submitted along with a song time PDF or Text file
  • Please clearly label the tape reels & Boxes, discs as well as song file names. (Band name, title, song titles & times, record label, product number, disc 1 of 3, etc.) Provide a clearly written legend of the song titles, individual song times, and total running time. If there is to be vinyl or cassette mastering, indicate where the side break will occur, and list total time for each side.
  • Be sure to make a safety back up before sending us your only copy.
  • Listen back to the entire recording to make sure that there are no abnormalities: pops, ticks, glitches, drop-outs, etc. Make sure no beginnings or endings of songs are clipped off.
  • Provide any special instructions that you would like the mastering engineer to know about your program. Any specific changes that you would like to hear need to be stated. If there is anything that sounds like a mistake, but is actually intentional be sure to make a note of that as well.
  • When in doubt, do not trim the starts or fade the endings of any songs. In some cases the mastering process can reveal clipped intros and linear fades that "drop off" at the end.
  • Everything that is on your tape will end up on the final product unless stated otherwise. This is especially important when referring to count offs, talking, and other room noises at the beginning and ending of songs.
  • If you have any questions at all please contact us. We will be very happy to help you.

Data Files Via ftp

  • please contact us via email or phone first before sending any files (send contact person / info along with files)
  • Files can be sent via or your preferred ftp meathod.
  • If files are labaled differently than what is on the order form, please let us know or rename the files accordingly.
  • When titling the audio files, include the song order #  along with the song title and file.
     (i.e. 01 song.wav    02 song.wav   03 song.wav etc..)

Audio CDR

  • Use a reliable name brand CDR.
  • When making an audio CDR with a computer's CD writer, make sure it is a closed session (a.k.a. "Fixed Up") and will play in a standard cd player.
  • Writting a CDR at a faster speed can sometimes cause dropouts, glitches and data loss. Please listen back to your CDR before sending it.


  • Use a reliable name brand Disc.
  • Indicate the resolution and bit rate of the files (i.e. 96 kHz @ 24 bit, 44.1 @ 16 bit, etc.)
  • Accepted file types include AIFF, WAV, SDII or Masterlink CD24 AIFF files
  • (44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96k @ 16, 20 or 24 bits).
  • When titling the song files, include the song order # , song title and file extensions. 
     (i.e. 1song.aif    2song.aif    3song.aif    7 song.aif etc.. or 3song.wav    4song.wav)

Analog Tape

  • Accepted formats are 1/2" or 1/4" two-track tape at either 15 or 30 IPS. Dolby SR and Dolby A encoding are fine. There is an extra charge for DBX.
  • Alignment tones are crucial to the accurate reproduction of your music on a machine other than the one on which it was made. Please provide the following tones at the beginning of your tape: 1 kHz 1min, 10 kHz, 30sec.100 Hz, 30sec.50 Hz.30sec.