For many, online mastering seems like something you’d only use in two circumstances: You’re either in a rush or are short on cash.

The reason some people have this image of online mastering is because there are a lot of so-called “Budget studios” that only charge $5-$30 a track and guarantee a quick turnaround time.

Usually, these studios are amateurs who do the work on their home computer. You then hear stories about these studios giving back masters no better (or even worse) than what you sent!

The truth is that the studio is not so much important as the engineer you get to master your tracks.

It doesn’t matter if you’re online or off, if you don’t have a professional working on your music, then you’re probably not going to get a quality result.

With that said, online mastering also has much more to offer than most realize. And, in fact, is much better than offline studios in many respects with the right engineer.

One of the key reasons is because the time spent mastering your music is 100% productive. You don’t have to travel anywhere to get to the studio and sit there while the engineer works.

Often this can take-up valuable time and distract the engineer from doing the best job.

Because when the engineer is alone he or she can take his time to test various adjustments to find the best sounding combinations. If you’re still waiting in the studio, the engineer often feels pressured to make the adjustments more quickly.

With online mastering, communication is quick and easy through email or over the phone. If you have an idea in the middle of the night, then you can quickly notify the engineer.

As a result, the engineer has the freedom to do his or her thing without any pressure, but while still having and following your input—so you get the best possible result.

Then, when the engineer’s done, he can send you over the music instantly through the internet for your review. And, if something needs to be changed, it takes only a few minutes to tell the engineer.

You don’t have to return to the studio or ship anything back.

Additionally, this also means you’re usually going to pay less – because the engineer does not have to spend as much time like in a offline session, while still being able to achieve the same and even better results.

Plus, another key benefit is that online mastering engineers often have more experience with different types of music. Since people throughout the world use their services, they’ve heard it all. And know exactly how to improve your music to get the best sound.

Offline studios often only have experience with a certain type of music that is popular in the area.

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.