fbpx

How Much Does Music Mastering Cost? (& Is It Worth It?)

How Much Does Mastering Cost
[DISCOUNT] SAVE 10% ON The Mastering Framework

Mastering your music is very important. But music mastering can be very expensive. Is it worth it? Yes – here’s everything you need to know…


Music Mastering Cost Breakdown

Mastering costs vary based on the engineer and location

  • $50 to $200 per song
  • $500 to $2,000 for a 10-track album

Mixing and mastering together costs more

  • $150 to $700 per song
  • $1,500 to $7,000 for a 10-track album

Factors influencing mastering costs:

  • Song complexity
  • Time required to master
  • Stereo or stem mastering

Engineers may charge extra for additional services:

  • Digital noise reduction
  • Editing
  • Importing new tracks
  • MP3 conversion

Or, you could save yourself thousands and use my Mastering 101 Framework – it’s a step-by-step process that anyone can follow and is based on my own 20+ years experience working as a mastering engineer.


If you’re an musician looking to release your music, you’ve probably heard that mastering is an important step in the process. But what exactly is mastering, and how much does it cost?

First off, let’s define what mastering is. Mastering is the final stage of audio post-production, where a mastering engineer optimizes the final mix of a song for distribution.

This involves adjusting levels, applying EQ and compression, and creating a cohesive sound that translates well across all playback systems.

So why is mastering so important? Well, have you ever listened to a professionally released track and then played one of your own bedroom-produced songs right after?

The difference is usually pretty stark. Mastered tracks sound louder, clearer, and more polished. They just sound… better.

But here’s the thing: mastering is an art form, and like any art form, it takes skill, experience, and the right tools to do it well. That’s where mastering engineers come in.

Music Mastering Prices Per Track & Full Albums

Now, let’s talk about cost.

Mastering can be expensive, there’s no way around it. Rates vary depending on the engineer and their location, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 per song, or $500 to $2,000 for a 10-track album.

If you want to get your song mixed and mastered together, that’ll cost you even more – anywhere from $150 to $700 per song, or $1,500 to $7,000 for a 10-track album.

Factors that can influence the cost include the complexity of the song, the time required to master it, and whether you want it mastered in stereo or stems.

Music Mastering Cost

Some engineers may also charge extra for additional services like digital noise reduction, editing, importing new tracks, and MP3 conversion.

I’ve worked as a professional mastering engineer for almost 20 years now. My journey started when my band first got signed and I was looking at ways to supplement my income – being in a metal band seldom pays the bills. 

I worked in studios in LA and Atlanta with a huge range of artists, from KYLESA to Baroness to Katy Perry (she’s lovely, by the way), and gradually started to learn how to do audio mastering

Over the course of the next decade and half, I honed my skills, learned from some of the best audio mastering engineers in LA, and earlier this year I took my entire process – the exact process I use to professionally master music – and put it into a framework that anyone can follow. 

And the best part? You don’t need any experience software or tools. I designed the course so you can do it all using free tools like Reaper (although I have included some paid-for plugins, if you want them). 


ELECTRIKJAM Presents..

Mastering 101: The Complete Beginner’s Framework

This step-by-step framework is the exact process I use to master music professionally. It is the culmination of 20+ years of experience, condensed down into a single, easy to follow workflow


What You’ll Learn

Simple To Follow, Step-by-Step Process For Professional Audio Mastering

No Expensive Software Required, You Can Do It All Using Free Tools

Achieve consistent volume levels that match industry standards

Perfect for beginners or anyone that wants to learn the subtle art of audio mastering (without spending thousands of dollars)


Why Mastering Your Music Is Worth It

  1. Mastering ensures your songs sound professional and optimized across all playback devices and platforms. You don’t want your track to sound great in your headphones but like garbage on a car stereo or phone speaker.
  2. Mastering engineers provide an objective set of ears. They can catch mistakes and make adjustments that you might miss after hearing your own track hundreds of times.
  3. Mastering is a developed skill that takes years to perfect. Unless you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn it yourself (which I highly recommend, by the way), it’s best to leave it to the pros.
  4. Mastering can fix a lot of issues that might be present in your mix, like clicks, pops, and inconsistencies between tracks on an album.

Learn To Master Your Own Music

Now, you might be thinking, “Can’t I just master my own tracks?” And sure, you can. But it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Mastering your own music requires a level of impartiality that can be hard to achieve when you’re emotionally invested in the project.

Plus, professional mastering engineers have years of experience and access to high-end equipment that the average bedroom producer simply doesn’t have.

In terms of turnaround time, an experienced engineer can master a song in 10-20 minutes. But if you’re just starting out, it might take you an hour or more per track. For a full album, expect to wait a few days to a week to get your mastered tracks back.

Or, you can save yourself a few thousand bucks, buy my Mastering 101 Framework, and learn to do it yourself.

And once you’ve been through it 15 or 20 times, you’ll be good enough to charge for your own mastering services.

This is a seriously bankable skill, so if you want to “do music for a living” learning a skill like mastering is one of the best ways to do it.

Professional Music Mastering Services

How Much Does Music Mastering Cost? (& Is It Worth It?)
This is Bob Ludwig (AKA Golden Ears). You probably haven’t heard of him but he is known as the greatest mastering engineer to have ever graced our planet.

So, is professional mastering worth the cost? I say yes. Releasing music with subpar sound quality can actually do more harm than good – listeners might be turned off by tracks that sound amateur or unpolished.

Investing in professional mastering ensures that your music sounds its absolute best and has the best chance of success.

Of course, the cost of mastering can vary based on the reputation and experience of the engineer, as well as the quality of their equipment.

When choosing a mastering engineer, be sure to do your research – look for someone with experience in your genre and a solid track record of success.

One last thing to keep in mind: mastering engineers do not receive royalties for their work. They are paid a one-time fee for their services. So while the upfront cost may seem steep, it’s a one-and-done expense.

Bottom Line?

Mastering 101

To sum it all up: Mastering is an essential step in the music production process, but it doesn’t come cheap. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 per song, or $500 to $2,000 for a full album.

But in my opinion, it’s worth every penny. Professional mastering ensures that your music sounds its best and has the best chance of success in today’s competitive music market.


ELECTRIKJAM Presents..

Mastering 101: The Complete Beginner’s Framework

This step-by-step framework is the exact process I use to master music professionally. It is the culmination of 20+ years of experience, condensed down into a single, easy to follow workflow


What You’ll Learn

Simple To Follow, Step-by-Step Process For Professional Audio Mastering

No Expensive Software Required, You Can Do It All Using Free Tools

Achieve consistent volume levels that match industry standards

Perfect for beginners or anyone that wants to learn the subtle art of audio mastering (without spending thousands of dollars)

[LEARN FROM A PRO]

Master Your Music To A Professional Standard Even if You’re A Total Beginner

This step-by-step framework is the exact process I use to master music professionally. It is the culmination of 20+ years of experience, condensed down into a single, easy to follow workflow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest