Mastering work can be done in two different ways, depending on the source: Stereo Mastering and Stem Mastering.
The Stereo Mastering, the most common, is concerned with optimizing the final stereo track of the mixed song, so as to obtain a finished product that meets market expectations. It is a delicate work in which the interventions of the Mastering Engineer are always well calibrated and oriented to obtaining the result without distorting the sound obtained by the sound engineer who mixed the song. Precisely for this reason, the interventions of the Stereo Mastering are limited and are not able to solve the mix problems, they require that the mixing phase is performed at its best.
Stem Mastering, on the other hand, requires the source to be divided into stereo sub-mixes (drums, voices … etc), which can be individually optimized and then assembled to obtain the final stereo track. In this case, the interventions of the Mastering Engineer can be “heavier”, going to positively influence the overall mix. However, even in this case it is useful that the mix is well executed, since it is not possible – in this phase of processing – to correct errors or mix problems that are too obvious, since we cannot act on the individual instruments and / or sounds.
All selected options do not lead to longer delivery time!