Getting your music ready for mastering isn’t terribly difficult, but it’s easy to mess up. Using effects like compression and EQ on the “master stereo output track” can really limit what a mastering engineer can do for your music. By making sure there is some headroom to work with, the engineer providing your music mastering services will be able add a sonic depth to your project that is nothing less than amazing if he or she is good at what they do.
The things you want to look out for when making your final bounce are as follows:
1. Make sure that none of your individual tracks are clipping either on the track it’s self or in a plugin.
2. Don’t put any effects on the “master stereo output track.”
3. Make sure your “master stereo output track” isn’t clipping.
4. Bounce mixes down at the same resolution that you recorded in. (ie: If you recorded at a sampling rate of 48k and a bit depth of 24, make sure you bounce at 48k and 24 bit.)