When you send in your master for mastering, provide a track
sheet listing the artist name, project title as well as the start
times, end times and duration of each song. also jot down any instructions
you may have for the mastering engineer.
EQ and compression of your stereo mix is best done at the mastering
stage. if you do process your mix, bring or send copies of the unprocessed
versions with you to the mastering session so that the engineer can go
back to them if necessary. Also, take care that your mixes are not pegged to 0db. A peak level of -2 to -6db will help safeguard against unwanted breakup distortion.
If you're using a digital editor to compile your project, use it
just for that. Avoid using it for adjusting volume levels, processing,
doing fades, normalizing or dithering. Every time you process and then
return to 16 bit audio you will get increased graininess, loss of resolution
and digital coldness. the only way to get around this is to do all the
digital processing in one step at 24-bit (or 32-bit float) signal resolution.
you haven't followed all of these guidelines, don't worry: there are ways
to fix almost any kind of audio problem. That's what mastering is all
about - making your recordings sound as good as possible.