Originally Posted by Veto
Mastering is needed for almost every recording!
I think an awful lot of people would be really disappointed if they heard a raw mix.
Most recording studios dont have the right listening equipment to really make accurate sound decissions, certainly the smaller ones. This may sound strange but IMO this is true. Most of the time there's gone no thought in room/accoustic design etc. [...]
A 'raw' mix should never leave the studio. The true original purpose of mastering is not to fix what's wrong but to prepare the master tape for the pressing plant, like making TOC and indexation in case of CDs pressing, converting analog master to digital and checking for data error. It also provide a set of fresh and experienced ears and (ideally) ultimate monitoring setup to check the final mix and doing very little sound processing if necessary. It should be like icing on the cake, it can't turn a bad recording into something stellar.
Good sound is all about talented engineers in the recording process. Ideally a mastering enginer should have nothing to do 'sound-wise' on the master tape.
Guys like Bob Clearmountain are famous for delivering immaculate final mix to the mastering studio. This is not 'raw' mix!. OK, not everyone is Clearmountain, but you're a professional or you're not. The problem today is that lot of guys think they are pro because they can afford a Protool rig while 15 years ago nobody was able to buy a 2'' Studer 24 tracks for home use...