Professional mixing and mastering is the most important step in music production. Stem mastering builds on traditional mastering, using multiple stems to provide more control and give you a much higher quality end result. However, with this increased quality, comes a huge price tag and some doubts about whether it's worth it or not. That's why we spent 2 weeks testing the best stem mastering services online, so you can choose the service that will make your music sound the best.
How Much Should Stem Mastering Cost?
Stem mastering, although it's much more convenient for the engineer, is way more time-consuming, thus more expensive. While a traditional mastering service typically costs around $40 to $100, stem mastering can cost from $100 to over $500.
With stereo mastering, it can be daunting to fix some problems in a mix, like a bass masking a kick drum. Solving this type of situation can be a long process with stereo mastering, and you'll always end up messing with the other instruments.
With stem mastering, you'd only have to either rebalance the bass, making it lower than the drums, or sidechain only the low-frequency information of the drums to attenuate the bass whenever it hits.
Stem mastering can also be helpful to improve sibilant lead vocals without affecting other instruments, which is another common situation for mastering engineers.
What Are The Best Stem Mastering Services?
Here is the complete list of best stem mastering services avialable:
1. Itherealvon – Best professional, low-cost stem mastering service
✅ Easy to send him the files. Google Drive, WeTransfer, Dropbox works for him. You only need to share with him the download link with your individual stems and it's all good.
✅ Best mastering service for analog sound on a budget.
✅ High-quality audio file for CD and streaming (.wav file and mp3 file).
✅ You can get the project file to learn from his mastering process for an extra $10.
❌ Only offers 2 revisions.
Itherealvon is a ghost producer and engineer from the Philippines who has worked with several record labels, including LoudKult, Magic Records and EEM, a partner label of Sony Music.
He specializes in EDM/Pop music and does an incredible job at delivering punchy, loud, and, dynamic results. After listening to his work samples, we were pretty shocked that he offered such a high-quality service at such an affordable rate.
For only $65 he offers both stereo mastering and stem mastering, and he's open to chatting and seeing which way would work better on your music.
Another awesome thing he has is that you can have your audio processed with analog gear, and he'll hand you the project files for an extra $10 so you can see what he did and learn from it. Seriously, one of the best and few options on Fiverr.
Even with his industry accolades, experience, and awesome mastering skills, he offers you a more than affordable rate for his service. With everything considered, it's a pretty good deal.
Here's his offer:
- Stereo mastering/Stem mastering service $65 – 1 song, unlimited stems, 2 revisions, 5-day delivery time, and he'll deliver HQ .Wav and .Mp3 audio files suitable for all streaming platforms and CD.
2. Crystal Pitch – The best stem mastering for Hip Hop
Price: $205 – $555
✅ Can work with several tracks at a time, which helps if you have a batch of songs to be mastered.
✅ Efficient if you're a beatmaker looking for good mastering.
✅ Each service includes ID3 tagging.
✅ High-quality audio file you can release with Apple Digital Master‘s standard.
❌ They don't use analog gear.
❌ Very few revisions, only one for each, except for the most expensive offer, which has 2.
Crystal Pitch is an Apple Digital Mastering House that provides artists, producers, beatmakers and record labels with their online mastering service.
They offer the most expensive service from the list because they work with multiple tracks and stems at a time. Their work is amazing, if you can afford it and have three or more songs that are ready to be mastered, they're the ones to go to.
One thing worth mentioning about Crystal Sounds is that they're certified by Apple, which means that you can release your music in Apple Digital Masters, with all of the high-quality standards from Apple music, and other streaming services, like Amazon Music, and Spotify.
All you need to do is to export your stem files and send your individual stems with a reference track, they'll handle the rest.
Because of the professional quality of their services and the fact that they work with several tracks at a time, their rates can look a bit high. However, if you can afford it, they'd be a great option for you to hire.
Crystal Pitch have 3 different offers for their mastering services for you to choose from.
- Basic $205 – 3 songs, 1 revision, up to 50 stems each, 2 days delivery time
- Standard $345 – 5 songs, 1 revision, up to 50 stems each, 5 days delivery time
- Premium $555 – 7 songs, 2 revisions, up to 50 stems each, 7 days delivery time
3. Major Mixing – The best professional stem mastering service
✅ World-class experienced mixing and mastering engineers.
✅ Combination of state-of-the-art analog & digital gear.
✅ Great industry accolades.
✅ They have their own server to upload your stem files and avoid losses.
❌ Can't find any.
Major Mixing is an all-around online mixing and mastering studio with outstanding accolades from the music industry.
They're based in Spain and were founded in 2019 by Max Rayden, and Ivan Ogloblin. Since their foundation, they've been working with nothing less than Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group, among other major labels, delivering top-notch audio quality to their audio.
It's worth mentioning that Major Mixing only works with experienced pros who've worked with pro-level commercial projects for a period longer than 10 years to guarantee the best professional service and still offer a pretty affordable price, which is much appreciated.
Besides stem mastering, Major Mixing offers other services such as Dolby Atmos mixing & mastering, beat mixing, music editing, stem replacing, vocal editing, and many more.
To get your stems mastered with Major Mixing, you need to go to their website and under the services menu, you need to click on Stem Mastering and follow the steps.
Major Mixing offer stem mastering for as many tracks as you need, but the basic offer for a single track is:
- Stem mastering $100 – 1 song, unlimited stems, 3 revisions, 2-3 days delivery time
4. Audio Animals – Best value for money online mastering service
Price: $70 – $92
✅ Great communication and service.
✅ Amazing collection of outboard analog gear.
✅ They can do any genre.
✅ Expert audio engineers.
❌ Slow delivery, it takes up to 5 days regardless of what you send.
Audio Animals is a London-based audio post-production studio that started in 2012. Among their musical credits, you'll find big names such as:
- Flo Rida
- Bizzarre from D12
- Lil' Wayne
- George Ezra
- Ed Sheeran
And that's just to talk about the music industry, as they offer other services for films, videogames, podcast, and TV.
Stem mastering is a very delicate process because just like it can save your song it can ruin it, but with Audio Animals industry accolades you can rest assured that your music is in the right hands.
Another really cool thing that's worth mentioning about Audio Animals is that if you have a score that you've made for a film or game, you can get it mastered with Audio Animals as they've worked on games like Mortal Kombat, and huge Hollywood films, like The Avengers: Endgame.
Even though the professional nature of their service and their impressive music industry, film industry, and video game industry credits, Audio Animals still offers a very affordable price for their stem mastering service.
Here's their offer:
- 3-6 stems mastering $70 – 1 song, 2 revisions, 5 days delivery time
- 7-12 stems mastering $81 – 1 song, 2 revisions, 5 days delivery time
- 13-18 stems mastering $92 – 1 song, 2 revisions, 5 days delivery time
5. Tom Frampton – Best EDM and Pop stem mastering service
✅ Fast turnaround.
✅ Big industry accolades.
✅ Stem mixing and mastering. This means he'll balance your instruments, enhance vocals, main elements, etc, to guarantee a perfect final master.
✅ Great value. He gives you clear instructions on how to prepare your stems to send over, the process of stem mastering and stereo mastering, or personally guides you to ensure everything is right.
❌ Can be pricey.
Tom Frampton is a producer and engineer, owner of Mastering the Mix, an audio advice blog/YouTube channel, and plugin manufacturer.
His YT channel has several examples of his work, as he often does mastering walkthroughs for engineers looking to learn on a budget and showcasing what their plugins can do. His blogs are also as informative as his videos, which is great because he offers several ways to get informed about the services he offers or do it yourself.
About his accolades, he's worked with major labels and artists like David Guetta and Tiësto, which says a lot about the quality of the results he can give you.
Due to the professional nature of Tom's services, they have a professional price tag. But, with everything considered, it's guaranteed that you'll have the best possible result if you can afford to spend it.
Here's his offer:
- Stem Mastering $294 – 1 song, 2 revisions, 2-3 days delivery time
Stem mastering is a way for engineers to have greater control over a mix and solve problems more efficiently during the mastering process, as opposed to the traditional approach that only gives you a stereo file to work with. Our best picks from this list are Audio Animals, Itherealvon and Major Mixing, this is why they could be good for you:
- Use a Audio Animals if:
- You want your mix to be mastered with analog equipment
- You plan on using your track on a videogame or film
- You're not in a rush and have time to get the best out of your track
- Use a Itherealvon if:
- You are price sensitive
- You plan on using the session files of your track to insight into the mastering process
- You make EDM, pop, or hip hop
- Use Major Mixing if:
- You want your tracks to be rated by top-notch industry experts
- You're serious about your music and want it to sound its finest
- You want to give the professional more control over the sound of your track to get the best possible result
To recap, here are the best stem mastering services:
Javier is a mixing and mastering engineer who specializes in Rock and Hip Hop, and writes and produces his own music. He is additionally a TV, Film, and advertising audio editor who has been working freelance for 7 years. He loves sound design and is an avid expert in his field, having written hundreds of articles for other publications online about music production-related topics. To put it simply – Javier knows his stuff.