Film score mastering for iTunes, Spotify, etc


New Member
Hi, folks! It is difficult to find information on this topic. I finished work on my short film. I wrote a soundtrack and sent it with stems for mixing in 5.1. I did a basic eq adjustment, for some percussion I used a bit of compression, reverb, emulation tape. My master bus is empty.

What should I worry about and what should I use to master my full album for iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, etc? What comes to my mind is only a limiter for the master bus. Thanks for answers! :)
If you mixing is well done /Eq, Dynamics ,Width ,Depth/ - all you will need for mastering is final touches. It depends on what your goal is as an engineering perspective. If it is just to bring the loudness a bit - you can aim for -10 / - 12 LUFs and that is all you will need. Of course you can add some final touches like boosting the lows and highs just a bit , or creating some harmonic excitement and movement in the frequency spectrum , also taming some resonating frequencies -if you haven't done that in your mixing stage. Just don't push the limiter and you are good to go. I can go really in depth what I do on the mastering bus - but it isn't really that important as people want it to be. Mixing on the other hand is like 50% of the production quality.
Yeah Michael explained most of it. Just do a downmix from 5.1 to stereo. I aim for mostly for -14 LUFS. I believe that’s the loudness standard most streaming services use. A quick google search could tell you most of it. I use Waves WLM Meter a lot for this after my limiter. This plugin can also be used as a brickwall limiter.

Also if there’s too much of a dynamic contrast within a cue, that doesn’t come through when listened at home or in the car (where iTunes/Spotify is mostly played), I pull up the softest part of turn down the loudest part with automation.


New Member
Thanks for the quick answers guys!

Yes, I need to align the dynamic range a bit. I tamed the resonating frequencies at the mixing stage.

I listened to some releases of the soundtrack and noticed these levels. This soundtrack is on iTunes (Benjamin Wallfisch - Abigail).

The quietest area:

The loudest part in the same composition:

It seems they hold -14 lufs. It's great! And they have a great dynamic range.:thumbsup: