Apple Digital Masters


In order to release your song on iTunes in a professional way, you need to have an Apple Digital Master created for you. This record must comply with all of Apple’s high-standard requirements.

Apple Digital Master can only be made by audio engineers who have the corresponding certification. Here at Major Mixing, we are certified to create ready-for-release Apple Digital Master records. We are on the ADM providers list, and will do professional mastering for iTunes online for your song. 

You are at the right place to reach your highest goals!


What is Apple Digital Masters

Apple is the rightful leader in the world of digital music, striving to present to the users the highest sound quality possible. No wonder that the company owns the unique GRAMMY Award for technical excellence in music.

Apple’s Advanced Audio Coding (AAC)

Together with creating iTunes, the company developed AAC audio format, which algorithm creates compressed audio files with minimum sound quality losses, much better compared to similar audio codecs.

Starting in the past from converting CD-quality files into AAC, through the years, the codec was constantly upgraded, becoming even more reliable and the company has been using this format throughout its systems, particularly on iTunes.

However, to be converted to AAC with the best possible result, your mix should meet certain standards of sound quality, and be mastered according to Apple’s set of guidelines and recommendations. You need to use certified mastering services for iTunes. Only then, when converted to AAC, the song will sound almost indistinguishable from its original master record.

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Apple Digital Master or Mastered for iTunes?

Mastered for iTunes now has been renamed to Apple Digital Masters. The company added some more requirements regarding mastering audio for iTunes but the essence of the term remains the same. The new name intentionally does not mention iTunes to signify that the music will be distributed and have the same standards not only on iTunes but throughout all parts of the ecosystem.

Only sound engineers who are qualified by Apple to create Apple Digital Masters can master your song for further iTunes release. In the process of submitting your song, you will need to provide the name of the sound engineer who created your Digital Master copy, they will have to be on the official Apple Masters providers list.

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Apple Digital Masters requirements

When you receive your mastered record for further release with the Apple Digital Masters badge on iTunes, it should comply with all the requirements. Among them are the following rules and steps:

The song you submit for certified Apple Digital Masters must be recorded with a minimum bit depth of 24-bit and a minimum sample rate of 44.1 kHz. The sample rate and the bit depth should be left as recorded, not changed.
Your mastering engineer must be on the official list of Apple Digital Masters Providers. They will follow all the instructions in mastering your music for iTunes.
Your sound engineer will audit the resulting mastered record by applying the most recent plugin encoding your song to AAC format. The sound will be checked for any potential quality losses like clips or other distortions. That will ensure that the resulting sound of your music on Apple platforms will be perfect and accepted for the Apple Digital Masters badge.
You’ll receive the resulting mastered track, it will be a lossless audio file. When you have received your mastered song from your certified sound engineer, you must not edit in any way. You can not change the bit depth, for instance, or up-sample your mastered record, or perform other alterations to the file.
After that, you’ll submit your song for release via one of the official Apple Music Distributors like TuneCore, and Apple Digital Masters will be verified. You’ll also request an Apple Digital Master badge for the song.
Will I be able to submit my Apple Digital Master to other platforms as well?

You want to distribute your music using all popular resources. But on each platform, your creation will sound surprisingly different. The qualities and equalization that were perfect for YouTube, may ruin your composition on Spotify. The point is that the material gets converted and normalized again when it is accepted to another streaming service, and every one of the services has its own formats and standards for dynamics.

Some points to keep in mind when creating one master to distribute through many platforms:

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Loudness is not the king. The louder the music, the better the listener’s experience, that’s what we usually think. But that is not true when it comes to submitting your masterpiece to streaming. Streaming services will normalize your song and make it fit their level, and the loudest songs may get damaged in the process.

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Many resources have pre-set equalization created by their choice. You will not be able to fit them all. But what may seem more discouraging is that tomorrow they may decide and alter their preset parameters. So, if you did even try to master a song separately for every service, you would never be able to reach perfection.

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Your listener will use their favorite devices for playback. It’s important to be aware of how different devices will reproduce your sound. You have to be sure that your listener will get the best experience from your song on every device they choose, and will not be disappointed by any unpleasant noises and frequencies that may appear in your music due to their choice of a playback device or environment.

So, the best way is to go with a more universal master, that will fit most of the resources, and will sound great on most of the listeners’ devices.

Mastering for Apple gives your music the sound that will be perfect not only on Apple platforms. Working on your song, we will bring it to the most preferable peak rate close to -6 dB, higher levels are not advisable. Apple Digital Masters Lufs level will be set to -16 for playback.

Complying with Apple standards, will not only open the way into the Apple world for you but also will provide you with a master that can be distributed through many other resources with exceptional sound qualities.

Best online mastering for Apple Digital Masters by Major Mixing

Major Mixing is proud to have prepared many songs for release as Apple Digital Masters. This format ensures the highest quality of sound on Apple Music and iTunes.

Mastering a song for iTunes, we do it according to the genre trends and the unique features of the song. We highlight the individuality of the recording as much as we can, at the same time following all the requirements of the modern music industry and Apple’s instructions.

The tech world is racing ahead with unbelievable speed. And as a music creator, you may be all consumed by your creative processes and ideas, implementing your genius creations, and this is extremely special. As we all know, true genius is above time and contemporary things.

However, to be seen and heard today, you need to match and be even higher than the standards accepted now by the technical world. And we at Major Mastering understand this as no one else does.

Being highly creative people ourselves, we made it our mission to be the bridge that unites a genius musician’s inspiration with the highest digital sound standards. We make your music sound so well that even listeners that don’t like your style will appreciate and share it.

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You will also be able to use this mastered record for mediums other than iTunes, it will sound great on most of the streaming platforms.

Contact us and place your order. If you have any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them, feel free to use the live chat here on our website.

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