Headroom in mastering is an important aspect, in fact it is probably the most important.
In this series of ‘terms that you need to know’ set of posts, we’ll go ahead and talk through what they are and why they are important.
Put simply, Headroom is the space you’ve got left in your mix.
This is the special area that mastering engineers get to play with. The headroom aspect of your final mix is the most important, if you’re getting it mastered. This is the same for mastering across the board, whether you’re getting it mastered by a well equipped mastering studio, an engineer who dabbles in mastering or by artificial intelligence.
It’s important that this headroom is kept, the more a mastering engineer has to play with, the more they can influence the track through mastering.
Make sure there is enough space and that the track isn’t hitting just below 0dB on the meters. Keep it spacious, around 6-10 dB would be a good start.