What Does Remastered Mean in Songs? (How to Do It?)

Jeffrey T. Jensen

Ever wondered what 'remastered' means in music? Discover how it turns old tunes into modern gems with better sound quality.

In the world of music, when we say "remastered," it means making songs sound better. It's like giving a shiny makeover to an old favorite. These revamped tunes sound cleaner and fresher, without the annoying hiccups. Skilled sound experts use tricks to improve clarity, reduce noise, and balance sounds. The goal? To make old music shine on today's gadgets. Some folks debate if it's truly better, but it keeps classics alive in the digital world. So, what's the deal with song remastering? Let's dive in and find out!

Table Of Contents

What Does Remastered Mean In Songs?

In songs, remastering means making the audio quality better. So, what exactly happens during this makeover? We use fancy new technology to fix up the sound, making it clearer and more enjoyable.

Think of it like taking an old painting and giving it a fresh coat of paint to make it shine with modern flair. That's what song remastering is all about!

The Difference Between Original and Remastered Songs

When it comes to comparing an original song with a remastered one, the key difference boils down to sound quality. A remastered song typically sounds better, with fewer distortions, crisper tones, and a more even mix. It's like giving new life to a song, ensuring it stays great for years to come, ready for the next decade.

Remixes change songs by adding original material, like lyrics or instruments. Remasters, on the other hand, are updated versions of previous recordings that retain the main structure but improve sound quality using digital technology.

Why Do We Remaster Music?

Music remastering serves several important purposes. In this section, we'll explore why artists and record labels choose to give old tunes a fresh makeover.

1. Introducing Old Music to New Ears:

Old music deserves some love too! Remastering lets new generations enjoy the classics in all their glory. It's like giving your grandma's pie recipe a modern twist.

2. Enhancing Sound Quality:

One big reason for remastering is to make old songs sound better. Sometimes, the original recordings didn't capture the music's true greatness due to technology limitations. Remastering fixes that, making fans happy.

3. Keeping Up with Modern Times:

Music should stay up-to-date, just like fashion. Remastering helps songs fit nicely into today's audio world. No one likes music that sounds like it's from the Stone Age, right?

4. Removing Annoying Noises:

Imagine listening to a 1920s recording on your fancy MP3 player. It's like trying to hear someone whisper in a noisy crowd! Remastering takes out those annoying hisses and muffled sounds.

How Music Gets a Remaster

To remaster a song, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Step 1. Prepare the studio: Ensure that your studio is set up with the necessary equipment and software for mastering, such as a DAW, high-quality monitors, and audio plugins.

Step 2. Analyze the song: Listen to the original mix and identify any issues or areas that need improvement, such as frequency imbalances, dynamic range, or overall loudness.

Step 3. Find reference tracks: Choose a few professionally mastered songs in the same genre as your track to use as a reference for your remastering process.

Step 4. Prepare the song for mastering: Import the original mix into your DAW at its original sampling rate and bit depth.

Step 5. Start with the frequency response: Use an equalizer to adjust the frequency balance of the track, addressing any issues identified during the analysis stage.

Step 6. Apply compression: Use a compressor to control the dynamic range of the track, ensuring that the loud and quiet parts are balanced and consistent.

Step 7. Apply stereo enhancement: Enhance the stereo image of the track by adjusting the width and depth of the mix.

Step 8. Apply saturation: Add subtle saturation to the track to give it warmth and character.

Step 9. Apply limiting: Use a limiter to increase the overall loudness of the track without causing distortion or clipping.

Step 10. Compare to reference tracks: Continuously compare your remastered track to your reference tracks, making adjustments as needed to ensure that your track sounds similar in terms of loudness, frequency balance, and overall quality.

Step 11. Export the final master: Once you are satisfied with your remastered track, export it in a lossless format (e.g., WAV or AIFF) at the original sampling rate and bit depth.

Keep in mind that remastering is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. It's essential to trust your ears and make adjustments based on your preferences and the needs of the specific track. Additionally, consider seeking feedback from others and comparing your work to professionally mastered tracks to ensure that your remastered song meets industry standards.

Pros and Cons of Remastered Music

Remastered music has its upsides and downsides, just like anything else.

Advantages of Remastered Music:

1. Preserving Musical History:

Old audio formats deteriorate over time. Remastering old music and keeping it digitally ensures that future generations can enjoy it, promoting musical exploration and education.

2. Better Sound Quality:

Remastering makes songs sound smoother and more detailed. Instruments become clearer, and vocals sound more lifelike. It's like a modern studio recording, making it more enjoyable to listen to.

3. Modern Formats and Device Compatibility:

Remastered music is stored in new, up-to-date formats, making it accessible to new listeners through digital streaming and modern devices.

Disadvantages of Remastered Music:

1. Losing Original Essence:

While remastering aims to enhance sound, it can sometimes do the opposite. Many fans prefer the original recording, claiming that the remastering process compromises authenticity.

2. Potentially Making Songs Worse:

Some people believe that remasters can make songs worse than the originals. Common complaints include an unnatural and overproduced sound, diminishing the overall enjoyment.

How Much Does Song Remastering Cost?

The price tag for getting your song remastered can vary. You've got a few choices.

  1. Studio Services: Send your song to a studio. Prices usually range from $50 to $200, but it's not as personal, so watch out for surprises.
  2. Hire an Audio Pro: If you go this route, you'll need to think about how well your song was put together before. Some folks mix and master at the same time, which can save you some cash. But remember, prices differ based on the audio pro's skills.
  3. Choose the Right Engineer: Pick someone who gets your music style and has the skills to back it up. Listen to their past work and make sure their rates match your budget.
  4. Complexity Matters: How tricky is your song? The more complex, the more it might cost to master.
  5. Do It Yourself: You can master your songs at home, but building a recording studio costs more upfront. It's an investment that might pay off if you stick with music for the long haul.

Choosing the Right Headphones for Remastering

To successfully remaster your music, you'll need headphones that have:

Consider the AKG K240 studio headphones. Although they've seen some wear, they're still excellent for remastering tasks.

Be cautious with colored headphones that boost certain frequencies. This can affect how you perceive the sound during remastering.

Remember, if you use colored headphones, your remastered track may sound good to you initially. But when you switch to other headphones, it might sound quite different, often not for the better.


"Remastered" in music means improving old songs for better quality and a fresh feel. It enhances sound, removes flaws, and lets new generations enjoy classics. While it has advantages like preserving history and better quality, some argue it can lose its original essence. Costs vary based on options, and choosing the right headphones is crucial for successful remastering.

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