Mastering requires additional time and work, and so it will cost more and take longer until you have the completed song or album ready to release. If you are simply producing a nice song to celebrate your great aunt’s 75th birthday party, do you really need to have it mastered? Probably not. If you are putting together a demo of songs to send to a venue as part of their requirement to book you for a show and they need it this Friday, should you take the time to get those songs mastered? Not necessary. In these situations, adding a compressor, limiter, or maximizer plugin to the master output channel of your mix to boost the overall volume level is likely sufficient for your needs.
Brant Wilson is an amateur musician and student based out of Indianapolis, Indiana with a special love for classical music and a goal to learn to play as many instruments as possible.