Some people associate mastering to what they call sounding like a record. That is the result of applying different techniques and the quality standard which we are used to listen to.
Mastering is the final stage in the creation process prior to the release of a musical or audio piece in where the artworks are prepared to be consumed by the audience.
It involves taking care of the most important technical aspects -often badly considered as an obscure art- but it is also a very creative process where the engineer plays a crucial role, specialy nowadays where artists can auto-produce themselves away from the assistance of a professional enginner.
From an engineer perspective, mastering is about taking care of audio levels and tonal balance, dynamics and equalization of individual tracks as well as creating a coherent relationship between them. It is also about creating fades and crossfades and sequencing an entire album.
But for me, one of the most imporant aspects is about preserving fidelity while making it better sounding and to have a more pleasant listening in every playback system out there.
Mastering is sometimes underestimated and seen about making music sound just louder, often without considering the side effects, but it is also about making music sounding nicer, richer, defined and with a tonal characteristic that represents the artist.
I usually work out of the box in the analogue domain for most of the projects I am asked to master but sometimes it is also required a hybrid approach.
Regardless of this, I can prepare audio files for analogue formats like vinyl and cassettes or digital formats such as CD, high resolution for online distribution and streaming as well as instrumentals for live shows.
Of course I can master your tracks with stems if required.