Most questions we are asked about mastering can be answered by our F.A.Q. listed below. Simply click on the question and the answer will appear. If you still have questions please get in touch using our contact page.
Currently the mastering suite is based around a digital audio work station running Steinberg’s Wavelab 9.5 using various dedicated mastering plugins. The Monitoring is done through a pair of PMC TB2-As and a Prism Sound audio device.
It’s always better to attend the session but if that’s not possible I will happily master your tracks without you. Please use the online mastering service. This is charged per track (see prices) and includes as many sessions needed for you to get the sound you’re after.
Why shouldn’t I just master on my own?
You can…. of course – but to get the best out of your music get it mastered properly.
Please bring uncompressed Wave or Aiff files. Please ask if you are not sure.
Masters brought to us that have been desampled or over compressed. Occasionally people bring in MP3s or other compressed (desampled) formats for mastering. This is highly undesirable as the algorithms used remove audio information that cannot be restored by mastering. The same applies for pretty much anything that has been through iTunes. Over compression or limiting of the audio is often due to using a finaliser or similar software plugin. This can leave us with no headroom to work with and in our experience is often misapplied anyway causing distortion which we can’t undo.
Although mastering should be seen as adding the final touch, rather than a fixing process, we are able to use our specialised equipment and experience to bring even the worst recordings up to the highest quality possible.
That depends on the length of your material and the quality of your recording. It generally takes two to three times the length of the audio e.g. a cd that is sixty minutes long should take between two to three hours. If there are things in your recordings that need special attention like declicking, denoising or problems that have occurred during the recording process then it may take longer.
Ideally one or two people should come along, anything more than that will create a more squashed and potentially noisy session which is very distracting for the engineer.
No, we have mastered every type of music though it’s always a good idea to bring a reference cd along so that we can hear what kind of sound you would like to achieve.
It depends on whether the studio has a dedicated mastering suite which is separate from the control room where the tracks were mixed down. If not, then it’s better to go to a dedicated mastering studio as it gives you a chance to check whether you have missed any potential problems that weren’t apparent during mix down.
No, as this gives us no headroom to work with and in our experience is often misapplied anyway causing distortion which we can’t undo.
es but only as long as it’s a clone of the original. Be very wary of copying a cd using iTunes or Windows Media Player or similar multimedia applications as this very often converts the sound to an MP3 or windows media file first and then back to a CD Audio file. This causes desampling which sometimes is only apparent on really good speakers but is exaggerated by any mastering processes.