- What Is Mastering?
- Can I Do My Own Mastering?
- What Kind Of Difference Can Mastering Provide?
- What Analogue Gear Do You Use?
- Does Analog Really Make A Difference?
- How Many Revisions Are Allowed?
- Do You Just Make It Louder?
- Can I Attend A Session?
- What Is Your Turnaround Time?
- Do You Just Master Dance Music?
- What Form Of Payment Do You Accept?
- Are Alternate Mixes An Extra Charge?
- Do You Offer Discounts For Multiple Orders?
- Do You Offer A Free Sample Master/Mixdown?
- Can I Get A Rush Order?
- What Is Your Refund Policy?
Preparation And Transferring
- What Formats Are Accepted?
- How Do I Upload Material?
- How Will I Receive My Tracks?
- Do I Need To Turn Off Any Effects?
- How Much Headroom Is Needed?
- Can I Send A Reference Of How I Want The Master To Sound?
- Should I File Compress My Tracks Before Uploading?
- Can You Deliver Redbook Formats For Duplication?
Q: What Is Mastering?
A: Mastering is the last step before distribution of your music. This is where any final aesthetic or technical adjustments will be made. To learn more check out the online mastering page.
Q: Can I Do My Own Mastering?
A: There are three main reasons to go with a mastering engineer. One is fresh ears. It's difficult to remain objective after having listened to a production for so long. Secondly is the specialized equipment mastering engineers use that most producers don't have access to. Finally the experience from doing only mastering day in and out gives a dedicated engineer an edge for knowing what treatment is needed.
Q: What Kind Of Difference Can Mastering Provide?
A: Apart from making your music louder it will also be more balanced frequency wised, wider, punchier and fuller with more depth.
Q: What Analogue Gear Do You Use?
A: I use a combination of API-2500, SSL 4000 Compressor, Pultec EQ, HDE250 Sontec-style EQ, Portico 5043, Culture Vulture Super 15, and SPL Vitalizer hardware.
Q: Does Analog Really Make A Difference?
A: Yes although it depends on each project. Just adding the Pultec without the EQ even on helps round and an smooth digital tracks. Comparing to the digital plugin emulations, especially compressors, always showed them to be lacking in quality to the real hardware.
Q: How Many Revisions Are Allowed?
A: I will keep making revisions until you are happy, there is no extra charge.
Q: Do You Just Make It Louder?
A: No, although getting a good loud level is important, making the track better overall is the main aim. And even when making your music louder it should be done in a way that does not damage it. Generally I can make it louder but also cleaner than most home mastering attempts.
Q: Can I Attend A Session?
A: Unfortunately I just offer online mastering now. This keeps cost down while still retaining quality. Since you have unlimited revisions any changes that might have been done in person can still be communicated via email.
Q: What Is Your Turnaround Time?
A: This varies depending on workload. Please see the relevant section for mixing or mastering on what current times are.
If you need something done by a certain time please let me know so I can accommodate.
Mixdowns usually take longer, about a week.
Q: Do You Just Master Dance Music?
A: I have experience in all types of electronic music. Other genres like downtempo, ambient, indie, etc are all welcome.
Q: What Form Of Payment Do You Accept?
A: I accept Paypal which also accepts most major credit cards, even if you don't have a Paypal account. I can also accept Western Union if Paypal is not available in your country.
Q: Are Alternate Mixes An Extra Charge?
A: Depending on the nature of the alternative mix there may or not be a charge. Please inquire for details.
Q: Do You Offer Discounts For Multiple Orders?
A: Yes, the more you purchase the greater the discount, up to 25%. Please see the rates page for more information.
Q: Do You Offer A Free Sample Master/Mixdown?
A: I can provide a free sample master of a portion of your song so you may check out the quality before purchasing. This must be done after pre-paid orders are finished, however, so there might be some delay before it can be completed.
Unfortunately due to the time involved in completing a mixdown no samples are available and must be prepaid before work is started.
Q: Can I Get A Rush Order?
A: Yes, there is an Express option for faster mastering and mixing turnaround. If an order is placed over-night after operating hours, the time that Express starts at will be from the next business day morning.
Q: What Is Your Refund Policy?
A: I can supply one free mastering sample (partial song) before ordering to check out the service before committing but once paid refunds are not given. For mixdowns, unfortunately samples and also refunds can't be given due to the time involved.
Preparation And Transferring
Q: What Formats Are Accepted?
A: Usually it's best to send files in either 16 or 24bit and 44.1k. For mixdown projects I accept: Ableton 10, Logic Pro, Pro Tools 12, and Reason 8.
Q: How Do I Upload Material?
A: I prefer to use Wetransfer. It allows up to 2gb per transfer.
Q: How Will I Receive My Tracks?
A: They will be sent back to your email via Wetransfer.
Q: Do I Need To Turn Off Any Effects?
A: You should turn off all mastering effects on the stereo mix such as compressors, eq, and limiters. You can provide me a reference to your master so I can see what you were aiming for though.
Q: How Much Headroom Is Needed?
A: Just make sure there is no clipping on export, the exact amount of headroom after that doesn't matter much. 3-6db is a safe range to shoot for. Simply lower the master fader enough to achieve this. Don't touch the track levels as this could upset the mix.
Q: Can I Send A Reference Of How I Want The Master To Sound?
A: Yes, sending a few songs of your favoruite artists/tracks can be helpful to show me the type of sound you are after.
Q: Should I File Compress My Tracks Before Uploading?
A: File compression can speed up transfers if you are on a slower connection. The best one I've found so far is WinRar.
Q: Can You Deliver Redbook Formats For Duplication?
A: Yes, both CD and DDP are available. DDP is highly recommended for ease of transfer and higher integrity due to less chance of errors.
Q: Are My Tracks Safe?
A: Yes other than backing up your music in case it's needed to be accessed later for changes I do not share any music from clients. Wetransfer is encrypted so that no one other than me or the client will have access to the files.