You’ve worked hard on your songs to get the mix just right. Now you want your work to sound the best that it possibly can. Mastering will help your mixes to translate across all listening environments. By balancing frequencies, bringing continuity of volume and EQ to all the tracks on an album or EP, and bringing up the loudness of all tracks to commercially acceptable levels, mastering can enhance the overall presence and energy of a song or album.
Audio mastering is the essential final step in the recording and mixing process.
What Mastering CAN’T do for Your Mixes.
Just to be clear. Mastering can’t fix a bad mix and make it sound great. Unfortunately it just can’t. If the final mix is bad, the master will be as well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
That being said, professional mastering can help just about any mix sound the best it possibly can. Your mastered tracks should sound just like your mixes, only louder, clearer, and more balanced.
What is included in Beach House Studios audio mastering services:
- A critical listening session to identify any issues with the mix
- Standard denoise and declicking for the random one-off problems. (Significant restoration is priced separately)
- Custom EQ on each track for better balance
- Multiband compression to even out bass response and sibilance in the top end
- Stereo widening for better separation and clarity
- Limiting and loudness maximization for commercially acceptable, but still musical and dynamic tracks
- Proper spacing and fading of tracks on an album or EP (You provide the track order)
- Meta data tagging of album art, CD-TEXT, and other track information can be done if you supply the information
Our Mastering Philosophy:
Good mastering is about good listening. First, listening to your mixes or album as they come in. Second listening to what your goals are. The mixes direct the course of mastering, but communicate any problem areas you have encountered during the mix process you may want addressed. Clean pristine sounding masters, loud and clear with full dynamics, or deep tape saturated analog harmonic sound, tell us your flavor, and we can get you there. It could also be that you are 100% happy with the mixes, and are just looking for that final touch up, level, euphonic enhancement, or quality control.
Quality Control & Deliverables:
Mastering is not only about the richness of the final sound. It is also about making perfect controlled error-free masterdisks, DDPi images, meta tagging, specific medium mastering delivery for iTunes, vinyl or high resolution releases and downloads. Denoise, de-clicking, and quality control are also tasks a mastering engineer will do for you.
For the Best Result:
When mastering single tracks and small releases, we like to get a reference track for balance and loudness reference. Let us know what commercially released track has the sonic characteristics and loudness levels you are shooting for. If you have your own working master available, please include it (well labeled) in the package. The more we know about your taste and style the better we can reach your goal.
Project Price Quotes:
If you have an album or EP to be mastered we can give you a price quote once we have discussed the project with you and evaluated the tracks/mixes. Albums can take between 4 to 16 hours depending on variables. Contact me with the details of your project for a price quote.
File Formats to Send:
Let us know what format your files will be in. The most common file formats are WAV or Aiff in 16, 24, or sometimes 32bits. Just export/create your mixes in the same original samplerate and bit-depth as your project. If you work in 44.1Khz, or 48Khz, or 96Khz, or 192Khz, make your export/bounce/mixdown in that same samplerate and in 24bits or 32bits with no dithering. While uploading or preparing your tracks you can use winzip or winrar or any tool to pack your mixes in one archive/file. If you are expecting meta tagging, please include all the relevant song titles, artist, album title, ISRC, UPC, copyright, label, composer, lyrics, info in a separate text or word doc, and cover art in a jpg format.
Level & Peaks, or How Loud to Make Your Mixes:
Leave us some headroom to do our work by making your final mix maximum peak ideally around -6 dB and at most -3 dB. If you have more headroom than that, great! Also try to keep the dynamics in your mix. Using a limiter on your master bus is not recommended, and we strongly request that you don’t slam a compressor on your mix-bus for loudness. Using a nice compressor for “tone” and “glue” is not a problem. Make your mixes sound the way YOU like. If you have made your own master, send it to us, that way we can have an idea on where you want the track to go, but be sure to also send us the normal mix.
Vinyl Mastering Prices:
If you would like both digital masters for cd or iTunes and masters for vinyl, let us know when you request a quote.
Restoration, Denoise, Declick Prices:
Project rates will be discussed after an evaluation of the incoming material.
Masterdisk or DDPi Image:
We can make you a masterdisk ( PMCD ) or DDPI Image. Let us know what you need.
Mp3 Conversions & Tagging with All Info & ISRC Codes:
We can tag your Mp3 masters for you with all relevant meta info like ISRC/Title/Artist Name, cover art, etc.