Mastering

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I offer 1st track of mastering for FREE for any project, price for remaining songs is $15 per song for first time clients.

I can add punch, clarity, balance and feel while increasing the overall volume to compete with industry standard levels.

I am experienced with mastering raw recordings.  Your demo mix can become polished, balanced and non-fatiguing to the ear. 

Studio level mixes will increase in consistency, definition and flow in the low end, texture and detail in the mids, clarity and control to the highs

 

Equipment and plugins

Mastering with Dangerous D-Box analog summing and API A2D conversion

High end monitoring set up with sub, broad selection of headphones and acoustically treated room

Monitoring: Mackie HR824MKII main monitors, Yamaha HS50m 2nd monitors, KRK 10s sub.  Headphones: AKG K701, A/T ATH M50, AKG K240mk2, KRK KNS8400 and more

Plugins: Waves Mercury, Slate Everything, Eventide/NewfangledAudio Elevate and Equivocate, Softube Drawmer S73, Sonnox Inflator, and many more.  I proudly run no cracked software whatsoever. 

 

 

Mastering process: Every mastering chain is different but usually look something like:

Metering – I use Waves Dorrough and WLM Plus Loudness meter.  I see limiters as a guideline tool that should be referenced but not worried about.  I can set a target LUFS based on what sites you are uploading to.  LUFS is essentially average dynamic loudness.  Nowadays the volume wars are over and the goal of mastering is to get the dynamics of the music to fit within the industry standard levels of average loudness/dynamics.  This standard differs by company (itunes, spotify, bandcamp etc).  

Console modelling – first thing is to add a little flavor to the mix, modelling the sound of electricity passing through the high end circuits of a recording console.  Not always needed but more often than not adds a touch of vibe and warmth in the digital age.

Multi-band Compression to balance the levels of the frequency bands and add flow and consistency to each band

Spatial processing – Balancing the soundscape’s center with Left and Right to push speakers and subs appropriately

Master bus compression – with the frequencies balanced I lightly compress the overall mix.  Subtlety is key to glue the mix together without squashing the life out.

Mastering EQing – This is where I put on the main hi and low pass filters and compare the frequecy response to reference tracks and balance accordingly

Harmonics processing – Sometimes harmonics processing can be needed to bring out the grain, texture and splashy brightness in a mix

Tape simulation – Simulating light pushed tape can add a smooth flow to the mix, especially the low end

Vinyl simulation – Not so much used to capture the low-fi aspects of vinyl.  A light treatment can add a subtle vibe that makes a recording sound more like a band of musicians playing in a room together

Limiting – This is where volume and punch come in.  Subtle 1-3 db reductions in 2 stages is usually the answer.  I use Newfangled audio Elevate first to multiband limit and allow transient sounds to cut through and brush against the clipper.  After that the final limiter barely limits at all.  Only the very highest transient sounds are reduced by 1 db or less and the overall output is set.

 

 

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