Oscar, what is Mastering?
Simply put, mastering
is the last creative process in the recording of your music.
The process entails
critical listening in a properly tuned room, and then making the necessary adjustments
to improve, re balance, correct flaws, edit, and restore your music to it's fullest
The mastering engineer
will use the best analog & digital equalizers, compressors, and processing
gear specifically designed for this purpose to do this.
Your final mixes,
taken from several sources, different studios, different engineers, are all reviewed
and then put through the mastering process. To date I know of no process that
can compensate and bring you a finished and consistent product like a true mastering
facility with the proper engineer at the controls.
what is Audio Restoration?
Audio restoration is the process of removing artifacts and anomalies in order
to make a recording clearer. With the help of some wonderful technology from
CEDAR and other companies that specialize in restoration, along with careful
equalization we can remove noise, buzzes, crackels, hums, and bring a recording
to a much improved state. Audio restoration can be used for both music as well
as forensic audio.
Oscar, why use professional mastering services?
A professional mastering
facility has several advantages over "doing it yourself".
We provide "ears
behind the gear". A professional mastering engineer will be able to
select from a wide palate of tools to fine tune, restore, and bring your
project to it's fullest potential.
facility will be equipped with the finest monitoring in a room that has
been specifically designed and tuned with this one purpose in mind.
With hundreds or thousands of projects under the belt, an experienced mastering
engineer will know how to squeeze the most out of your music. There is
a reason everything you hear on the radio has been brought to a professional
mastering facility before it is released, is simply because we can put
the final "polish" on the music. As to date, nothing has replaced
why not use my software's "mastering " plug-ins or my T.C. Finalizer?
While both plug ins,
and the Finalizer are both fine products, they are not a replacement for
the trained ears and the critical environment of a professional mastering
facility. Also, most of the processes in these home "mastering"
fixes are meant to make your music instantly loud & bright. These adjustments
are the equivalent to a sledgehammer vs. a surgeons scalpel for what the
needs of most music is. A trained mastering engineer will tailor every
move to bring out the best in your music.
what can I do to prepare my mixes for mastering?
- When mixing, try to
reference your mixes against source material that you are familiar with,
like your favorite CD's.
- Apply minimal compression
(or none at all) to your 2 track mixes.
- Check the levels going
to tape, making sure that the peaks of the music are just under your recorders
maximum input level. On a digital recorder (D.A.T.) that means just under
digital zero. Not hitting up on zero as some recorders have built in digital
limiting, and we defiantly want to avoid that at all costs!
- On an analog recorder,
you may want to experiment on the level input, as some people enjoy the
sound of tape saturation. Be sure to play back the first mixes and make
sure they have gone to tape sounding the way you had envisioned.
- DO NOT USE - The T.C.
Finalizer, Digidesign or other Software "Plug-In's". These are
fine tools for demo recording, but by putting them through these processors,
you will be doing irrevocable damage to your mixes. If you do need to do
a mix with these, keep another copy without the processes for mastering.
- Don't Rush! Take your
time, and make sure your mixes are what you want. While mastering can sometimes
vastly improve a mix, it cant fix a bad performance or lackluster mix.
- Get References! Please
bring some of your favorite CD's. Especially ones that you think your music
can or should sound like. This will help your mastering engineer understand
what you want from your session.
- Ask questions. Don't
be afraid or intimidated by the process. Your mastering engineer is happy
to explain the process and show you what he/she is doing.
Oscar, how long does it take to master something?
There is no definitive
answer, but an average full music CD consisting of approximately 40-50 minutes
of music (10-14 songs) usually can be finished in about 4-5 hours. A CD single
with a few different versions can usually be finished in an hour or less.
Oscar, can you do mastering for vinyl (LP or 12")
Oscar, what Formats do you accept?
- 1/2" Analog
- 1/4" Analog
- Sony 1630
- Other formats
can be arranged, please call ahead.