- Mastering - $50/Track
- Mixing - $200/Track
- Sound Mixing For Film - $50/hr
- Film Scoring - $50/hr
What is Mastering, and why it’s important?
Mastering is taking an audio mix and preparing it for distribution.
The goal of mastering is to make sure your song translates well, and sounds great on a variety of different systems. e.g. Headphones, car speakers, and club systems.
Other factors to consider: making the album sound cohesive from track to track, maintaining sonic consistency across an album.
What to expect from Mastering
You can expect mastering to correct mix balance issues and enhance sonic qualities of a good mix.
Typically the outcome is a clean, clear, warm and sweet sounding master ready for distribution.
What not to expect from Mastering
What you cannot expect from mastering, is to receive a great master from a bad mix. On average, I would say a mastering engineer can take a mix to the next level. For example, if you send an average mix, the mastering engineer can enhance the record taking the sonics from average to above average.
Limitation of Mastering
What a mastering engineer cannot do is add effects like delay to certain instruments without affecting other instruments in the process. That should be done in the mix.
Mastering isn’t about fixing a bad mix, it's about sweetening the mix you have.
How to prepare a mix for Mastering
Headroom - Make sure you leave headroom in your mix. Try to peak around -6db. Don’t just pull down the master fader to achieve this, bring down the levels of each individual track in the mix.
Clicks and Pops - Make sure there aren’t any unwanted clicks or pops in your mix, as mastering will bring up the volume of those unwanted noises. Use headphones and check vocal tracks for lip smacks and unwanted mouth noises. Also, check chopped samples that may have been cut on the waveform, as they create digital clicks and pops in your mix.
Master Fader (Stereo Bus) - Remove any limiter or loudness plugins from the master buss. If have any doubt whether you should leave a master bus plugin on, its best to take it off and send a note. Chances are a mastering engineer can utilize the effect better than you.
Exporting Audio - Bounce, render or mixdown your mix at the same sample rate as the mix session. Let the mastering engineer handle any sample rate conversions. E.g. if your project settings are 32 bit 44.1khz then export your mix as a 32 bit 44.1khz stereo file.
Instrumentals or TV Tracks - If you need instrumentals or tv tracks send those as well. It will cost you less than if you try to send them later. Essentially the mastering engineer will have to master them again, if you send them later.
Reference Tracks - There are two types of reference tracks I like to recieve. One, is a rough master from the producer or mix engineer The other is a commercial track that has been released. Reference tracks can help a mastering engineer get an idea of how you would like your master to sound.
Adam A7X Studio Monitors
Avantone Active Mixcube Monitors
Custom Built DAW
Ableton Live 10
SA 4000 Stereo Bus Compressor (SSL)
Pete's Place BAC-500 (1176)
Klark Teknik (LA2A)
ART Pro VLA II Opto Compressor (Modified by Revive Audio)
DBX 560A (Pair)
DBX 163 (pair)
ART VLA 500 (Pair)
FMR Audio RNC 1773
Bettermaker 502P (Pultec)
Maag EQ2 (pair)
Slate Digital VMS ML-1
Slate Digital VMS ML-2
Baby Bottle (Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics 1998-2004)
Oktava MK 219 (Micheal Joly Mod)
Slate VMS One
Steinberg UR824 (16 Channels of Preamps)
Komplete Kontrol S61 (Komplete 10 Ultimate)
Ion Profile LP TurnTable