FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.

The Process

Submit 24-bit WAV files at project’s original sample rate (e.g., 44.1khz). 

For a more detailed explanation, please read these articles:

 

How to prepare your mix for mastering

How much headroom for mastering

To submit your track, please fill out our intake form at the link below. You'll get an instant quote for the project and we'll have all the info we need for mastering and scheduling.

 

Mastering rates and bookings

Depending on the complexity, mastering projects' turnaround time is generally less than 72 hrs for singles and 3 to 7 days for EP/Albums after project confirmation.

 

If you are working to a deadline and need a faster turnaround time, please let us know when booking your project.

Our mastering rates are determined by factors such as the total number of songs, any additional alternate mixes, and the desired deliverables (e.g., DDP, individual WAV & MP3 files, separate preparation for lacquer cutting, Mastered for iTunes, etc.). To get an instant cost estimate based on your project's specific needs go to our projects quote page.

Mastering revisions based on client feedback are free of charge. We can work together as necessary to make sure we get the sound you’re looking for.

If you need to remix a song to fix a problem or adjust something in the original mix, yes you can resubmit your mix and a small fee of $25 apply to remaster/re-print the new mix. 

If you are not happy with our work, you can contact us for free revisions within 30 days. We will do whatever it takes to meet your requirements during our revision process. If we decide that we are not the right fit for your project after the revision process, contact us for a refund. Our only requirement is that the masters are not released for sale or promotion and that refunds are requested within 30 days of receiving the masters.

After the final masters are approved, all deliverable files will be prepared as per your project-specific requirements. The standard delivery files included in all projects are:

  • 24-bit 48k WAV file, which is suitable for most online distributors.


If you have additional file format requirements, please specify them in the project's intake form or during the project discussions.

Services

Yes, you can request a free test master. You’ll be able to see how your mastered track sounds and we’ll both know whether our mastering style is right for you.

If you like what you hear, you’ll then have the option to buy the release-ready final masters. To request a free test master, please upload your track using this form, and you’ll get a sample within 72 hours.

Yes, we can do stem mastering for some projects. This is not a standard service and you should only ask for it if your mix has technical problems that need stems to fix. Stem mastering costs $120 per track for up to 6 stems. Each extra stem is $15 more. If you would like stem mastering, please use the contact form and tell us about your project. Here are a couple of blog posts that will guide you through the decision-making process of whether to opt for stem mastering or traditional stereo mastering. It covers the what, when, and how of stem mastering, including its benefits, ideal use cases, and the process involved. 

Stem Mastering: Decision-Making Guide
Stem Mastering: Do you really need it? This will help you decide 

 

Yes, we can master your tracks for vinyl and prepare them for the vinyl-cutting engineer. Just select Vinyl under the "production formats" options when submitting your project via our intake form. This way, we can make sure the final masters are ready for vinyl. For more info about vinyl mastering please check out this article

Mastering for vinyl what you need to know

Yes, we've been evaluated and approved by Apple as an official Apple Digital Masters Provider studio. Just select "HiRes Apple Digital Masters" under the "production formats" options when submitting your project via our intake form. 

Learn more about Apple Digital Masters here:

Apple digital masters

 

Yes, we can prepare and create a DDP Image and it's the corresponding DDP player. Please select "DDP" under the "production formats" options when submitting your project via our intake form.

Read on to learn more about DDP images, their advantages over traditional methods, and their crucial role in modern CD production. 

DDP master player

 

Payment

Payment for a project is due upon completion and final approval of all mastered files. Please note, the payment needs to be completed before the final deliverables are sent.

 

We accept payment through bank transfer, PayID, and credit card.

We can also arrange PayPal payment at your request. 

If you choose to use PayPal as your preferred payment method, depending on where you live and whether you have an active PayPal account, PayPal may give you the choice to pay in four installments without interest or late fees when you check out. Please note that this is subject to PayPal's terms and conditions.

If after the revision process we agree that I'm not the right fit for your project, you can contact me to request a refund. My only requirements are that my mixes or masters are not released for sale or promotion and that refunds are requested within 30 days of receiving your mixes or masters.

Mastering

Mastering is the finalisation process where everything gets baked together. This is where the mix is perfected, and the track as a whole is worked on to give it shine, sparkle, volume, depth, punch and loudness.

During the mastering process, as audio engineers, we will typically utilise different tools like compression, stereo width tools, limiters, maximisers, EQ, automation and more to ensure that the final master achieves the right levels to meet industry standards and the proper tone for your style of music.

Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:

What is mastering

Here is a comprehensive guide that demystifies the world of audio mixing and mastering. This article provides a clear understanding of the differences between mixing and mastering, their importance in music production, and why they should be handled by professionals. It also offers insights into the time and cost involved in these processes. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:

Mixing And Mastering: A Simple (But Complete) Guide

 

Mastering can indeed breathe life into a mix, but it's not a magic wand that can fix all issues. Some problems, like clipping, can't be eliminated entirely during mastering. Issues of EQ and panning can be patched up to some extent, but a mastering engineer can't separate individual tracks during an online mastering session. The key takeaway is that a clean, balanced mix, free from artifacts, gives your mastering engineer the best audio to work with. So, before you jump into mastering, ensure your mix is as polished as it can be. Remember, mastering is about enhancing a good mix, not fixing a bad one.

Learn more here: Can Mastering Fix a Bad Mix?

As an artist, you might wonder if it's necessary to create unique masters for each streaming platform, considering their varying requirements. This article dives deep into this topic, exploring the concept of normalisation used by streaming platforms, the evolution of platform standards, and the financial implications of creating separate masters. 

Should You Master for Different Digital Platforms? Read This to Decide

 

Our goal in mastering is to make something sound great and not exceed its loudness potential. Its loudness potential is the point above which the sound gets worse, anything louder is by definition a compromise.

We aim to get a sound for the master that the artist and/or label are happy with in terms of their vision for the track, and that is technically correct, and this can sometimes be an iterative process.

Here is an article we wrote that provides seven crucial tips to maximise the benefits of mastering. These tips are not just for seasoned professionals but also for those who are just starting out in the music industry. They cover everything from preparing your mix, and using a reference track, to the importance of communication with your engineer. 

7 Ways To Ensure You Get the Most Out of Mastering

 

When preparing your music for release, understanding the technical requirements is crucial. Our article on 'Master Formats and Metadata for Music Distribution' provides essential information on file formats, metadata, and distribution channels. For a deeper dive into specific aspects of music identification, don't miss our comprehensive guide on 'Understanding ISRC and UPC codes: A Comprehensive Guide for Musicians'. These resources will help ensure your music is properly formatted and identifiable across various platforms.

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