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  • What is audio mastering?
    Mastering is the final stage of audio production before a record or single is released into the world. It is an essential step that bridges the gap between the months of recording & production work you've given to a project and its release into the world. Mastering isn't really about making a song or album sound like other records out there, it's first and foremost about framing your project in a way that best connects your art with its audience. Mastering is a crutial time for you to view your project in the exact way that it will be heard once it is released. You will hear if any corrections are needed and we can work out the best way to make these either in the mastering domain or by revising the mix. Once the masters are approved, I can create the correct files for any audio release, from online distribution (TIDAL, Apple Music, Spotify etc.) to CD to vinyl and cassette.
  • Do you offer 'demo' masters?
    Of course. I'll happily do a sample master of one track for new clients to see whether they'd like to hire me for the rest of their project. I currently do not offer sample masters for single track projects. Sample masters are only available for multi-track projects such as EPs or albums. Get in touch and we'll get things rolling... (Here is an upload link if needed)
  • Can you review my mixes before mastering?
    Yes. If you are unsure whether your mixes are ready for mastering then feel free to send them over prior to booking a session. I'll have a listen and be able to give you a couple of suggestions on how elements could be enhanced before we move onto the mastering stage. However, the last thing I want to do is step on or 'water down' your creation. If I do suggest anything, it'll either be purely technical or simply a way to enhance certain elements that may feel slightly lacking musically. In any case, it's a conversation we can have with everyone involved and at the very least will give me a deeper understanding of your vision and artistic intention moving forward.
  • How do I send you mix files to master?
    You can securely upload mix files via the upload link I provide here. Alternatively, you can use whichever file sharing service is easiest for you such as Google Drive or Dropbox etc.
  • In what format should I send you the mix files?
    Sample Frequency: Always keep the sample frequency at the rate that the audio was recorded / mixed. Because all of my work is done in the analogue domain, I can 'pitch' a mix at any sample rate (up to 96kHz) and then capture the master at the delivery sample rate (up to 96kHz) without using any sample rate conversion. This avoids all of the unwanted artifacts that SRC introduces, which ultimately changes the tone and impact of your music. Bit-Rate: Keep the bit-rate as high as you can. If possible it should be no lower than 24-bit, however, 32-bit floating / fixed point files are even better. Try to avoid sending 16-bit files if possible. All files must be sent as uncompressed .WAV / .AIFF files. Do not send compressed lossy or lossless files such as .MP3 / .FLAC / .AAC etc...
  • How much headroom should my mix have?
    My only request regarding headroom is that there are no peaks at 0dBFS (no clipping) and peak normalization is turned off. Send me the mix that you love the most regardless of how much headroom it has. As long as I am working with the mix that sounds the best to you then I am happy. Ultimately, do what serves your music the best. If your mix does have heavy mix-buss processing, then it's often useful to send two versions; one with these processors on and one with them bypassed. This way we can decide together which approach best serves the final result. For those who would like a general rule of thumb, mixes should aim to have peaks somewhere above -18dBFS and should never clip at 0dBFS (when working with 24-bit files). This leaves a healthy amount of headroom for any processing that may be needed in the mastering domain.
  • Should I apply dither to my mix?
    Dither is only needed when you move from a higher bit depth to a lower bit depth. If 16-bit is the highest quality you can provide then please use dither on export to avoid truncation distortion. Use either flat / TPDF dither or noise-shaping dither for this. Dither isn't really necessary for 24-bit files but won't harm the audio quality at all if you want to add it. There are arguments that do suggest dither is worth adding for 24-bit exports but it definitely won't 'make or break' a mix - pay much more attention to EQ, dynamics, balance etc. to create a good mix. Use either no dither at all or flat / TPDF (triangular) dither for 24-bit files and avoid using noise-shaping dither. Do not dither if you are sending full resolution 32-bit floating point or higher files.
  • How quickly will I receive the masters after I have booked a session and sent you the final mixes?
    Typical turnaround time for most mastering projects is approx. 3 - 6 working days from the time you upload the mix files. However, this timeline is subject to change depending on how busy things are. To make sure that your project is sent back to you in time, please get in touch at least 10 working days before your production deadline.
  • What if I need changes to the masters?
    Sometimes revisions are required. If so, I am more than happy to make these to the best of my ability until everyone is happy at no extra cost. However, if you need to make significant changes to the mix you originally sent that requires me to mastering again from scratch, then a small additional charge for each new mix sent will be added. To avoid any unexpected additional charges, please make sure that the final mixes you send are the best that you can achieve. Also please be certain that all mixes have been approved by everyone involved before sending. If you are unsure whether your mix is ready for mastering then feel free to send it over prior to booking a session. I'll gladly have a listen and, if necessary, be able to offer any advice on how it could be improved before we move onto the mastering stage.
  • What format(s) will I receive the master files as?
    If no specific file formats are requested prior to booking, masters will be delivered as 44.1kHz 16-bit WAVs as standard. If needed, I can deliver masters as stereo WAV or FLAC files at any sample rate up to 96kHz / 24-bit, as well as high quality MP3s up to 320kbps. Any number of file formats can be authored at no additional cost. If you are releasing on CD, you will receive a DDP image that can be sent directly to the CD duplication factory. If you require additional 'pre-masters' for vinyl or cassette, please get in touch and we can discuss what you'll need. All files are delivered securely via WeTransfer unless requested otherwise.
  • Do you take international payments (currencies other than GBP)?
    I use Wise for all international payments. Any major currency can be used and all associated conversion fees are much lower than a standard international wire transfer. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and does not apply any markup unlike other services. Please add roughly 1% to your total to cover the transfer fees. If you would prefer to use PayPal for international payments then please add roughly 3-5% to your total to cover transfer fees.
  • Do you offer Apple Digital Masters?
    Yes! We are proud to be a certified provider of Apple Digital Masters and can author these files for you whenever requested. Apple Digital Masters is a program that ensures the highest quality playback on Apple's streaming and download services. If a song or album is badged as an Apple Digital Masters release then listeners know they are hearing the best quality audio that Apple can offer. However, a few key rules must be in place prioir to the mastering stage for an Apple Digital Masters release to be successfully recognised by Apple. All recordings have to be made at 24-bit and at any sample rate between 44.1kHz and 192kHz. The mix also needs to have been done at 24-bit or higher and there should have been no sample rate conversion at any stage in the process. If all of the above applies to your project and you're interested in doing an Apple Digital Masters release, then feel free to get in touch and we can have a quick chat about what is involved. Only studios that are certified by Apple can provide files for an Apple Digital Masters release.
Frequently Asked Questions Middle Mastering

For any further questions or to discuss your specific project...

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