FAQ

LOUD MASTERING

Making Music Timeless

 




  • Mastering is the final, creative process that finalises your music before releasing it to the public. Mastering can help correct mix flaws (though it is always better to fix a mix before mastering), stabilise playback over a number of systems, balance tracks within an album and create a consistency within the project as a whole. Sometimes mastering simply casts an objective ear over your music to give you confidence that your music sounds correct. Mastering your music using a professional mastering engineer takes the guesswork out of your release, allows it to stand up to other commercial releases and gives it the edge over unmastered tracks.

  • We have mastered releases for many independent and major labels such as EMI, Island, Mute, Fiction, Warp, Beggars Banquet, Sony, Real World, Warners, Bonsai Progressive, ViVA Music, Mood Records, Drumcode, 4AD, Lucky Number, Sunday Best, Genius Music and Universal!

  • WAV or AIFs should be uploaded via our Wetransfer uplink. 16bit or higher resolution at 44.1k or better. Feel free to provide any audio examples of music you would like your sound to relate to (these can be MP3s or just titles that can be located on iTunes). Zipping up packages with all your content enclosed (notes, refs, WAVs, fade/compile guides, etc) is recommended for your, and our convenience.

  • Yes, along with our Wetransfer account we have a Dropbox location. Please send an invite link to the contact form on the uploads page: here.

  • The main studio is normally booked a few weeks in advance. We do, however, try and keep some time in the diary each week for quick turn around projects. Attended sessions really need to be booked with plenty of notice.

    Album and single projects in Studio 2 have a lot more flexibility but please note that the studio is busy and sometimes unavoidable delays can happen, you will be informed asap if this is the case.

  • We do offer a basic mix service. Both engineers are experienced mixers in many genres of music. Rich is actively producing and mixing tracks for artists and before switching to mastering, Jason worked in a commercial recording studio and gained years of experience in that field. Please contact us to discuss.

  • Should you not be happy with the mastering, please contact us to discuss. With an unattended service you are relying upon our expertise to give you a finished master that conforms to standards and our best guess as to what you like. Mastering is a creative process and sometimes the result may not be to your expectation. We will usually happily recall and provide another master however it is worth noting that sometimes the expectation and the music provided may not be feasible. All recalls are done at our discretion, the mastering service charges are still applicable but there is no charge for a recall.

  • Sometimes mastering can show some unexpected results from the supplied mix. Usually, if the mix doesn’t meet premastering requirements or the engineer flags some problems upon first listen, we will contact you and discuss mix issues and see if a new mix can be supplied. In this instance there is no charge as the mastering engineer is asking for the changes. If you wish to supply a new mix because you discovered a part is wrong or want to change the vocal (for example) then technically it’s classed as a new session and is billable. These instances are discretionary to the engineer.

  • If time allows then yes, we’re happy to master and upload an MP3 demo for you. The engineer will master the track and supply a section of it for you to hear. Please note that demos can take longer to return than booked mastering sessions as we have to fit them around our existing work. Please contact us (below) before sending a demo or clearly state DEMO ONLY on the upload page.

  • A DDP is a file specifically for CD replication (full CD production). If you’re not pressing CD’s then you don’t require a DDP.

  • MFiT is short for Mastered For iTunes. It’s a more specific WAV format that iTunes uses to create a better, higher resolution download file. We usually supply MFiT files as 44.1k 24bit or 96k 24bit. MFiT files normally have more headroom than standard WAVs so can also appear slightly quieter in volume (if they’re done correctly). Check that you can supply MFiT files to iTunes before ordering. A word of caution, MFiT doesn’t like up-sampled files, if your recordings are bounced at 16bit 44k then trying to supply higher resolution up-sampled versions may not pass MFiT’s quality control. If you would prefer HD files (but not specifically MFiT), please enquire.

  • The loudness debate stems from a poor understanding of music and dynamics. It was something that happened as a fad two decades ago and is finally starting to loose popularity. The cliché of loud masters for the sake of it will never fully disappear, now, so we endeavour to give you a master that is competitive with todays popular music (unless you state otherwise). We actively advise clients to retain some space in their music, if you ask for a mastering slammed into oblivion we may reject it. Don’t worry, though, we can get volume!

  • No. LOUD Mastering was named after the loud shirts John used to (and Jason still does) wear to the studio. It’s a common misunderstanding about our name!

Analogue Foundation: John Dent talks Analogue

John Dent Lecture (Melbourne 2006) | Red Bull Music Academy

John Dent Lecture (Barcelona 2008) | Red Bull Music Academy

GUTS MASTERING with John Dent

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