Frequently Asked Questions – General Info
What are the audio specifications for my songs to be mastered?
When you submit your audio, it would be preferable that all the tracks are in WAV, AIFF or any other lossless audio format. Please do not send mp3, m4a or any other NON LOSSY formats.
Preferably they would be in 24 bit resolution (or higher) and at a sampling rate of 44,100 Hz (or higher). Don’t worry if you don’t understand what the hell I’m on about, your recording engineer would be aware of these specifications.
The mix downs should also have no dithering added to the file – again, don’t worry if you do not understand, your recording engineer should already know that dithering is not be used on the mix downs. Dithering is added into the audio right at the very end of the mastering process and should be left for me to do.
I would like to have some reverb added to the overall mix, can you do this?
Yes, absolutely – generally I add a very small amount of reverb to most tracks. Such a small amount that it is barely noticeable to the listening ear. Usually this is done to tracks that are extremely dry sounding.
However… you may want the music to sound dry because it is the type of sound that you want – which is fine – if that is what you want, then that is what I will do.
If you would like reverb added in a light, medium, or heavy kind of way, please make this known to me and I’ll do what I can to accommodate your request. Write any requests into a text file and attach it along with your music when you upload it.
I’ve just heard something weird in the mix, there’s a strange noise, and the bass sounds funny. Can you fix this?
Unfortunately there is nothing I can do as I cannot take a stereo file and un-mix it to change the sounds – you will need to go back to the recording engineer and the session file, and correct the problem there. My adjustments are made to the entire file and not the individual tracks that make up the file.
The better your mix quality when it comes to me, the better it will be when I send it back to you – make sure that you are 100% happy with the mix before you send it to me.
And also… I cannot stress this enough: If your recording engineer recommends you spend more time in the editing and mixing phase – do exactly what they say! I know that budgets can be an issue… but they are only thinking of the final product… the recording engineer only has the interests of the final product on their mind.
Being a recording engineer (in my opinion) is a much harder job in the music production game, than most believe. Often in a music production, the mastering engineer and the producer get a large chunk of the credit in a recording, but personally I believe it’s the recording engineer who deserves that credit!
They have a massive job to do, from selecting appropriate microphones, setting up the kit, choosing appropriate effects, different methods of capturing sounds, staying focused on the task at hand. Believe me! I could go on and on and on! Their job is MASSIVE compared to mine.
These people really know their shit! So if they recommend more time for editing and mixing… trust me! Take their word for it!
Do you compete in the loudness wars?
No, absoloutly not! I master audio to make it sound good, I’ve got no time to argue with other people and compare screenshots of peoples ridiculous wave forms. I prefer music to have a clear sound with a good dynamic representation of the musician’s abilities. If competing in the loudness wars is what you intend, you are more than welcome to take your project elsewhere. In-fact i will even pass on the details of someone who would probably be more suitable for mastering your project.
How do I send you my audio?
Send it to me via online cloud storage (this is my preferred method). Send your cloud storage folder links to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can send your audio to me via post on a CD or on a USB memory stick. Please email me at email@example.com for address details.
I already have my audio stored in an online cloud storage account, can I just send you the link to that folder?
YES! I’d prefer that you upload your audio to an online cloud storage account. Please be sure that you include any text files that may have any specific instructions. You will receive a confirmation email when your files have been successfully downloaded on my side of the internet.
This is the easiest and quickest way for me to receive audio… the more time I spend driving into town to check the mailbox, is more time I am not working on music.
If you already have a Google account for YouTube or for your android device, then you are already entitled to 15 gigabytes of free storage on the Google Drive servers. And if you don’t have a gmail account… sign up for one! It’s easy and completely free! Sign up to Google Drive HERE
Another free service is Dropbox. With Dropbox you can get 2 gigabytes of free storage. You can sign up for Dropbox HERE
Simply create a folder within your Dropbox or Google Drive account then upload your files to that folder, hit the “SHARE” button, copy the link and then email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org
How long will it take to master my EP/Album and how much will it cost?
It will take approximately two full eight to ten hour days (based on a full length studio album). I am not charging on an hourly basis, I am charging on a per song basis, and the job is done when it is done. I charge a flat rate of $40 dollars (Aus) per audio track.
Do I pay before or after completion?
Here’s the good bit: I will master two of your tracks and send them to you for your evaluation. If you like what you hear and wish to proceed, I will request payment and get to work on the rest of your tracks as soon as payment is received. Payments can be made easily via Paypal HERE
If you wish to have only one to three tracks mastered, payment will be required upfront.
If you prefer, you can also pay by direct bank transfer, so please ask me for the details when you are ready to make payment.
How will I receive my mastered tracks?
You will receive your tracks in a standard WAV, 16 Bit – 44,100 Hz format. This format is an industry standard used for CD duplication. I will upload your files to a cloud storage site, so you can download them at your end.
You can also use these files to encode to other popular compressed formats such as mp3, m4a, wma, ogg , etc.
If you wish to have the files burned to a disk or sent to you on a USB thumb drive through the post, this can also be arranged. However an extra charge of $20 (AUD) will apply.
My computer blew up and I lost all my master files… HELP!
Don’t worry about it! I store all of my client’s music on secure hard drives, the original 16 bit, 24 bit, 32 bit files have been stored so if you need them again at any point, they can be provided to you for free (as a download) at any time.
Unless I am specifically instructed to delete the master files after the completion of mastering, your files will be safely saved on my end (pending that no computers or hard drives with your music on it, mysteriously implode)
Can me and my band come and hang out at the studio while you master our tracks?
No is the answer put simply – my work depends on my level of concentration, and when I am concentrating on your music, that is all I am doing. The most distracting thing for me is humans… talking, laughing and phones going bleep bleep bleep is not helpful to the mastering process! I live in a quiet rural Australian setting, nice and far from distractions. When I am working, I am 100% immersed in your musical creations. This is the ONLY way I can work, and work accurately. When I am working, the phone is off, the doors are locked, and I am left in solitary confinement with your music. You may also notice that I am hard to get a hold of on the phone during day time hours – I do not keep my phone in the studio. The easiest way for you to reach me is via email… the day time is for working, and the night time is for catching up on correspondence… (this is a strict rule especially when I am busy). If I have some down time I make every effort to respond more promptly… but like I said… I’m immersed in the music, and that’s it, nothing else exists to me except the music.
Any further questions? EMAIL ME HERE!