If you are an independent artist releasing a CD, we highly recommend that you contact a full-time project mastering company to get the most out of your material (see some links in the sidebar).
But don't spend so much that you have no money left for CDs, cassettes, or vinyl pressing! The bottom line is that you need physical things to sell to your fans and to give to club owners and promoters.
An MP3 may just get forgotten amongst the millions of other MP3 files.
If you are pressed for time or just need some transfers or repair work done, we do have the experience and ears to do a good job. Common last-minute repair work we do:
- Editing CD-Text and ISRC codes
- Fixing the spacing between songs or moving the CD track markers
- Rearranging the order of songs
- Making multisession masters
We can work from the following sources:
- Vinyl (playback on Linn LP12 turntable)
- Audio cassette
- 1/4" half-track reel-to-reel tape at 15, 7.5, and 3.75 inches per second.
- WAV, AIFF, MP3 and any almost other computer file (24-bit files preferred if processing required)
- and from any other equipment you can supply or we can find
We can do global EQ, noise reduction, tonal enhancement, crossfades, etc... Often customers want to raise the level of their CD master to be comparable in volume to commercial releases, and that is something we can do with some high-end software.
We do not offer inhouse attended sessions. For extra work or attended sessions we will offer an estimate or a referral to a project-mastering studio. See the sidebar for project mastering studios.
Yes it may bepossible to repair masters that have been recorded or "mastered" too loud and have harsh digital clipping. Often you will hear this kind of unnatural clippy sound on the loudest parts of a track and that is digital clipping. Sometimes it may be just one track out of a multi-track mix that has clipping on it. Instead of going back to the studio and rerecording the track, it may be possible to remove the clips. Send your master or a WAV file for evaluation and a quote.
Enhanced CDs / CD-Extra
We have made many combined audio/data CD masters so we can be sure our masters will not fail in glass mastering. The standard rate for combining an audio CD with a data session is $150, including an approval copy for you, and a master copy for replication or duplication.
All our work is carefully checked and QC'd. However it is up to the client to give it the OK!
We will also convert your CD audio master into DDP files ready to send to glass mastering.
We do not do Project Mastering. By that we mean we do not specialize in the tweaking of your tracks for commercial release. We can refer you to people who do that full-time, or we can take care of the liason for you. See some links in the sidebar.
Audio Cassette Mastering
We are now doing more and more cassette duplication... yes it is hard to believe! Our realtime cassette duplication is actually capable of high-end audiophile quality, better in some ways than CD, so we offer that you send high-res digital files. We are the only company in the world offering 24-bit direct-to-cassette real-time duplication!
The ideal source today for vinyl is 24bit WAV or AIFF files at 44.1 or 48kHz sampling rate (we can also accept analog reel-to-reel tape however there are courier charges to send the heavy reel to the lacquer-cutting engineer, and to return it). You will get the best results by not exceeding around 20 minutes per side, and by recording and miking in conservative simple ways. Like don't put your microphone 1 inch from the cymbals. Make sure the vocal track does not sound like "sssss" on every "s". Record a natural sound so that the mix doesn't have to be extremely limited and de-essed to be cut to vinyl. If your mix is too hot, the cutting engineer will simply have to compress and limit the high frequencies, making for a muddy record, or reduce the overall sound level. Many mastering facilities cannot handle anything over 20 minutes per side... but we are working with a pro who is confident to cut lacquers up to 30 minutes per side. TEST COPIES: Note that compromises must be made in vinyl mastering. Lacquers, stampers, and test pressings cost a lot of money. To reduce the risk you can order a reference cut which saves the cost of the stampers and test pressing. Contact us for more info.