What is needed from me? What can I do to prepare for the mastering session?
Make sure your mixes are well organized and clearly labeled. If you are not attending the session contact us for information about uploading them to us. If you are attending the session and bringing the mixes with you on the day of the session it’s a good idea to consolidate all of the files onto a single CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Flash Drive or Hard Drive. It’s also a good idea to bring a back-up copy. Have a song sequence worked out, even if it’s a rough version that you are still working on. Also let us know the exact artist name, album title and ISRC codes for the songs if you have them.
What formats do you accept for mastering?
We generally work from finished stereo mixes. We can work from separate stems or sub-mixes but bear in mind that this can be more time intensive.
For digital mixes we prefer stereo interleaved wave or aiff files at the same sample rate and bit depth as the mixing session. We accept sample rates of 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K and 96K. These can be delivered as an online upload (contact us for details) or on physical media such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Flash Drive or Hard Drive.
For analog mixes we can accommodate ½” stereo tape at 15 or 30 i.p.s. With enough advance notice we can also make arrangements for the playback of ¼” tape. Make sure there are adequate test tones for us to align to. We also have Dolby SR.
If you have any questions about formats or specifications please contact us and we will be glad to help.
Where does mastering fit into the production timeline?
Ideally, you will schedule your mastering session a few days or possibly even a few weeks after the mixing has been completed. This will give you chance to take one last listen and be certain that you are satisfied with the mixes before moving forward with mastering. Once the mastering is completed it is best to allow 2-3 weeks to set up everything with your replicator including finalizing the artwork. Many replicators can complete the job in 2-3 weeks after that plus time for shipping. It is best to plan to have your project mastered 1-3 months before the scheduled release date to allow for revisions, replication and media coverage.
When will my project be completed?
All sessions , attended or unattended, are scheduled for a specific time on our calendar. At the end of the session we can upload a DDP to you along with our DDP player software or we can ship a CD to you if you prefer. Once approved by you we can upload a DDP directly to your replication company or ship a Replication Master CD to you.
What is the difference between the Reference CDs that we received and the Replicaton Master CD?
The audio on the Reference CDs and Replication Master CD is identical. If you require a Replication Master CD rather than a DDP upload (highly recommended) it will include a scan for imperfections of the media along with an error report. It will also include a PQ sheet listing the exact contents for your replication company. The other thing that makes it the Master is simply that it has been designated as one and therefore it has not been handled, played and potentially abused the way a Reference CD has. Play your Reference copy everywhere and enjoy it, that’s what it is for. Keep the Master clean and ready for replication.
Do you also offer recording and mixing services?
No, we have chosen to direct all of our energy and resources into the art of mastering. We have been in business for many years and have many clients who own recording studios throughout the Southeast. Contact us and we will be more than happy to give you some recommendations.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, Visa, Master Card, American Express and PayPal. Payment is due upon completion of the work, no materials will be released until full payment has been received.