What's your typical turnaround?
On a normal week, I can master a song within 24 hours for your approval; after that, an additional 24 hours for other formats/masters of the same song. Albums start the same way with one song. Then I usually seek 2-3 days for the rest. Building the album can take a little extra time, communicating back and forth, but you'll receive frequent updates on status. You'll have the final say/approval before I send you the final masters.
Should I have my music mastered?
While it's easy to always say "yes", some artists, producers, and mix engineers already know how to attain a great mix, and that may be enough. However, mastering isn't just about the final touch. It's about getting another opinion and scrutiny that may make a big difference in your music stacking up to industry releases. Mastering is also about quality control, critical listening, and final formatting that you need for proper loudness levels and encoding. But let's start with making it sound AWESOME, first!
How do I get started?
All you need is a mix that moves you and just a few minutes to contact me. I will get back to you and we'll chat online or on the phone. It's fast and easy to catch me up to speed. I will be ready to answer any questions you have related to your project. I'll walk you through everything step by step if you're new to this. Even if you're in the mix process, get me involved early on! I will listen to any demos you have and give you free feedback you may seek.
What does mastering do for my mix?
The mastering process will hopefully take your mix to a whole new level, from great to awesome! The general idea is to take the masterpiece you've been working on and do only what's necessary to make it compete in the world of commercially successful music. If your mix is already awesome I may only need to adjust it or apply it to the correct format, digital or analog, that you require for your release, meanwhile not compromising the vibe and power you're already loving about your mix.
Think of mastering as the process between Mix and Release
Can I improve on your mix?
I will work hard to make your mix translate with the highest sonic quality on each platform you wish to release your music to your audience.
Will your mix change?
This is the scariest thing for most when it comes to mastering. No, I do not seek to change the vibe, power, and honesty of the mix. If anything, I only seek to improve it so that you love it even more not less. No exceptions!
What are my payment options?
PayPal is my payment solution of choice but not the only method. I typically send you the invoice before getting started and you can pay with PayPal or credit card. If these aren't for you, there's other methods we can use. Just ask. No bitcoin or other digital currency, please.
What file format do I submit, and how?
If your mix session is 24-Bit, 48Khz, then you can send me a stereo file of that. Just whatever your session is mixed in you can export that to a Left+Right stereo output. All files should be in .WAV format. Please don't try and make the file smaller, dithered, or encoded as an MP3, for example. I do also accept stems, and different mix versions to choose from, if you submit them. All files can be sent via WeTransfer, DropBox, Google shared folder, or another acceptable method. Please feel free to send me links to other reference mixes you want to stack up to, perhaps the demo mix/master you loved most from your mix session. Many times knowing what direction you'd like the master to go in speeds up the process.
Any specific mix tweaks I need to make before sending?
Don't go crazy with compression, excessive limiting, or clipping, perhaps, unless it's just what speaks to you. I would say leave me at least some headroom--best to keep the mix under -6db peaks, not squashed to make it super-loud for reasons any mastering engineer would tell you (makes our job more difficult to sort the power, punch, and dynamics out in a heavily compressed or hard limited mix). But do send me your mix that moves you most, even if only as a reference. Send me the mix you need mastered, and also send me the mix that everybody involved has been listening to. I can listen to it and tell you if there's any problems beforehand.
Here is a great blog post on preparing your mixes for mastering. Also, contact me and I'll explain a whole lot more in my checklist and e-Book, Prepping For The Master, which I'll email you quickly.
What's the process for revisions?
I'll start with a single song and master it. You'll receive a .WAV file as 16-Bit, 44.1kHz, as what you'd hear on a CD, typically (let me know if you prefer another file format for this demo). From this you can listen to the file where you need to reference and approve the master quality. If you love it I'll move on to any other songs and formats, keeping you posted on updates and time frames. If you think you'd like more or less of something in the master I will tweak it for free (within reason, but the first revision is always free).
Want to tweak your mix? Sometimes it's possible you may want to tweak something in the mix, or I may recommend the mix be tweaked. In a case like this, I may recommend the mix tweaks up front to save you time and money. However, you may decide later to tweak. Within 30 days, if you'd like to tweak and send it back to me for another pass (Re-Master), it's far less costly than a whole new mastering session!
What do you recommend for my mix?
This sounds like a redundant question but the answer isn't. While you're mixing, should you like to get feedback on your mix, I'm here for that. I do not charge for listening to your mix and giving you the impression and feedback that comes from a mastering engineer. My focus is different from the mix engineer. While he/she's listening to individual instrument arrangements, sound-stage, vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keys, and so on. I'm listening to the entire audio spectrum on an audiophile sound system and I may hear things others may not. If there's something I think that needs to be addressed you can fix those things before ever submitting the mix for mastering.