What is Mastering?

What is Mastering?

Mastering is the last thing that happens in a music production. 

  • First you record and edit.
  • Then you mix.
  • Then you MASTER.
How is it done?

How is it done?

A good mastering engineer uses a combination of high-tech digital tools, hi-fi analogue tools, and above all highly skilled ears to make final shape enhancements to your mixes. 

  • Your mix will often be run through very high-resolution eq’s, and processed for dynamics in each frequency range separately, then re-combined for a final maximized level.  This is how an album sounds ‘loud’ or ‘full’. 
  • Sometimes an engineer might add slight ambience or reverb to a track, if it’s a little dry or lacking. 
  • These slight adjustments unlock the real character and tone you worked so hard to capture and create.
Why is it done?

Why is it done?

Mastering controls any over-resonances in your mixes, hides any harsh sibilance and controls any boomy drums or dynamics. 

  • The relative balance and effects of your music is created in the mix down. 
  • The final tone, balance and volume come from mastering.
Why Private Records

Why Private Records

The revolution in home studios has brought us finished products that really don’t sound as good as they could have.  Sometimes this is because people think they can just ‘do it themselves’, or that they can’t afford professional mastering. 

  • Professional productions with professional budgets never make it out the door without mastering.
  • Private Records uses state-of-the-art digital and analogue gear to get your master the way it should sound. 
  • Our ‘low overhead’ approach ensures the best quality to dollar ratio possible, passing the savings onto you. 
  • Now you can affordably master albums, singles and even demos, to give you every bit of competitive edge you can find.
Why not do it Myself?

Why not do it Myself?

Mastering is not really about ‘maxing out the levels’.  This leads to music that sounds over-compressed, un-dynamic, un-musical and often distorted. 

  • To master successfully, an experienced mastering engineer must spend the time to get to know your sound, then find what makes your sound unique, and highlight that unique character.  This is not a process you can accomplish with an automated software application!  
  • We know you put your heart and soul into those tracks.  We know you ate and slept your music while you were working on it.  The creative process ends with the recording being finished. 
  • The process of mastering is a separate, added-on stage of completion and polish. It’s very much like the difference between your construction contractor building you a house, and an interior designer putting finishing touches on it. 
  • Your creative vision brought you to a place where you have a stereo mix of what you wanted it to be.  Mastering is now refining those attributes to the highest standards possible.  The polish.  Therefore a different process of ‘creativity’ is required.  When recording and mixing, even the most accomplished producers and engineers often get so used to the sound that they no longer hear a flaw, because they’ve become so used to hearing it, day in and day out. 
  • A legendary example of this is the multi-million seller Rumors from Fleetwood Mac.  They actually wore the drums off the tape and had to replace them later!   They only noticed it months into the project!  If it can happen to them, it can happen to you!
What gear do you use for this Magic Polish?

What gear do you use for this Magic Polish?

Typical mastering sessions tend to draw on multi-band compressors, companders, limiters, parametric de-essers, linear equalizers, dither, and analogue 2 bus summing. 

  • Private Records’ studio uses a full Protools HD3 rig, 192 i/o’s, and a 24 fader d-command for LARC control and automation.
  • Mastering at Private Records brings you the polish you need, with the right gear and the right ears. 
  • At a price you can afford. 
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