Online mastering services

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by jmm22, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    It appears there are a number of mastering studios today that also offer online service, where one sends their mix files via email, and then receives the master back through email without ever going to the mastering studio.

    This seems like a good option for those who are not closely situated to larger cities, but I am curious to know how well this kind of service works in practice.

    Are any mastering engineers providing this kind of service? If so, how well does this work for you, and for your clients?
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I can't think of a mastering facility that doesn't offer online file transfer...

    Heck, I probably haven't met 80% of my clients over the past 5 or 6 years (not long before that, it was probably the opposite). I sort of miss attended sessions (although even back in the day, many clients would drop-off and pick-up... Mastering can get pretty darn boring for the client), but there's been a lot of development and I dare say certain advantages to 'remote session' for many people.

    If there's a downside, an awful lot of rather questionable-at-best "online mastering facilities" have popped up overnight... Many of them not exactly on the up-and-up... One must be cautious and diligent when choosing an engineer/facility...
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    ^^^^^^What he said...
  4. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Sure, I do it also and works well.
  5. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    Thanks for the interesting and helpful replies gentlemen. I did not realize it is as common as indicated, perhaps because it's not always the first bit
    of information to jump out from various mastering house websites. My reading was not exhaustive, but I was running across this service often enough to prompt the question.
  6. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    In my case, Online Mastering is not a "type of Mastering" but certainly a service, another way for clients to provide their mixes fast and safe and also get a pretty good average time frame to do their work and of course, they do not have to attend if it is not their wishes or simply because they are to far away.
  7. engineer971

    engineer971 Active Member

    Why do they charge per song when if 2 or 3 songs sound good thru the mastering chain, all 12 will too? It's kind of like, get the few sounding good, and put the songs in order with the fades and let her go. I know there's a real time factor involved when recording to a master in which would take about 40 minutes for 12 songs (approximately), but after you set the gear where they need to be, it's all done after the real time recording on a master is done. Yet they charge sometimes for 6 songs and less, 12 songs and less, or sometimes per song.
  8. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    It's incredibly rare when the same settings are used from one mix to the next. There may be common elements, but very rarely "the same" elements.

    That said - For sure, there are "shortcuts" created during the session with those potential common elements - Over time, you can average that out to make a reasonable "per song" rate that works (I chose to go a different route, as "per song" almost always shot me in the foot - but it works for some).

    THAT said, I much prefer to just charge hourly anyway (although the "package rates" are usually what it comes down to in the end). Hourly is honest and easy to figure out. But a lot of people need to know the price up front.
  9. engineer971

    engineer971 Active Member

    Man, I've been going about this all wrong! Thanks for your advice. I've been doing this without any guidance.

    Do you think in different music, take like bluegrass instruments where all the same instruments are played the same way in each song, there might be an exception?
  10. DonGrossinger

    DonGrossinger Active Member

    I have also been using on line mastering model for many years. I always try to use http:// for both incoming and outgoing files, as they don't have ads and spam. The internet is ideal for quick feedback on results.
  11. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    In circumstances like this, where you have the same instrumentation, maybe recorded them the same and mixed them the same, you should let the ME know because you can usually move through the songs a little faster as there won't be big settings differences.
  12. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Although its absolutely alien to me to do so, my studio manager has been suggesting this for some time, and its something I think we are going to start doing. Not because its the best way, or because it even makes sense, but quite simply, folks who just want a cheap, quick 'master' and do not quite comprehend the term, mainly want to operate in a kind of 'checkout' fashion - add 12 to basket, make album - it may not sit well with me, but if I offer it, I sell more studio hours, and if I don't, well....there isn't another option.
  13. ondray

    ondray Active Member

    In every music creation step, communication is the key. For me, getting on the phone and speaking to one-another works well. just in the last hour I was talking to someone in Alberta, Canada and another in Georgia, US. We live in a global world.

    The web is flooded with online in-out shops that you don't even know their name. Obviously good judgement and gut feeling is needed when making any business transaction on the web.
  14. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    I don't do mastering, but only pre-mastering. My pricing is only related to the uploaded file size. All sequencing and fading remain on the client side.
  15. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    By all what is right... I have not heard such an ignorant statement in a long time.
    I even spare myself to explane why it is. Anybody who is on the job of mixing and mastering knows that it is not so...
    It has not been in the earliest days and not in the lowest levels of the trade. If some need to find out why, think and listen....

    As I see now, MM has clarified that and it was understood.
  16. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    geez...the whole point of mastering is to get the most professional and best sounding record you can...why skimp? when i was young and didnt know any better i let the recording studio that i recorded in do the mastering for a cd that i worked 6 months on. nowadays i cant even listen to it.think of like a new house- you put all the effort and attention to all the details from in every aspect of the construction and it is put together beautifully. then you skimp out at the end and hire a cheap sloppy painter to paint all the rooms. a record for you and your friends = isotope ozonea record that you want to be proud of = professional mastering
  17. kb7

    kb7 Active Member

    How much does it usually cost to have anywhere from 5-8 songs mastered?
  18. SASman

    SASman Active Member

    People just need to do a bit of homework and look into who is who.

    A rule of thumb is that if the site is faceless and has just an upload button and a paypal button and it's $15.00 a track apply common sense.

  19. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    There isn't any usual pricing. The range is from free to hundreds $ per song. All depends of the service you need. If your confident with your mix, you only need a basic service. If you require a stem mastering with a lot of interactivity, you won'd find any charge free service and prices will rise up.
  20. SASman

    SASman Active Member

    Typically for professional mastering by a competent, whilst excluding the top tier engineers you will be looking
    at $40.00 - $90.00 per track.

    But rates will normally drop from those stated for 1 track for 5-8 tracks.


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