Sterling Sound After Hourse

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by carlosguardia, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. Hello all. I am a musician who owns a small home studio and am recording a very interesting project. It's my own project; a conceptual album in a progressive rock style ala Pink Floyd meets Dream Theater. I'm working hard composing, tracking, arranging and later on will be busy mixing. I'm working on Sonar and own quite a few "mastering"plug-inssuch as the iZotope Ozone, the BBE Sonic Maximizer, the Waves L1 etc and they work nicely but for this one project "my baby" I'm thinking about sending my mix to a Mastering facility for a professional to do the job. I've looked around and done my homework and ideally, I would have George Marino from Sterling Sound do the job. I have heard his job and love it. I don't know how much it would cost me to have Mr Marino master my project but I would assume that it is way out of my budget. I was checking out the website for Sterling and found that they have something called "After Hours"; where they master a project for independent musicians (I fit that profile) for $1,200 (it's a little pricey but still not out of my league). So, the purpose of my post is to find out if any of you are familiar with After Hours or have any comment about my idea to possibly spend 1200 on a mastering job by Sterling Sound. Any ideas?! Thanks so much in advance,

  2. Doug Milton

    Doug Milton Active Member


    Sterling is on a lot of great recordings of which George has his share. Having them work on your project is a fine idea. You may even get a little hype by having a big name guy in your credits list. I’m not familiar with their after hours program.

    Adding anyone to your creative team is a big decision. Their influence will have a major impact on the final product. As a mastering engineer, I feel that gear and the knowledge to use it effectively is equal to one’s ability to be creative and understand the artist’s vision. None of us are the right choice for every project.

    You should definitely open a dialog with the mastering engineer as early in the process as you can. This will show you if they grasp the passion and vision of your music, and can help you take it to the next level not only sonically but emotionally also.

    Not trying to be too Zen-like…
  3. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member


    Sterling is a great mastering facility. With great rooms and more importantly great engineers. What you would get with the after hours promo thing is the great room WITHOUT the great engineer who uses it every day and has it tweeked to there likes.

    You get an assistant engineer who has to work around the regular schedule. Far less experience, maybe he/she does part of it one day then has to wait 3 more days to get back in the room.

    Yes me being a mastering engineer with my own room makes me bias but I know what it was like working that way myself and it can't compare to working in your own room with all the time you need when you need it. The undivided attention a project needs. For the same money!
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Yes the after hours program at Sterling won't get you George to master your record. It's an assistant working in available rooms after hours. I'm not even sure if the client is allowed to attend. I believe that you would get better results working with a ME that had their own room and works in it everyday.
  5. First of all thank you very much for the replies.

    Michael- I do understand that with the after hours promo I don't get George Marino to work on my project but an assistant engineer instead. The client is allowed to attend a 7 hour (continuous)session of EQ, editing and sequencing plus 2 Ref CD's and a DDP master. But I do agree in that I'll be more likely to obtain better results with a ME that has his own room and works in it every day; the only variable now is one that affects so many of us indie musicians, a small budget. Now, for about 1K, give or take a few bucks, it's very hard to find a ME, whose work I've actually heard before, that will be willing work on my project.

    Joe - Thanks for your reply; I checked out your site and let me tell you that you've worked on a few recordings that I've listened to and enjoy very much. Just a question though, what do you mean by "the same money"??!! Do you mean to say that for, say, $1,200 you'll master my project?!

    Doug - This would be my first time sending a recording to be mastered. I've been a musician for 15 years, I studied midi programming and Recording in Paris, France, studied guitar with Professor Juan Pablo Dragan in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 2 years, and I also attended GIT in Los Angeles. I've participated in numerous recordings including some in prestigious studios such as Guillaume Tell in Paris. For 1 year now I own a small recording studio and aside from my own music I work recording demos for indie musicians as well as jingles and anything that needs to be recorded. However my knowlege of Mastering is small and I totally believe that I should start learning as much as I can and I agree that as early as I can I'll find to establish communication with the ME.

  6. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

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