Talking clients into Mastering

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by lorenzo gerace, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member


    Tired of the so-so results I'm getting with self-made mastering (for obvious reasons) I'm starting to build a relationship with a pro mastering facility around here; my problem is I'm constantly fighting with budget constraints in many projects I'm working on, so how would you approach your clients and convince them of the benefits of a real mastering session to the finished mixes? Usually younger or inexperienced producers and artists who self produce don't know or don't get the real importance of the mastering stage, so the budget allotted for the project rarely takes a mastering session into account.

    What to do?

    Thanx for sharing your experience

  2. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Dear L.G.,
    I often have prospective clients come in for a quick (15-20 min) "session". This gives them an actual before & after example of what I can do for them. Most of the time, they then find room in the budget for at least a quick tune-up of the program before production. I'm pretty sure the studios in your area would do the same if you requested, especially if a long term relationship was pending. It's just good business on their part.

    Also, you could suggest that clients leave a little $$ for mastering when you go into the recording part of the process. Show them examples (as you build up some experience) of what mastering can do on your previous projects. It's not a tough sell if the client can be convinced to walk through the Mastering Studio doors.
  3. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member


    Thanx for the reply.

    I'll look into that kind of "persuasion" for my clients. Another issue that comes to my mind is that I'm working with a lot of contemporary and classical acts, and that's a field where mastering was definitely out of the picture (at least recentely and around here), so the next obstacle to surpass would be to convince them that even that kind of material can benefit from a mastering session (expecially with some more experimental producers who don't mind having me compress, EQ and process the hell out of some tracks :eek: ).

    Thanx again

  4. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    A good part of the mastering process is deciding whether or not the project needs work at all. In some cases a good accurate, flat transfer is all that is needed. You have no way of knowing until the master begins to roll.

    Clients are amaized when, sometimes, I say "I don't think this needs anything". Often, especially with classical only limited EQ & no compression can do the job. You don't have to EQ/compress the hell out of it to make it work.

    That's why it's so important to listen to all kinds of music in your room & to have confidence that your decisions are valid. Your ears & those of your client's will tell you the truth. I often tell folks not to worry WHAT I do, just listen to the results & decide.
  5. Doug Milton

    Doug Milton Active Member


    I had mastered several projects that were recorded at a studio about an hour and a half from me. One day the engineer called me and asked if I could make a “before and after” CD of projects he had worked on. I did one minute snippets with 15 seconds mix, 15 seconds mastered, 15 seconds mix, 15 seconds mastered for several of his projects.

    When clients come to see his studio and talk about their projects, he plays the CD for them. It’s a way to show people what he can do and what a difference mastering can make. When discussing their budget, he encourages them to leave time and money enough to master before going to manufacturing.

    This kind of arrangement may work for you also as you are already building a relationship with a local mastering house. It may be best to plant the seed early rather than waiting until the money and time are gone.
  6. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Thank you very much for your help and opinions, I really apprecieted them very much.

    I think I'll burn a similar CD and hopefully this will lead to the results I hope for the projects I'm working on. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be ringing at your studio's door to book a session :D :D .

    Thank you everybody.


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