How To Choose A Mastering Engineer?

Don Grossinger

Distinguished past mastering moderator
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Location
just north of NYC
How have you chosen the engineer to master your recording on past projects? Will you change that proceedure in the future? What are your criteria?

{a tip of the hat to "Sioux" for the topic}
 

Rod Gervais

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2003
Location
Central Village, CT
Don,

you're actually close enough to me that you might make sense - you aren't so close that i would bug you - yet you're close enough that we could have a 1st meeting to dicuss my expectations.

so a few questions:

What are your rates?

Do you have any sample - before/after demos that i could review?

Would you prefer i send a rough cut to you - so you could review 1st and tell me what my problems (if any) are going to be?

What is your format requirement? (Can i do cd/standard audio format)

If the 1st cut isn't exactly what i expected - do i get a second pass? Assuming of course that with the product i send you - what i want is possible? If yes - will there be additional costs associated with that?

What is the final product that you provide me with? Is it a glass master, etc.?


This is my 1st attempt at a cd - so no past experiences to play off of.

Happy Hunting

Rod
 

Don Grossinger

Distinguished past mastering moderator
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Location
just north of NYC
Rod,

Studio rates at Europadisk are $225/hr.

I would be glad to do a before & after on one of your trks so you have a better feel for what can be done.

If you want to send a rough mix that's Ok. It will give us both a more educated place to start. If you're familliar with your room & confident with the mix that might not be necessary.

I work from 16/44.1 audio & 1/4" or 1/2" reels. Call with questions.

I always do my best to nail the sound the first time. I also encourage folks to come in & sit in on the mastering session. Bring program that you're real familiar with to get an idea of what the room sounds like. If you can't come in, please enclose notes, especially if anything special is required. I will guarantee against any technical problems or anything of my own doing. If there is an artistic question as to EQ, a new master must be generated. This usually falls into the catagory of "the artist's choice" & must be charged. That's "House Policy" here. I must modestly say that most of the time, artistic revisions have not been necessary.

Since Europadisk also manufactures CD's, vinyl & cassettes in house, we can give you a completely finished product ready for retail. Or we can provide you with a PMCD (for CD manufacturing elsewhere), CD stampers (also for outside use), Copper DMM Mothers or unformed stampers for vinyl (for other pressing plants) & EQed DATS for cassette duplication elsewhere. We can do everything to get you ready to distribute & sell your music.

I work with new artists & independent labels all the time, so don't be bashful.
 
S

sioux

Guest
Thanks Don :)

Should you try to choose someone who is used to mastering the style of music you do?

Cheers,
Sioux
 

Don Grossinger

Distinguished past mastering moderator
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Location
just north of NYC
Sioux,

Most mastering engineers are versatile types. I have worked on just about every sort of music on the planet at one time or another. It's sort of funny that my "dance" clients don't know about my experience in "acoustic folk" music. Clients are usually more compartmentalized than the mastering engineer.

I think it's vital that a mastering engineer be versed in all types of music. For example, in order to have strings sound good in a hip hop song, it helps to know what they sound like in a classical setting.
It helps to know what all sorts of influences are so you can relate to any kind of music that comes to you. Although there is room for artistic interpretation, any good M.E. should be able to give you a good result on most kinds of tunes.

That being said, people with known track records in a certain type of music are likely to be good at that style, among others.
 
S

sioux

Guest
For example, in order to have strings sound good in a hip hop song, it helps to know what they sound like in a classical setting.
Good point! I hadn't thought of it that way but that makes total sense. Thanks. :)

Cheers,
Sioux
 
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