What's it worth?

joe lambert

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2001
Location
321 West 44th Street Suite 1001
I'm curious how many of you master your own material. If you are an artist making a record do you go out and buy some mastering software and try and do it to the best of your ability or do you send it out to a professional.

How much do you spend on gear to do this. Do you think it's less than it would cost to send out to a pro?

I ask to find out how many of you consider yourself's aritist's first or engineers first. There is no wrong answer I'm just curious.
 
L

launchpad67a

Guest
Hi Joe,
I am an artist first, an engineer second and a mastering engineer third.
I master almost all my own stuff and many clients as well...but to send it out to a reputable mastering house is priceless! There is no way I or most people have the same gear that a good house has, it's just too expensive! I use Wavelab with the Waves plugins to do my stuff, it works well for me and the clients are happy.

Most mastering houses will charge around $65/hour. This means a good engineer will get the job done in 4-5 hours on average (for a full cd). This to me is not that expensive, especially if you have a great recording and want it to sound perfect.
Personally I love to do the mastering myself, but if I have a really great recording I will send it out, always!

Just my thoughts,

Mike
 

Michael Fossenkemper

Distinguished past mastering moderator
Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Location
NYC New York
I'm going to reply even if i'm not an artist. I used to be a mix engineer and still do it here and there. I have a stable of artists that still want me to mix their stuff, I like them, so I do it if I can. When I mix I always send it out. In fact i've sent a couple to Joe. I have the gear and the experience to master a record I've mixed, but that's not everything you need. I can't pull myself away enough from the mix to master. It's virtually impossible to be objective. I've had my mixes mastered by nearly every top mastering engineer in the biz. All of them brought something to the table that I could not because of the fact that I mixed the record. Some did a lot and some did almost nothing, all were objective. That's what any project needs through out the process of making a record. An artist needs a producer, a producer needs an engineer, an engineer needs an assistant, and a record needs a mastering engineer. Most of the best records are made this way and it's for a reason. Interaction, objectivity, creativity and specialization. to be able to wear one hat and focus on that makes you better at it. Even if it's for that one project, then next project you might wear another hat. I hear a lot of price as the issue, I can bet that someone is getting paid to master the record. Is it the best for the project that the mixer masters the record? no! Do I make less right now if I don't master the record I mixed, Of coarse. Does the artist look better in the end if I don't master the record I mixed, Yes. Do I look better in the end if it's apparent that i'm looking out for the best interest of the project, Yes. Do they talk to all of there other artist friends about what a good job I did and how I looked out for their best interest, Yes. Do they call me again, Yes. Do I make more money in the end, Yes.... Is everyone happy, yes...
 

Linwood

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
I have to do it myself most of the time because the budgets that I'm given seem to be getting smaller all the time. I'm basicly a keyboard guy/composer/arranger/bottlewasher and now mixer/ mastering guy. It seems that we have to wear many hats now days in the circle that I work in. I've got a project that I'm working on now that I'd really like someone to master for me,but only have maybe 1k to spend on it at most. It's 10 songs rangeing from 2 to 3.5 minutes. Maybe 30 to 33 mins total. I need to do it the last week of Nov or the first of Dec. Anyone have any ideas of where I can go with that budget? Every place that I've talked to wants 1.7 to 3k. Too much for this project.
 

Ammitsboel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Hi Joe,

Is a Mastering engineer like you very busy with mastering all the time?
Or do you also have times when you feel you could take a few more sessions per week(or running low)?

Best Regards
 

Linwood

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Thanks to all of you that sent me PM's and who were willing to help me! Michael F. contacted me soon after my post and will be mastering the project for me. It's great to be able to come to a place like this and get help from you pro's. Again,thanks guys!

Linwood
 
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