does diskmakers have decent mastering?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by SyringEngineer, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. anyone got any ideas, input, experience, this is a big project for us and we're new to the game, good equipment, just curious about their skills? or should I even be? thank you
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  2. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    321 West 44th Street Suite 1001
    Home Page:
    Discmakers is a good duplication facility. But if this is a serious project like you say there are better ways to go. I'm not trying to knock on anyone, just giving my honest opinion.

    Use them for your duplication if you want.
  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    I've had so so results with discmakers as a manufacturer. Some came out good, and others came back bad. If I'm correct, they broker the manufacturing and don't actually do it. I've never heard any of their mastering so I couldn't tell you, but like Joe said, I'd shy away from them if you can and use a mastering facility that is in the business of making things sound great as opposed to cranking as much product through as they can.
  4. Doug Milton

    Doug Milton Active Member

    I believe they broker to Cinram. Our fellow moderator, Don works for Europadisk. You should ask him about duplicating or at least shop around a little. You can definitely find a better price than Diskmakers.

    As to mastering, I too would recommend that you consider allowing someone who specializes in mastering provide that service for you. You’ll be happy you did…
  5. clarkmurray

    clarkmurray Guest

    I used Discmakers once for mastering, and I guess you get what you pay for--no discernable improvement.

    I've used them 3 times for manufacturing, and the quality has always been good.

    The main thing that bugs me about Discmakers is the sloppy way they handle artwork. Every time I had to go through about a zillion proofs because they didn't correct what I told them to or they screwed up something else while doing the correction.
  6. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    just north of NYC
    Home Page:
    I would feel better if you had a mastering studio do the work for you. I'm sure you'd get a fine result from any of us on the forum.

    To be honest, I have had no recent reports at all about Discmakers' mastering. In the past there were some so-so reviews emerging.

    We do replicating here at Europadisk. All done in-house. We offer competitive pricing, always.
  7. You can't go wrong having Don Grossinger or any of this forum's leaders do your mastering. And, Europadisk is a World Class manufacturer However, I would like to clear up one misconception. Discmakers does their own manufacturing. They have a plant in Pennsauken, NJ that cranks out about a million and a half units a month. They started many years ago as a broker but have since moved way past that. I don't know about their mastering but you do get a guarantee that if you don't like it you don't pay. There's also a mastering house in Tappan, NY that will master one of your mixes for free. If you like it you can go on. If you don't, no hard feelings. The place is called Bang Zoom and I think they use Sonic Solutions.

    Good Luck
  8. Just to set the record straight, Disc Makers not only does our own CD replication in house, we do everything else as well, graphic design, glass mastering, replication, insert printing, packaging, and mastering of course.

    We have 7 mastering rooms in 3 locations (Pennsauken, NJ - outside Philly, Fremont, CA, and Seattle) and are one of the leading mastering studios for independent productions. In fact, we are so confident of our quality that we offer a mastering money-back guarantee: if you don't like the post production mastering we do for you, you pay nothing.

    It's an extension of our satisfaction guarantee that we offer every customer who makes CDs with us.

    True, we're not always the cheapest guys around. But with our super fast turn times, great product quality, and the extras like promotional posters, free barcode, and Taxi and CD Baby deals, you get great value.

    Tony van Veen
    VP of sales & marketing
    Disc Makers
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    77 Sunset Lane.
    I have been involved in a "Studio Partner" program with Discmakers for many years. My recording studio in Fremont CA was just across the freeway from Discmakers facility. I have a couple of friends that work there who have recorded at my studio. I have actually had the chance to visit their mastering rooms while a project that I had recorded was being mastered. They have a very nice set up in Fremont that is more than capable of turning out a professional product.

    I would like to add that over many years, I have never once had a customer complain about the audio quality or the service at Discmakers. Every client I ever referred to them was 100% satisfied. As Tony points out, they are a bit more expensive than others but you are getting a "turn key" solution, that is guaranteed in every aspect of the product. If the art work is wrong, it gets fixed, no charge. If there is a problem with the mastering, fixed.. no charge. No extra charges for repackaging like you would incur if you were jobbing different portions of the project out to different service providers. It is a very good all in one place solution.

    So whether you choose to go to a big name guy (in many cases a good solution) like Joe Lambert or Don Grossinger, or you choose a turnkey solution at Discmakers, you will be in good hands. Kurt
  10. omegaarts

    omegaarts Member

    Take your projects to a good mastering house and keep going back so they can learn your strong points and your weakness. Discuss how you can make your projects better the next time. I always send Ken Love a mix to listen to via overnight to make sure I'm off to a good start. If he knows I'm on the way with a projct he know's ahead of time where it's going to shine and where it's going to need help. It's an on going relationship.
    He's part of my ears ( which are mostly ruined from Marshall amps) right from the begining of the project. He's already listened to roughs of the project I'm currently working on.
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Okay, LOL, it's obvious that I've been diggin' up ancient topics. I was curious if, all these years later, you still felt this way...

    Terry has been offered a package deal with Discmakers, who he has chosen to do his CD Manufacturing, and the package he was quoted also includes mastering. Needless to say, I'm more than just a little bit dubious about it. In fact, to be brutally descriptive, the thought of it made my " you know what" immediately pucker up and begin to whistle Dixie. :confused:

    I've heard the horror stories about them over the years, things like batch/blanket processing, distortion, and the 'mastering engineers" not even listening to final product for QC, but instead just cranking them out ...

    BUT - I've never used them myself for anything of my own, or for my clients. I've coordinated duplication services for my clients there, but have never used their mastering services, and have instead used guys over the years like Thom Bethel, Cass Anawaty, Greg Calbi... but for all I know, they might do really good work... so I'm asking, not telling.

    I need honest ammunition to be able to approach Terry and tell him that this would be a mistake... but only if it is a mistake. And if they continued to satisfy you and your clients in the years since this post, I'd like to know that, too. ;)

    And, anyone else who might want to chime in on this as well is more than welcome to do so.

  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Why not ask for a sample on one song ? IF they are serious they will make a master to show what they can do and you'll have a better idea if it's Worth it or if you better do it yourself ;)
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Doing it myself isn't an option - LOL - besides being far too familiar with the songs at this late stage in the game, the main reason why I won't do it myself, is because I'm not an M.E. ;)

    I don't have the room ( acoustics), the monitoring, or the other gear required for it. I also don't have the fresh ears for the critical listening part of the process that is required, either.

    But, I do like your suggestion about seeing if they'll be willing to do one for me, so that I can actually hear their work. I don't know that they will, but if they won't, then that in itself seems like a pretty good indication for why I wouldn't use them.
    And, if they do agree to do one and it comes back as just another one of those "loud = good" jobs, then I'll know that pretty quick, too.

    If they do happen to know what they are doing - in terms of EQ, Phase/Mono compatibility, Gain Reduction, etc., and while at the same time, respecting the inherent dynamic range of the mixes, then I have no problems with using them.

    I'll keep this thread updated as to what occurs... but, please don't take that as me putting a lid on this... I'm in no way closing the door on further comments for this topic/thread.

    If someone out there has had any experience with Discmaker's Mastering Service, I'd still really like to hear about it.

    pcrecord likes this.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Eh, I heard their work on a home studio album, and I thought it was not good. Typically flat, overlooked, and overbright. That flat headroom starved sound, from home studio mix. I liked the mastering the artist did on the roughs better.

    As a manufacturer they cannot be beat for the independent artist, and I send all my clients there. As a mastering house, the rates you pay could get you time with a true ME. Even there example on the website, I disliked the mastering job. Far too obvious, and well, detrimental.? Maybe I'll check again, but a few years ago they were awful. IMHO
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    77 Sunset Lane.
    lol! ..... yes indeed, a very old thread. i haven't had anything mastered for over ten years, so i cannot speak to what kind of work DM is currently doing. i can say when i was sending stuff to them, the work was fine. i never had a client complain. but it must be pointed out the stuff i was sending them was all well recorded and prepared for duplication and there wasn't that much they had to do to the files other than transfer and duplicate. at that, they were very proficient. if you're a hack and you need someone to fix your mess, perhaps they wouldn't be able to provide the level of repair and personal attention your master needs. in the end it's the samo story .... garbage in, garbage out.
    kmetal likes this.
  16. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Vashon Island, Washington
    Home Page:
    I recently had Discmakers master and manufacture a project for a client. the challenge with this CD was that the songs were recorded over a five year period. While I did do all of thee tracking and mixing here in my studio, over that period of time different mics, preamps, compressors, reverbs etc. were used, as well as growth/change in my techniques.
    The mixes sounded nonetheless fairly consistent, but I could only do so much to bring them into a cohesive whole as a collection.
    I was actually pleasantly surprised at what a great job Discmakers did on the mastering! The entire CD sounds as though it was recorded over five weeks instead of five years. Sonically, tonally, dynamically cohesive.
    BTW Discmakers (as do others) always ask if you want them to favor dynamics over volume in the mastering process.
    The project was also delivered ahead of the promised delivery date, turnaround was only about a week.
    I have used them previously also with good results and I am currently awaiting the delivery of another project they are working on.
    So I guess I would have to give them a thumbs up!
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  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Thanks for your input guys. I suppose that if I were to dig deep enough, I would likely find both positive and negative reviews about them.

    Because I've taken great care on the tonality of the songs, I don't think that they are going to have to do much more than to make the tracks sound at or around the same volume levels, but I'm going to tell them that I favor dynamic range whenever possible, so I'm willing to accept that there will be slight differences, and if they need to do some subtle tweaking of EQ on the tracks, I don't mind that, either.

    My main concern is that the mastered versions don't come back sounding bad.

    But I still haven't made up my mind about this. I want my friend to know about other options, and I want to do a price comparison with some other M.E's that I know and who I have worked with in the past successfully.
  18. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Never had many problems using Disc Makers for duplication and I corresponded briefly with one of their mastering people and he seemed to know his stuff. The only caveat is that their mastering engineers do a lot of albums in one day. I think the guy I was talking to said from 6 to 10 albums per day which in my world in my studio is undo-able. I was never sure if he meant HE was doing 6 to 10 albums per day or the facility was doing that amount. Maybe someone from DiscMakers will chime in.

    Honestly anyone on this board who is a professional could do the work and it would sound as good or better than what DiscMakers could do. To each his or her own.

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  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    @Thomas W. Bethel


    as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm really not happy with my client wanting to use them. I think he knows it too, but he's got a limited budget at this point, so he's looking at cheaper options. I absolutely do know there are professionals here - like yourself - on this forum who would do a great job. But I'm not about to insult any of you guys with the paltry mastering budget he has to work with...because long after this project is done, I still have to live here on RO.. and I'm not about to piss anyone off by insulting them with the money he has left to spend on it. ;)

    I still haven't entirely ruled out taking a shot at it myself. Make no mistake, I'm really not crazy about that idea...because I don't feel as though I'm qualified to master... but least I know what the songs are supposed to sound like.

  20. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    Everytime I see that thread I missread 'Does dishwasher have decent mastering ?' The I go, I wish !! :D
    Getting old is hard ;)
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