FAQ

 

 

 

 

 

Q: WHAT EXACTLY IS MASTERING?

A: Mastering is the final stage of sonic manipulation in the process of making a good sounding recording project. Essentially the purpose of mastering is achieving consistency and track sequencing, as well as preparing the recordings for the manufacturing process. There are a number of steps in the mastering process, the degree of how each step is approached rests solely on the  mix, and varies from project to project. There are no two mastering sessions alike. Among the most common steps (but definitely not limited to) are EQ, reverb, harmonic adjustments, and compression/limiting. Mastering is NOT however a means to "fix" a mix. Remember "Crap In = Crap Out"!

Q: WHO ARE YOU AND WHY SHOULD I TRUST YOU WITH MY MUSIC?

A: I am Dan. Aside from recording, mixing, and mastering bands since 2001, I have played in a numerous bands. I have also worked in live production here in Nashville, and managed a vinyl record electroplating facility. It's pretty safe to say, I am surrounded by music and the mechanical aspect of making music accessible and appealing nearly all day long.

Q: WHAT FORMAT/ATTRIBUTES SHOULD MY MIXES BE SENT IN?

A: Preferably WAV files (although AIFF files will work as well) 24BIT 48KHZ. Higher resolution files mean there is more information to work with. These can be uploaded to a data transfer host such as Wetransfer, Dropbox, or something similar.

Q: WHAT SHOULD I INCLUDE WITH MY MIXES?

A: A tracklisting of the desired order of songs, ISRC numbers and any technical information you wish to have encoded into your files or CD. As well as any specific instructions that you wish to include. Most specifically, make sure your files are named correctly so as to ensure that the sequencing is done correctly the first time. (NOTE: ISRC numbers are used for data recognition and tracking purposes by groups like the RIAA. They are optional.)

Q: SHOULD MY MIXES BE COMPRESSED OR LIMITED BEFORE I SEND THEM IN?

A: No! Absolutely not. You should leave about 3db of headroom between the highest point of volume and 0 on the VU meter. This allows room to alter frequencies and dynamics without running the risk of making the audio clip. I promise it will be loud enough when you get the masters back.

Q: WHAT IS "RED BOOK STANDARD"? ARE YOUR MASTERS "RED BOOK STANDARD"?

A: Red book standard is the technical coding for audio CDs. All retail cds are coded to red book specifications, and most CD manufacturing plants will not accept your master unless it is red book standard. Yes, all of the mastered CDs that leave this facility are red book standard.

Q: CAN I HEAR A REFERENCE OF MY MASTERS?

A: Absolutely. Approval of references is required prior to the project being considered complete.

Q:WHAT IS VINYL ETCHING?

A: Vinyl etching is the art of creating a visual image into a record. This is done at the same stage that your lacquers would be cut. It is obviously optional. I offer numerous types of etching, including standard B-Side full etchings, center label etchings, and even playable etchings. I am always looking to do new weird things with records. Let's brainstorm.

Q: WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU HAVE DONE WORK FOR?

A: There is a list HERE. This is a partial list, some projects slip the mind.

Q: DO YOU ONLY DO PUNK, METAL, AND STUFF LIKE THAT?

A: No, I have done practically any style you can think of. From bluegrass to hip hop to noise to pop to experimental and indie and dance. I'm open to any style of music. Try me. I even edit audiobooks.

Q: CAN YOU RECORD MY BAND?

A: Send me an Email. Let's talk.

Q: HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?

A: There is a list of prices HERE. However, if your project requires special pricing (like your album is 1 30 minute song.) you can drop me a line with your dilemma HERE.

Q: WHAT IS THE TYPICAL TURNAROUND TIME?

A: 2 weeks is a safe estimate. If it is going to take longer I will contact you and let you know why.

Q: WHAT KIND OF STUFF CAN YOU DO AS FAR AS ANALOG RESTORATION AND SUCH?

A: Backup your tapes/reels to disk, master it in the same ways I would a new recording, transfer vinyl to disk, essentially make a trustworthy backup of recordings that could otherwise be lost to tape degradation or scarcity of reliable playback sources. All inquiries will be handled on a case by case deal, and I will not do anything to sound of the recordings unless you ask me to. (Please note that there may be extra fees if I need to rent borrow or steal equipment that I can not readily access.)