MASTERING

MUSIC MASTERING FOR YOUR TRACKS

Competent partner

Mastering since 2006 with analogue hi-end outboard and impeccable acoustics, we master and restore your song!

Internationally represented

Mastering in over 50 countries and well over 30.000 productions, as well as multiple chart positions.

Top customer service

Our mastering engineers are personally available to advise you on all important mastering questions.

mastering (Audio mastering or e-mastering) is the last point in the processing chain after recording and mixing (Mixingin the recording studio before the audio material or track is released, or the tracks go to the pressing plant for further processing.

Of course we also take on other projects and recordings Online mastering and guarantee the highest analog sound quality in the sound with top customer service and personal advice from our engineer.

WHAT IS MASTERING?

Mastering is primarily a refinement of the mix of a song in which the engineer tries to Mastering studio, the sound of the track as good as possible at all possible interception conditions (such as the radio, hi-fi system, smartphone, or streaming platforms). The track frequency responseMono compatibility  and dynamics taken into account. The goal in mastering should be that the track, tonally, follows the result Mixing of the title equals, as well as the observance of technical specifications for publishing music and recordings. It can also help to make the sound of different songs on an album homogeneous.

GOAL OF THE MASTERING?

The aim is to "upgrade" the track or the music recording with the help of dynamic processors, equalizers, filters or psychoacoustic devices so that it sounds "good" on as many playback sources as possible (e.g. stereo system, headphones, etc.). The sound and sound remains the same as possible.

When mastering or in Audio mastering process the emphasis is on a tonally balanced Frequency image, good Mono compatibility and a balanced stereo image in the track. Depending on the need, the level can be adjusted, jitter removed or fades can be set.

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MASTERING FAQ FOR ONLINE AUDIO MASTERING

  • Brainstorming,
  • Composing, Producing, Recording, Shooting
  • mixdown,
  • Master or mastering.

As a last step in the processing chain, special attention must be paid to the audio master in the studio. Mastering Engineer is a profession and by no means a hobby. In addition to understanding technical measuring instruments, spatial conditions must also be certain Meet specifications and standards to be able to master there professionally at all. Even the monitoring path has to be checked and adjusted to special DIN standards so that the engineer in the studio can use his technology to get the best sound for the audio recording of the music. As an engineer, you need a broad knowledge of acoustics, physics and a good technical understanding.

In the master process, the Mastering engineer usually a mix of the track is delivered as a stereo file, which is then transferred to his DAW (Digital audio workstation) pulls. Here he gets one first Overview of the sound, as well as the technical and musical condition of the song.

After the first assessment of the audio material, it will be technical error and unwanted frequencies (e.g. through the recording) freed in order to subsequently die Dynamic reduction, if necessary, to be carried out in order to arrive at a competitive loudness.

After the dynamics have been adjusted, the material is subjected to musical mastering, which ensures that subjective perceptions of individual elements or passages get their own sound character. This can be done with tube devices or other special hardware. "Saturation“Is for example one of the different stylistic devices around a musical mastering carried out.

  • Stereo mastering (Editing a Stereo mixes)
  • Stem mastering (Processing of sub-groups e.g. drums, vocals, guitars)
  • M / S Mastering (processing of In the middle-  and Side signal separated from each other. This takes place in a so-called. M / S matrix instead of.)
  • Streaming mastering (Specially made for streaming services)
  • Vinyl mastering (Mastering with special specifications for vinyl production)
  • DDP mastering (Creation of a DDP image for delivery to the press shop)
  • Reference mastering (professional version adapted to the genre and frequency response of a reference track)
  • Emastered (This is what conventional online mastering is called)
  • AI mastering (mastering through artificial intelligence. Providers such as Landr, Emastered or similar use algorithms and presets)

Mastering is the last creative instance of the audio post-production before the song is distributed.

DIGITAL CONNECTION MASTERING

With increasing digitization and greater acceptance of streaming portals such as Spotify, ITunes, Amazon Music and co. they change too Requirements for audio material.

Due to a wide variety of end devices and internet speeds, the streaming portals convert the audio into a wide variety of output formats. This is done to enable the listener to always have a smooth audio playback and good sound. Through this Conversion often changes the frequency response of a piece. In online mastering, these conversion-side changes to the audio quality of the song are reduced to a minimum.

MONO COMPATIBILITY IN MASTERING

Another aspect is the Mono compatibility, which is particularly critical when the listener is listening to the mix or master on a smartphone or other single-speaker playback device. If too little attention was paid to mono compatibility when mixing, half the song will be lost. Especially with drums or kick drums, insufficient mono compatibility can lead to high losses in audio quality and ruin the whole song.

In our Würzburg mastering studio it is possible for us to switch various audio codecs, which are used for the conversion into different file formats, into our monitoring path in order to be able to make changes to the frequency image and the tonality to be determined and corrected if necessary.

The following applies to a good sound of your music:

The mixdown is primarily responsible for a balanced sound of your song. Thoughts like "we'll fix it in the mastering" or "the mastering engineer will fix it" are completely wrong starting points.

This is done with the help of analysis tools, metering and his hearing z. A broad knowledge is already required here in order to correctly assess the audio. The song is then processed with various processors such as compressor, EQ, deesser or other hardware or software. As a result, the sound material will have a frequency response that is as balanced as possible.

Also errors like digital clicks, unwanted ones sough or over-compression can be reduced or completely eliminated. The sound is then brought into the desired output format. Usually this is 16 bit wave with 44,1 kHz sample rate. This is common for CD production. A 24-bit wave is usually used when streaming music. We tell you how a master or emastered works in detail in our mastering blog.

After mixing, there are two types of mastering. For one thing technical mastering (Creation of the Glassmasters by the engineer, for CDs, matrix for vinyl records), on the other hand that musical- and I baked the premastering (Track editing of the mixdowns and preparation for the techn. Mastering).

At the end of every song production, the question arises again and again: "How loud to master?"

In short: So loud that your song still sounds good!

A few years ago, the loudness of a track was crucial to be competitive with other tracks in the same genre.

Only really good mixes succeeded here, loud yet transparent to be. But a lot has happened in the area of ​​track loudness in recent years. the Streaming provider have introduced a general loudness normalization that makes it possible to shift the focus from loudness to production quality.

So it's no longer "how loud do I have to master" that counts, but rather "how good the track should sound after mastering".

It's also important to note that when mastering, volume is not the same as maximum volume. The maximum volume is the highest value that an audio file can reach without distortion occurring. However, the mastering volume should be below the maximum volume to ensure that the music sounds good and that distortion is avoided.

The quality of your track should be competitive with other titles in your genre. It's not about individual details like eg a snare drum sounds, but rather how the overall frequency response behaves within the title. Today there are countless streaming providers and ways to make your track heard. In this respect, the tuning of the frequency response and the sound on the most diverse playback media and streaming portals become essential. So today it is no longer important how loud the mastering is, but how good it is.

The quality of the master is therefore decisive as to whether your track is assertive and therefore competitive with all other titles from your genre.

The acoustics in the mastering studio are of great importance as they directly affect the quality of the master files created by a mastering engineer. Good acoustics in the studio can help music sound and sound good when played back on different platforms and speaker systems.

Poor studio acoustics can cause music to sound unnatural and certain frequencies to be over- or under-emphasized. It can also lead to the mastering engineer making mistakes when editing the audio files because they have to rely on an unreliable sound image.

It is therefore important that the mastering studio has good acoustics to ensure that the mastering process is successful and that the end result meets quality standards.

"What are the best mastering plugins?" That's what we're often asked for in our Mastering Lessons asked.

So, are there the ultimate mastering plugins?

No! Each song is different in its frequency response, arrangement, harmonies played and its Mix.

Different manufacturers build different types of plugins; whose sound often differs completely or in individual areas from other manufacturers.

Which plugins do you need for mastering?

Basically, it is advisable to use the following plugins in the studio:

– Equalizers

– compressor

– limiters

– Stereo enhancer (optional)

– Maximizer (optional)

- Reverb (optional)

You don't need more for a good and high-quality mastering on the plugin side. Much more weight is that Raumakustik and the monitoring situation in the studio, since the engineer has to make decisions here that should work independently of the room and the monitoring medium.

It is advisable to focus less on different plugins at first, but instead on the individual properties of the plugins you are currently using. Here we recommend comparing different equalizers or compressors with the same settings in order to find the right plugin with the required timbre or neutrality for the respective track. This requires a broad knowledge of editing music.

There are titles where one plugin works with one setting and with another title this proves to be unfavorable in use. So can the use of one tube compressor might be just the right plugin for an electronic title that lacks warmth, but proved counterproductive for a rock title that might just need a little more transparency and airiness.

OUR MASTERING CUSTOMERS

Connie Conrad
5/5
I've been working with Chris for years. In contrast to other mastering studios, his mastering is characterized by the fact that he feels the mood and the musical style of the tracks and does not focus on extreme drones in the loudness war. His sensitive mixing and mastering is rarely found on this planet!
Marco Matic
5/5

Top mixing and mastering studio! the boss Chris is super friendly and responded to all my special requests...great result. I can only recommend it to everyone...no matter what genre of music!

frank rest
5/5
Great job in a short amount of time. Fast response time in communication, immediate help with questions. Great audio mastering, super fair price. Gladly again for the next project. Everything smooth! Thank you Chris!