What is mastering?
Mastering is the final step in the creative audio process in which a fresh set of ears work with the project. This is the stage where the individual songs comprised by a project are processed together, forming a cohesive, sonically integrated album. Mobtown’s skilled mastering engineers will make all the audio adjustments necessary to ensure that your final project is reproduced consistently in any listening environment.
What is Mobtown’s philosophy?
At Mobtown, we let our client’s needs and the aural properties of the project dictate the mastering process. There is no “cure-all” or “magic pill” to make the project better at the push of a button or via a plug-in. It is a precise process that differs completely from project to project. We recognize this and give each project the attention it requires. We’ve spent years training, developing our ears, applying mastering techniques and perfecting the art of uniting individual songs into a sonically integrated whole.
What is the process?
First we transfer the recorded audio tracks into the digital audio workstation. Then we sequence the individual tracks (and the space in between) as they will appear on the final product. We add any fade-ins or fade-outs. Then we process or “sweeten” the audio to maximize the sound quality, focusing on equalization, noise reduction, stereo width, volume, expansion, compression, and peak limit. Finally, we transfer the audio to the final master format (i.e., DDP, PMCD, or [gasp] an MP3, etc.).
How can your engineer help in the process?
Remind your mixing engineer to not apply any dithering, normalizing, compression, limiting or equalization to the final mix. Mobtown’s engineers will apply these in the mastering process. Please also keep your peak levels at -6dB. With 24 bit recording resolution, it is drastically worse to have overs than seemingly low levels. Please check and correct for overs prior to making your final mixes. Only use data CDs or DVDs (not audio CDs) and stereo .wav or .aiff files. 44.1 and 88.2 is the preferred sample rate for music. Stick with the highest bit rate used in recording for the sessions. We also gladly accept FTP (yours or ours) and Dropbox.
How much do you charge for each master disc?
Our rates include a master, safety and a reference. If you want an extra reference disc we wont nickel and dime you.
Do you encode CD-Text and ISRC Codes?
Of course! We can encode CD-Text and IRSC codes onto your CD. With CD-Text encoded, your text (song name, album title and artist) will be displayed on CD players that support CD-Text. More information on ISRC can be found here. Again, there is no charge for either of these features. Please be sure to either email us the information ahead of time or have the information on a CD or memory stick when you arrive with the final mixes.