Mobtown Laboratories
Microshows

Distilling all the kinetic energy and sonic kaboom of a large venue show into a teeny pint-sized house concert package, behold, the Mobtown Microshow.

Birth Defects

Microshow

Albert Bagman

Microshow
Albert Bagman - Microshow
Scroll Downers - Microshow
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The BSide Sessions

Revealing a distinctly intimate story narrated by song and sometimes-rowdy, sometimes-weary aftershow convo.

Guillermo Sexo

The BSide Session
Guillermo Sexo - The BSide Session

Divining Rod

The BSide Session
Divining Rod - The BSide Session
 

Mastering

The final piece of the puzzle

You’ve spent months working on your album. Recording it. Fine-tuning it. Tracking overdubs and revising mix edits. Then you pull up the final mix right after turning off Spotify and fall down a deep, dark hole of despair. Compared to your favorite songs, it sounds thin and inconsistent. Never fear. Mastering is what takes your record the last mile to a professional sound.

While mixing brings the pieces of a song together, mastering brings the songs of an album together. We listen to the record as a whole, round the sharp edges, boost the low points, and make macro adjustments to give a sense of completion and unity to your project with just the right amount of loudness and dynamics.

We specialize in analog mastering for digital/online release (Spotify, Bandcamp, and Tidal), mastering for iTunes (MFiT certified by Apple), mastering for CD release, pre-mastering for vinyl, and audio restoration.

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Three Ways to Master for Your Release

Whether you’re releasing your record digitally, on vinyl, on CD, on cassette or all of the above, you want your listeners to hear your music as you intended it. How you release your record determines what type of mastering is used so that your music sounds its best on each medium. We’ll work with you to figure out what your project requires.

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Mastering for iTunes

Optimize your record for digital distribution via iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp and Tidal by following the standards set by Apple. We are an Apple-approved MFiT studio.

Vinyl Pre-Mastering

Prep your record for vinyl by pre-mastering for unique variables such as side length, volume, bass, sibilance, and phase between left & right channels.

Mastering for CD

Get your record ready for CD replication and duplication. Create crossfades and clean up tops and tails. Everything to get that 16-bit 44.1kHz sound.

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Mastering Tools That Make You Shine

You may want to emphasize an analog sound or de-noise an older recording. We’ll hone the final polish to match your musical goals with our outboard mastering EQs, mastering-grade tube compressors, and analog tape machines.

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Analog Tape Mastering

Steep your songs in old school analog warmth on our vintage ¼” Otari tape machine.

Outboard Gear

Sweeten your record with our tube Manley Stereo Variable Mu Limiter Compressor and our one-of-a-kind ITI MEP-130 Mastering Parametric EQ.

Audio Restoration

Clean up, de-noise, de-click, spectral repair, hum reduce, interpolate and remove imperfections from audio sources.

Pricing for Mastering

We spend less time per song on set-up and production when we work on a complete record rather than a single so our per-song prices are lower when you’re mixing a full-length or EP. Audio restoration services are billed at $10/minute of program audio. If you’re distributing your music with two forms of media (vinyl, digital, CD, etc) and require a second set of masters, we offer the second set at $8/song. If you have any questions about the cost of mastering your project, get in touch and we’ll talk through it together.

  • Single
  • $45/ song
    • 1 song
    • 1-3 day turnaround

  • EP/LP
  • $35/ song
    • 2+ songs
    • 3-5 day turnaround

FAQ About Mastering

How do I prep my files for mastering?

If you’re a home recorder and have never had your record professionally mastered before, we can guide you through the process. Check out our detailed tutorial just for you: “How to prepare your record for online mastering”. (TL;DR – Make sure there are no overs, leave some headroom, and remove any pre-mastering processing such as limiting.) If you’re a seasoned producer/engineer and you know what to do, get in touch to get started!)

Will I be able to make changes once you start mastering?

Of course! After you receive the initial master, you can send back notes for revisions as detailed as you like. We don’t place a limit on mastering revisions (though we ask you to be organized, specific, and reasonable. Any revisions that involve submitting a new mix will incur an additional fee of $25/song.

Do you master “In The Box” or in the analog domain?

We generally master in the analog domain not because it’s better or worse than digital (that is a dated argument) but we feel it sounds better and we have more control over your music. We have sophisticated analog modern and vintage gear but better yet, we have been working with it for years which has given us the know-how to get the best out of your songs! We use different methods depending on your goals and expectations and in the end, what the song is asking for.

Can you print my mixes to tape?

Whether you mixed to tape or want your master run through our tape machine, we have you covered for analog tape goodness. We have a gorgeous ¼” Otari tape machine that has a colorful and historic past. It also sounds fantastic and can add that glue that your mixes yearn to have! If your printed mix-downs are on ¼” tape, send them to us. Please label your reels and be sure to also include at least 30 second test tones for tape machine alignment. Did you record digitally? No worries, we can print your digital mixes to analog tape in the mastering process!

What files will I receive after mastering?

After the final master is approved, we’ll send you:

  • CD format files, 16-bit 44.1kHz PCM
  • Mastered for iTunes digital files (MFiT), 24-bit with sample rates up to 96kHz
  • MP3 320Kbps LAME files
  • DDP 2.0 image file (if requested)

If there is another format that you require, please let us know in advance.

What’s the next step after mastering?

After mastering, your record is ready to be distributed. It’s important to research and make a plan for distribution before you start mastering. Where you choose to distribute your music will affect which mastering services you opt for and how we prepare your tracks. Are you putting it out online with iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify or Tidal? Are you releasing it on a physical medium like vinyl, cassette, CD or wax cylinder. Or will you sign up with an aggregator to handle everything for you like TuneCore, DistroKid or CDBaby? Each distribution method has its pros and cons to carefully consider in terms of audience, cost/profitability, convenience, and sound. Evaluate what makes the most sense for you and let us know your distribution plans when you book your mastering.

What’s included in the mastering service?

When you work with us to master your record, you’ll receive the following:

  • Consultation and advice
  • Establishing best method of transfer
  • EQ, compression and limiting
  • Noise reduction, click removal and stereo enhancement
  • Analog tape pass through (if requested)
  • Sequencing
  • Tops and tail fades
  • ISRC code insertion
  • PQ encoding
  • DDP Image (if requested)
  • Download delivery

Have more questions? Ready to get started?

We’d love to hear from you.

Talk to us