Mastering

Mastering is the last stage in the recording process. Essentially, it is the final processing of a finished stereo mix. It is the last procedure before the music is pressed or digitally published. In addition to technically preparing the project for pressing (DDP file), it is also possible to affect the material in regards to sound.

My mastering philosophy:

Mastering is more than just getting the maximum volume out of a mix or stringing songs together. With fresh, unbiased ears I give you feedback on your mixes and then get to work. Many years of experience, optimal room acoustics, high-quality converters and precise studio monitors help me to fine-tune your music.

“Hi Moritz! The master sounds excellent. The guitars are lovely and sparkly and the extra bass helps round things out. I really appreciate you keeping it dynamic as many mastering engineers would squish it even when asked not to.”(Daniel Taylor, UK)

Audio Mastering Tonstudio
Audio Mastering Tonstudio

My service for you:

  • Free feedback on your mixes
  • Assurance that the finished master is technically OK
  • The volume of your production meets the most common standards of Youtube, Spotify, iTunes etc
  • Thanks to online processing, your Master will be ready within 2-3 days

“Very helpful, professional and nice contact, whose result has knocked me flat. I will continue to use him as a point of contact in the future. Strongly recommended.”(René Held, Germany)

Prices for Mastering:

Stereo mastering: 39 €.
Stem mastering: 39 € + 5 € for each additional stereo track.
EP (up to 5 songs) 149 €
Album (up to 10 songs) €299

All prices are exclusive of 19% VAT. Discounts for multiple songs are available on request. This is especially true if I am also contracted to mix your songs.

Mastering procedure:

The price includes feedback on your mixes. Just send me your mixes in advance and I’ll give you suggestions on how to optimize them. Only when both sides agree that this is the best possible mix, do I start work. This preparatory work is very important to me. In my opinion, mastering should be focused on refining a track and not with fixing mix errors. Also included in the price are up to two revisions.
References:

FAQ about mastering:

To get the best possible result from your mixes during mastering, here are some tips to help you prepare your mixes in the best possible way.

  • How loud should a mix be?

Leave Headroom! Your mix doesn’t have to be unnecessarily loud, that can be done better during mastering.
For this reason, don’t use plug-ins such as limiters or compressors on the master bus. The more dynamic a mix is, the more possibilities there are during mastering. A good indication of a correct volume is an average level (RMS) of -18 dB. Peaks should not be louder than approx. -3dB.

  • What format should my mixes be?

Bit depth: 32 bit or 24 bit
Sample rate: Just like you recorded. Mostly 44,1 Khz or 48 Khz.
If you supply 24 bit files, please use dithering when exporting.
If you are unsure about some points, please do not hesitate to send me a message.

  • Do I need an ISRC code?

ISRC codes are required for track-accurate billing on the radio or on iTunes.
Within the framework of mastering I can provide you with ISRC codes free of charge.

  • Do I get a label code from you, too?

Yes

  • How does it work with CD Text?

CD text with information about track names and artists can only be displayed by a few CD players. This, however, has nothing to do with the fact that the names of your tracks appear on iTunes as soon as you insert a CD. This is done via a service called CDDB and must be typed in by hand and submitted online.

  • What is Stem Mastering?

With stem mastering, you give me a number of subgroups instead of a stereo mix. For example, vocals, drums, guitars and keys. With these 4 sub-groups I can work in more detail and achieve a better sound than with stereo mastering. Stem mastering is always recommended if you don’t have good room acoustics at home or if you are generally dissatisfied with your mix.

  • What is a DDP file?

DDP stands for Disc Description Protocol and is essentially a file format that serves as a template for the duplication of CD`s. This DDP file is then used instead of a physical CD as a master for the duplication at the pressing plant. To listen to a DDP you need special software, which I will make available to you free of charge during a mastering session.

  • Do you do vinyl mastering?

Yes, very gladly

 

If something is unclear, don’t hesitate to send me a message.

Moritz Maier / Mixing in Cologne / 0221-71500590