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WHY SHOULD I HAVE MY MUSIC MASTERED? IT ALREADY SOUNDS GOOD!

Your music might already sound good but not perfect. Let me explain why professionally mastered music sounds better:

  • a producer/mixing engineer tends to focus on the music, arrangement and mix but hardly on the overall sound;
  • it's your music, you listen to it completely different than an objective, full-time mastering engineer does;
  • most studios have dips and peaks in the sound spectrum which is far from ideal for objective sound analyses;
  • a recording studio is not a mastering studio and a recording engineer is not a mastering engineer.

Sure you can "master" it yourself, but it will not be even close to what a professional mastering studio can do. There is simply no substitute for an experienced, fulltime mastering engineer in a dedicated mastering studio! Worldwide recording practice has clearly differentiated all major stages of music production process, highlighting professional mastering one as a particular place in the final stage.

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CAN YOU MAKE DIGITAL PRODUCED MUSIC SOUND WARM AND LESS DIGITAL?

Nowadays a lot of producers use a DAW based studio, this has a lot of advantages and possibilities but it also has one big drawback, it can sound clean because the 'warmth' of analog is missing. Within the Plasmid Sound the warmth and feel of analog is brought into your music with the best analog (tube) and digital gear which results in warm and rich sounding music. You can also choose mastering to analog tape, which can be particularly useful and very obvious in context of this question. As mastering industry's guru Bob Ludwig said: The most interesting things of analog processing start after the 0 dB!

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I WANT IT LOUD!

There is a thing going on called 'loudness war'. Basically this means that artists and labels want to sound as loud as possible to stand out from the rest. But you have to think about the fact there's a big difference between sounding loud and sounding good! Loudness ALWAYS compromises dynamics and soundquality, without dynamics your music will sound flat and lifeless. It may sound loud and impressive for some time, but will it still sound good after a few minutes? It might also sound a bit strange at first but music with dynamics will sound louder than heavily compressed/limited/clipped music in clubs and on the radio.

A common misconception is that a loud master will sound better and louder on the radio. Radio (including internet stations) uses large amounts of compression, and pushing those compressors doesn't help. This is a take out from the manual of one of those processors, that radio stations use:

There is a myth in the record industry that applying "radio style" processing to CDs in mastering will cause them to be louder on air or will reduce the audible effects of on-air processing. In fact the opposite is true: these CDs will not be louder on air, but they will be audibly distorted and unpleasant to listen to, lacking punch & clarity. We hope that the record industry will come to its senses when it hears the consequences of these practices on air

I know how to make things really LOUD if you want to but in the end good sounding music with dynamics will just sound better than just loud. It's up to you.

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CAN I GET A MASTERING DEMO BEFORE PAYING?

In most cases - yes, sure. I'm so convinced of the quality I deliver, that I offer a mastering demo service to all new customers - I can create you a sample that shows how your future master could sound like. I'm sure you will be amazed how good your music can sound. Keep in mind few things:

  • you will receive a one minute snippet of your mastered track, not the complete track;
  • there is no mastering demo for DJ mixes.
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IN WHAT FORMATS CAN I DELIVER MY MUSIC?

For professional mastering results I need WAV or AIFF files in resolutions of at least 16 bits / 44,1 kHz or better. 24 bit resolution is preferred. Please do NOT upload any kind of data reduced files like MP3, Real of OGG. These are lossy audio formats which destroy harmonic content irreversibly, so they can't be used as source files for audio mastering.

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I'M NOT HAPPY WITH THE RESULT, WHAT NOW?

In case you are not 100% satisfied with the result it's no problem to have a re-master. For me it's extremely important to have satisfied customers and so I will do anything to make sure you are happy with your master! Just let me know what you think needs an improvement and I will take care of it. Please inform me within 5 workingdays after I have delivered the master.

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WHY PAY FOR AUDIO MASTERING INSTEAD OF MASTERING MYSELF?

While recording and mixing a track, even the best engineers can get used to the sound which could lead to ´hidden´ mistakes in the mix you simply don't notice anymore. The mastering engineer will find and fix them. On top, his musical understanding gives him the opportunity to recognize important details of the track and put the focus on them. His trained ears can reveal sounds and details that can't even be heard on other sound systems, making sure your music will sound good on all kinds of real-life systems, whether they are high-end stereos, car-hifi, ghettoblasters or big club.