Audio engineers are the unsung heroes of music industry.
A lot of your favorite music sounds like it does thanks to a a good audio engineer: crisp, warm, balanced, hard-hitting…
It’s often the engineer who does the final adjustments for the sound and guides the producer in the right direction, also teaching him in the process.
I recently praised one of my favorite hip-hop producer’s music for its good punch and clarity, and he immediately turned my praise to the right direction, listing to me his trusted engineers.
A good audio engineer who understands your sound and vision is worth his weight in gold. There are tons of engineers out there, but you cannot always buy the proper understanding of specific styles of music with money – it either is there or it is not. There’s so many guys who are willing to charge you a fair amount of money but who may not necessarily understand your sound fully. Always go for an engineer whose background tells you the right story.
Even though there are lots of engineers to choose from – ranging from cheap newbies to impressingly expensive veterans – those who nail it exactly for you are hard to find, so if you find an engineer that gets your sound exactly where you want it to be, cherish that relationship.
I specialize mostly in bass music and hip hop and related styles. Should you need treatment for those, get in touch.
Back to work after a holiday…20 songs in the queue and more coming! To be honest, I was already spending the weekend mixing and mastering some hip hop from Washington, DC.
To kick off the year, I wanted to drop a piece of some good basic info on “How loud should my mix be peaking before submitting it to mastering?” as that gets asked a lot, and there’s a lot of misinformation around.
Can you make your music sound perfect with a laptop? Yes, absolutely.
Is outboard and/or analog gear necessary to make your music sound good? Absolutely not at all. We can put that myth to a grave.
Is one better than the other? No.
PRICING (VAT is added in EU)
• mastering 1–4 songs: €44 per song (turnaround time 1–3 days)
• mastering 5 songs or more: €40 per song
• quick delivery: €55 per song (turnaround time 24 hours)
[batch discounts always for albums / 4+ songs – case-specific]
• mixing+mastering a song from stems: €45 per hour (max €100)
• mastering for vinyl: €5 additional charge per song
• revisions: no charge
• mixdown/production advice: hourly consultation rate of €45. This is to help you improve your mix. Total price is based on time spent listening and documenting improvements.
• various audio work (cleaning up recordings, denoising, declicking, repairing audio, etc.): €45 per hour
Every now and then I am asked, “How could I become a mastering/mixing engineer?”, “What school could I attend to land a mastering position?” and I hear “That might be a nice job to have”.
Here’s my two cents.
The very first thing you are going to need is huge truckloads of passion for the craft. It’s a very long road to the point where you can start working with others’ songs and charging for that.
Most people who end up doing that are peeps who have been messing with music production or engineering for a good while and they realize they’re decent at it and they also like it a lot (the amount of ppl who have said to me, “How the hell can you do that? I’d get sick of that in a heartbeat!”….)Continue reading How to become a mastering engineer?→
Being a mastering engineer, I get asked about my opinions on cloud-based mastering such as Landr etc. quite often.
Mastering is a job that requires perception skills, i.e., has to be done by a human if you want it 100% right. Sure, we have technology to match an EQ curve and loudness figures, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s like having your text translated by a computer: it can be OK, but you won’t get that A+ result your work deserves. There can be so many problems that a computer simply cannot “hear”. In addition to that, a computer can’t be “highly familiar with a genre” the way a human can.
I recently had a phone convo with a person who started another cloud mastering service that does it for very a inexpensive price; he knows me and lives in the same country and he wanted to check he’s not stepping on my toes, and our thoughts were similar: we’re not sharing the same client base, because those who want that OK quick master and don’t want to pay a lot go for automated cloud mastering, but those who want the best result that stands up to commercial releases go for human-operated service. You can not discuss the mastering job with the cloud; you can’t say “can you still add a little bit of sheen, please?”, and the cloud cannot tell you “it’d really be best if you turned that one percussion down by 3 dB as it’s sticking out way too much in my opinion”.
Being able to discuss things with the engineer is more important than some might think, and the results of that and an ongoing relationship between a producer and an engineer can yield superb results, and that will never happen with a computer.
I’m not saying one shouldn’t go for a cloud mastering service in the least; I’m saying be aware what your money can buy and go for whatever suits your budget/expectations/needs the best.
Anyone interested in mastering done by yours truly can get in touch and peep my mastering service.