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.
I am proud to say Universal Audio are now supporting my mastering company. This means all engineering (mixing and mastering) done by yours truly will be using the whole range of all available UAD analog emulation plugins. This means even more analog sweetness in the chain. I have been a fan of UAD for a good while, so I am beyond stoked about this.
Massive thanks to msonic oy for initiating the co-operation.
I uploaded a few soundclips – after mastering / before mastering. NOTE: Soundcloud does compress the sound, so the examples uploaded cannot represent the full uncompressed quality. The files are available in .wav format at fanumusic.com/misc/fanu_mastering-examples.zip
This article is about compressing a song – I won’t go into compression in general or compressing individual tracks/elements of a song to keep this post on point and brief enough.
(The settings seen in the compressors above are made up – I just wanted to use a pic of Slate VBC because I like it a lot)
The reason I wanted to write about using a compressor to compress a song is that I see that there’s a lot of misinformation being thrown around on music forums (because so many people are doing it these days) Continue reading About compressing your song→
I haven’t written that much about mastering (aside from the somewhat exhaustive post about the process for me), so I wanted to write a few words about very attractive mastering prices and competition in the field. As I’ve been entering the field myself, I’ve seen a lot competition, stories about really low prices, crazy package deals, and some of that classic “My mate does it for a few pounds and a hot dog”.
Proud to be holding in my hands the first vinyl I’ve mastered. After having treated a few hundred digital masters, I had the honor of handling this beauty released by Boston-based Zakim Recordings.
Tunes are dope! Celebrate the divine wax.