Very happy to be having a 12″ out on an old new Finnish label, Straight Up Breakbeat.
PREORDER THE VINYL:
• UNEARTHED: https://bit.ly/2R3XZRK
• Juno: https://bit.ly/2S405pm
• Redeye: https://bit.ly/2R4hbij
Mixing and mastering rates for 2019
Rates at the end of the post – first, a few words about the service!
No middlemen: you get to discuss it directly with the engineer.
I actually hate to say it, but I keep hearing how many “premium” services do not discuss the mix with the client at all or point out anything wrong with the mix. It shouldn’t be like that, especially when you’re paying them a premium price.
PRICING/INFO for 2019
• MASTERING: €45 per song.
• MIXING+MASTERING from individual tracks / stem mastering: €50 hourly rate (email for a quote; most songs are done in approx. 1.5–3 hours. Minimum charge €75.
• master + video: €80. Digital “attended mastering”. Song is mastered + an explanatory video documenting the process is made. Song is compared to strong references. Any possible shortcomings of the mix are pointed out.
• mix + master + video: €55 hourly rate – minimum charge €100. The song is mixed and mastered from tracks, and an explanatory video documenting the process is made.
• feedback on a mix (with no mixing/mastering): €30 EUR
• general audio engineering / consultation / audio restoration: €40 hourly rate (Skype/email)
BATCH DISCOUNTS FOR ALBUMS – contact for a quote.
Masters for vinyl / Spotify provided on request.
Revisions / new take / alternate versions (vinyl masters, Spotify versions et cetera): €3 per song / new version / revision (contact to discuss more).
If you are in EU, prices are subject to your local EU VAT.
Here’s my most-used mastering compressors.
I’ll describe how I use them.
• Slate Digital FG-Grey. This is an SSL 4000 modeling plugin, afaik. I mostly use it to tackle micro-dynamics if the mix has some really quick and peaky transients. This comp can do an insanely quick attack time (0.1 ms!) which is great for that, but you need to be careful to not introduce distortion with that. Why you need to squash those guys is they might trigger your other compressors. However, most of the time I squash those with Slate Digital Virtual Tape Machine, which is amazing on rounding off those peaks in a very musical fashion. And, I only do that if it’s needed (I never do any compression by default – actually I do hardly anything unless it’s needed). Modern transient emphasis tools cause problems sometimes when producers overdo them and don’t really listen to the mix without a limiter. Then, whey they disable the limiting and send the mix to me, it’s sometimes very peaky and overly punchy in a very snappy way.
• Fabfilter Pro-C. This is my trusted “VCA comp”. I only use this to tame strong and hard-hitting peaks – most of the time it’s the snare. Does a wonderful job in smoothing out drums that are hitting too loud. I never go for less than 10 ms attack (can be up to 30 ms), and always go for quickest release when doing that.
BTW, I’ve always found it’s easier to tame drums that are too loud than drums that are too quiet (e.g., if a snare isn’t loud enough, I either ask the producer to raise or use expansion – my fave expansion tool for that is Tokyo Dawn Nova EQ).
• UAD Shadow Hills.
This is a two-stage compressor.
In a nutshell, the first one is a slow compressor, which I use for smoothing out level variations between song sections. This less often happens in electronic music, but whenever I master rock or more acoustic styles, it’s natural that level rises in some sections. This can be desired, of course, but if it gets too loud in some parts, the optical part of Shadow Hills is a godsend. I always it as a “safety net” at least.
The second part is a fast VCA. I rarely use this for regular snare compression or such BUT it can work very, very nicely in adding a bit of squeeze and punch, which can largely benefit styles like techno and house if they’re slightly sloppy. If and when I do this, I always send the producer two versions: one with this added pinching and without, and most of the time they like it a lot.
• Manley Vari-Mu.
Yet another amazing slow “glueing” compressor. Simply put, the harder you drive the song to it, the more it glues its elements together. I often have it after the Shadow Hills, and this one adds a wee bit of coherence to the overall sound.
• UAD API 2500.
Now this is a special spice compressor that I don’t pull out that often, and you gotta be careful with this badboy.
This guy can add some seriously expensive-sounding punch to the mix. Kind of “hard-hitting”. Can work wonders with styles like hip hop where tempo is kind of slow but you want those drums to smack you!
• Izotope Ozone Dynamics.
Such an amazing Swiss army knife. A godsend in terms of multi-band compression. This is the only multiband comp I use.
I use it for sub taming more than anything else; bass music producers with inadequate monitoring often crank up the sub, and it’s my job to tame it. I’ll be honest, you can control the sub by massive amounts if need be, and you won’t hear it. I absolutely love this one.
The other bands are useful, too; I also use the high-mid band a lot…e.g., let’s say there’s a vocalist screaming too loud…this guy will probably help you with that.
As you know, I do mixing and mastering.
I often get just the premaster from the producer and I can’t touch the mix, so it’s my job to tackle the master issues, and these tools won’t let me down.
I’ll add that mastering compression is an often misunderstood topic. I can guarantee that every time there’s a question, “How do I make my song louder?” on a music group or forum, within the first five replies there’s someone saying “You gotta compress your song”. No. Compression barely has to do with raising the level of your song; compression mostly controls dynamics.
It’s the limiters job to raise the level (yes, yes, technically a limiter is a compressor with an infinite ratio, but there’s a reason limiters are called limiters and not compressors…I dare anyone to make their song louder using a traditional comp with an infinite ratio while keeping its punch…won’t happen).
Also, it’s good to be aware of these different compression types. I recently saw a person ask what compressor he should buy for his master channel, and I saw a ton of suggestions, while no-one was asking what kind of use he needs it for. You gotta be aware of how different compressors work…you won’t be able to treat drums that hit too loud with an opto-type compressor, for example, while a faster-acting comp is totally worthless in trying to smooth out varying levels in song sections.
I’ll be back to mixing and mastering grind on week 2 of 2019.
See over a hundred happy client reviews on this FB page.
It’s been a year since my VLOG sessions, so here’s a new one.
Some thoughts on what inspiration is in my opinion, and how it can be a bit of a misconception to some.
This relates to any creative field.
Let me know what works for you!
2018 is a WRAP!
Dang, what a year!
Audio engineering kept me busy all year long. I’ve handled hundreds of songs this year.
Some mastered, some both mixed and mastered.
I can’t lie – it does feel good to have reached a position you’ve always wanted: to be a trusted engineer.
Client base is wide, ranging from literally all over Europe and US to Asia. Gaining ground in Finland, too.
This year was my top year business-wise and I worked with a lot of styles and genres ranging from bass music and hip hop to indie rock.
The only downside of this is that when you also want to be a very active music-maker, a job of this nature with all the constant customer service it brings (it’s def not just about messing with music) can sometimes make a dent on your own musical energy when all you do all day long is discuss and hone others’ music (note to self: need to finally establish a small revision fee to control the amount of revisions producers want, as that takes some serious time, and that’s often free time…may very slightly raise the rates, too, in order not to drown in work).
Still, can’t say I’m unhappy about the music done and released in 2018, because…
…as a musicmaker, 2018 was nothing short of BUSY.
There were 2 albums and 4 EPs released from myself in 2018 (is that enough?!).
Probably a personal record.
Kept it varied, too: hip hop, DNB, house, electronic stuff.
I’m very grateful for the worldwide support my music is getting.
And very happy to see that so many are still paying for it.
According to Spotify stats, the biggest listener age group for my bass music is 35–44-years olds, which explains a lot: this is the generation that learned to pay for music. For my hiphop, there’s a bit more more younger listeners for it than for bass music.
I see a lot of artists post their Spotify numbers (mine were great, too) but no-one talks about music or actual record sales. Lemme act differently and say I kicked off 2018 by selling 200 vinyl copies of my FatGyver LP. I’m still getting paid for music, and that’s dope. Think carefully about what arenas you want to promote.
Hitting a lifegoal of getting on Metalheadz and getting a phone call (and some all caps big ups emails) from Goldie was definitely one of the top musical moments of the year I won’t forget. Massive thanks to Ant TC1 and Tom at Headz for all their time and help, too.
Last but not least, I was real stoked to teach making electronic music to several people.
Half of them were private students, and the other half was assigned to me by two music colleges in Helsinki.
I also arranged several weekend workshops in my area.
Even had one student fly here all the way from Asia – twice! – just for my teachings. He’s since became a good friend.
Already getting intl. enquiries for 2019 (e.g., from Turkey).
(I *may* offer intl. tuition via apps such as Skype next year if time allows…I was supposed to do it this year, but had no time for that at all)
All in all…probably the busiest year ever. Probably worked on 300 days this year, or so, as an entrepreneur’s home office is always open, which works both for you and against you(r freetime).
Will now have 3 full weeks off – longest I’ve had for years! Notifications off, email holiday responder on.
100% not touching *any* work-related matters during that time.
(You can still contact me about work at firstname.lastname@example.org during that time as always. Please DO NOT msg me asking for free services of any nature via Messenger or IG)
Time to chill and reflect – and work on some new music – for a while.
One thought is, I could do with way, way less notifications and online noise in 2019 to better focus on what matters.
I wish modern messaging apps had a “Are you requesting a free service?” dialog where clicking on “Yes” would cancel the message.
Could do with way, way, way less of people asking me constantly to help them with whatever music-related things – for free. It’s almost daily, literally.
That’s the downside of being nice and helpful: a LOT of people wanting a piece of your skills without offering anything in return. Of course no-one thinks their message is a biggie, but when I’m getting them all the time via channels where my potential clients hit you up, too, it’s heavy at times.
Think about this…when you ask for a pro to help you with something, it shouldn’t be a one-way street. A little beer money can help (or his actual full rate, if that is what you’re requesting).
Anyways, time to mellow down and get quiet for a sec and recharge and set visions for 2019.
Upwards and onwards! Thanks to each and every person who worked with me this year or supported my work and business.