Online Mastering Services

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Telefunkin
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Online Mastering Services

Post by Telefunkin » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:32 am

Hi folks,
In another post, Matt (Mugdoor) asked...
Can anyone recommend a great person/company for mastering solo piano?
Kolstad was kind enough to recommended a service at...
http://www.onlinemastering.dk/index-us.html

Coincidentally, I'd just been looking at a couple of interesting services at...
http://promasterhd.com/
and at
https://www.landr.com
No point me recommending them though because I've not used them. They are interesting though.

I didn't think I 'needed' to look at these services for Taxi submissions, but the latter one even lets you (if I read it correctly) have a couple of lo-res mp3s (which appears to mean 192 kHz) per month for free! Well, that sounds like a good deal to me and I might have a go just to see whether it really does sharpen up my tracks.

However, I suppose that leaves me with a dilemma. If I had an mp3 mastered for a Taxi submission which was then forwarded, and then got a response asking for a hi-res wav file, I'd have to have that mastered too, along with any alt versions demanded. :roll: So, maybe its not such a good idea without joining and having the option to get everything mastered when needed.

Anyway, I just wondered whether others had tried these or similar services and had a good (or otherwise) experience to share.
Last edited by Telefunkin on Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
Graham (UK).

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Re: Online Mastering Services

Post by Lipskimusic » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:07 am

Hi Graham!

Thanks for this thread! I am also looking into a way to get multiple songs mastered at a reasonable rate.

Before joining Taxi I had tried the following online mastering services: Abbey Roads, Studio Pros and Scott Hull (Masterdisk). Scott Hull was kind enough to give feedback on the mix before mastering the track so I was able to adjust a few things ;)

IMO it really depends on the mix what mastering can do for you. Weaker mixes I had submitted were simply louder and more hi-fi sounding (not necessarily in a good way....) and mastering did not improve them sonically.

The next provider I would like to check out is this one (the rates seem reasonable and yet it appears to be a professional service):-

http://www.audiomixingmastering.com/store

Kind regards
Matt

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Re: Online Mastering Services

Post by Kolstad » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:42 am

It should be noted that the OP also stated that he wanted to use a pro, and not use available software for the piece, hence my reccomendation. Holger does mastering for major labels in DK, as well as many others world wide, so I know first hand that the level of work is as good as it gets.

However, I rely heavily on software myself, which should be fine for the majority of Taxi submissions (if you know what you are doing). And I believe, in some cases, that mastering is not needed at all. For example when you use high end virtual instrument patches, which are often pre-mixed. Very little is needed to make those sound good, and if you are not careful you could even ruin the track with mastering software that makes it sound overprocessed.

So, the right tool for the right job, imo. High stakes opportunities for direct release, where you compete for 5 digits, or a large project for a company or with a high profile team, may (and still just, may) recquire a specialist mastering job, but that's what it'll take for me. In any instance for production music, imho, using your own semi-pro ears and skills should do just fine. Fwiw.

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Re: Online Mastering Services

Post by Len911 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:51 pm

:? I guess I had different thoughts on what a mastering service was. I always thought you first had the tracking (recording), then the mixing, and then the collection of songs went to a mastering house for the finishing touches on an lp or cd.

What is there to master on a single solo piano track? Why master a piece that will be placed in an end use other than a recording for purchase on itunes? The end use product is going to be "mastered".
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Re: Online Mastering Services

Post by larrymagee » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:48 pm

I tried landr and it really sucked. this was about a year ago.

If you use Windows, I recommend this free software - AAMA at http://www.curioza.com/ It brings the song up to the right volume level and provides EQ for many genres.

If you EQ each track as described in "Fett's Mixing Roadmap" then I recommend M1LimiterLite from http://www.finalmix.biz/Final_Mix_Software/Home.html for $19 (Winows and Mac) It also brings the sound up to the right level and sweetens the sound a bit, but doesn't alter it much.

I run every finished song through both to compare and usually go with M1LimiterLite.

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Re: Online Mastering Services

Post by erikveach » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:35 am

Posts are a bit old, but I thought I'd put in my two cents worth as a long time pro mastering engineer.
The automated online services available these days (such as LANDR) are getting better and better, so they're a reasonable choice for getting something mastered in the most basic sense of the word, in cases when you need it done quickly or are providing a demo of some kind that doesn't necessarily need to be presented with your best foot forward.
However, in important situations, such as your final album cuts, submitting for contests, or pitching to a library or publisher, I would absolutely recommend that you find an actual pro mastering engineer. At the bare minimum it means you'll be working with a person who can give you feedback. Even if all the feedback you get is simply "great song, nice work", that still is a double-check from a real live experienced human being. Good pros can also provide you some input on how to improve your future songs as well.
For important mastering work, be sure to check with several mastering studios. Don't get fooled by a spiffy website and pretty pictures and list of the latest equipment they use. Those are surface aspects that are meant to draw you in and have little to do with mastered sound results. Instead, ask them questions about their experience and ask if you can hear past examples or even get a free sample from one of your songs. Actual professional work experience and hearing real examples are fairly clear indicators of whether or not they will work well with your music. Call, email, or text them. Do they answer in a reasonable amount of time? This is a good way to make sure someone is an actual pro and not just moonlighting as a mastering engineer by running your songs through some mastering plugin on their laptop computer in their bedroom.
There are a lot of really exceptional professional mastering engineers out there. Contact them and find one that feels like a good fit to you. Use their experience - make them a part of your "production team". You'll be glad you did.

My mastering studio is https://www.crazymastering.com

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