Mastering is the final step between the recording studio and the manufacturing plant. It is where the tracks are optimized for level and EQ, Giving your recordings Clarity, Depth and Punch. In today’s music market place, mastering is more important than ever and it’s critical to have a mastering job that makes your CD compete with other commercial releases. Don’t leave this critical step to an amateur!
The bottom line is results! I will listen to your mix and analyze what is needed, setting a plan for where it needs to be. My goal is to Master your music to the highest possible fidelity so that it stands out from the crowd and sounds the way you intended it to sound… “Clean, Clear, Loud and Punchy!”
Apple Digital Masters
Studio-quality sound. For everyone.
Apple Digital Masters combines cutting-edge technology, industry-leading best practices, and the best available artist master recordings to bring listeners an unrivaled streaming audio and digital download experience.
What has changed?
All Mastered for iTunes content will now be badged as Apple Digital Masters in the iTunes Store.
There will be new editorial featuring in Apple Music for Apple Digital Masters content.
What do I need to do for a master to be considered for Apple Digital Masters?
- The mastering house or engineer must be on our providers list. (HDQTRZ is on this list)
- The source for the master must start in high resolution. (≥44.1 kHz/24 bit)
- The masters must be auditioned using Apple’s encoders. (This is largely about setting an appropriate level that doesn’t clip the encoder.)
- The delivered master must also be in high resolution (≥44.1 kHz/24 bit). Delivered files should be at the original sample rate of the project (i.e. please don’t SRC higher sample rates.)
- Although Apple Music or iTunes doesn’t reject masters for particular amounts of clipping, audible clipping caused by excessive levels to the encoder may be reason for tracks to not be badged as Apple Digital Masters.
HDQTRZ Mastering Studios will begin releasing multi projects for its customers at no extra charge. If your know for a fact your music will be played on the radio we will provide separate mastered copies that will be better suited for the radio processing. LUFS loudness ranges will be adjusted accordingly.
It’s not uncommon at the moment for chart artists (or their labels) to release loud CD and download masters for the general public, along with separate, less squashed, radio-play versions for the broadcasters that will better survive current radio processing technologies. Where the material is released on vinyl as well, another even less compressed master is often produced too, simply because vinyl can’t cope with a lot of heavy compression and limiting.
I will get you the sound you hear on the radio, played in the clubs and sold in the stores…Guaranteed!
CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR MASTERING SESSION WITH
GRAMMY JUDGE EARLE HOLDER
PHONE: 404 643-8213
Frequently Asked Question
I want to make sure that everything is going according to plan when you are editing my CD. Is it ok to be there for the editing? Most studios I have talked to have the nerve to make you pay extra if you want to sit in the control room with them. They claim it’s a slower process if you’re in the room with them.
Mastering sessions are done privately. If you insist on being present for the mastering session an additional rate will be charged. We have found that the client is unable to discern the subtle changes that are made during the mastering process and sometimes poses a distraction.
At HDQTRZ Digital Studios it is our policy to do what is best for the job, and it is of equal concern to make sure the customer is pleased. If that means that you have to be present for editing then by all means you may be there. I have to warn you that it is a “slow, boring process” to the untrained.
I have done a great deal of jobs where I have 5-6 people staring at my back. I don’t really like to work this way, but I will if that is what you really want.
Honestly though, it detracts from my attention because I end up explaining why I am doing things as much as doing them. It can disrupt the proper focus and can affect the end result to some extent.
It is a slower process when the client sits in, and I can understand why a studio might charge extra for this. This is because, without exception, the client gets in the way and makes the engineer’s job much harder. Normally the engineer sits, analyzes, and continually tries things and makes adjustments. With the client present there is a lot of unnecessary chatter that adds time and might possibly result in distracting the engineer from something crucial. It really comes down to the syndrome of not being able to work with undivided attention while you have someone staring over your shoulder.
It isn’t a matter of time as much as effort. Heck, I make more money when the client sits in because it takes twice as long. But the real issue is that the engineer needs to work harder to see beyond the over-the-shoulder phenomenon of the client sitting there. Also, as just stated, all it takes is a split second to miss a glitch that could end up your master because of explaining what is going on at a given moment to the client. Generally, this is why there is the attitude that for this, the engineer deserves to be paid more.
Generally I would say that it is best to stay away from your mastering sessions if you want the best results. Besides, it isn’t something you want to see anyway. It’s like watching your own surgery. The last word is that if you aren’t pleased with the results we produce, they will be corrected until you are satisfied. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.
I usually take several attempts at working out the best sound, resting my ears in between, and always coming back to it fresh. Working with a customer and doing it all in one session is not as productive.
Mastering is meant to be the last place where you can impartially make beneficial changes and fix mistakes. Members of the crew are usually not objective as to what needs to be done by this stage in the recording process.