Can I attend the session?
Absolutely! We love when clients attend the session because sometimes questions arise that they can answer on the spot. Also, having the client here helps demystify the process of mastering. Mastering is an artform and, therefore, subjective.
How far in advance do I need to book?
Every day is different, but having a few weeks advance notice is helpful for our staff, especially if you have a hard manufacturing deadline or want to attend the session in person.
Do you work weekends?
We try not to work weekends, but we understand musicians' schedules and will do our best to accommodate.
Is there parking?
Yes! We have a parking lot, and there are several options for public transit nearby as well.
Will there be lunch/dinner available?
We have a book of menus for local restaurants with all types of cuisine. And of course, an espresso machine on site for your caffeine needs!
Can I schedule a consultation before the mastering session?
We are happy to do complimentary consultation and listening with a client to confirm their mixes are ready for mastering, either remotely or in person. We would also be happy to speak with your mixing engineers about the preparation of files and file delivery.
Do you do test masters or shootouts?
Normally, we do not do free test masters. However, depending on schedule we may be able to provide you with a short sample master. It is important to note that if we choose to provide a test master that this will happen offline and after scheduled client work is finished - turnaround might take a few days.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept cash, check, credit card and PayPal.
Do you do restoration?
Yes, we do all forms, including archival restoration, noise reduction and forensic from all formats (analog tapes, discs including 78 rpm, cassettes, DATs, VHS... you name it!)
Will I leave the mastering session with a reference?
Yes. After the mastering is complete, before the final master is made, you will receive a reference copy to listen in places you are familiar with to make sure it sounds exactly as you want it to.
What kind of masters will you give me at the end of the project?
The final masters depend on the type of distribution. We work with all kinds of manufacturers and digital distribution hubs to provide the highest quality of master for duplication and distribution. In addition to providing the masters direct to the companies you work with, we provide a safety copy for your back-up. This can be electronic or hard copy (or both).
Should we do instrumentals at the same time as the regular session?
Yes, it’s always best to do instrumentals at the same time as the full version of the songs to ensure that the sonic presentation is the same. It also helps keep the budget down, rather than having to recall settings and revisit instrumentals at a later date.
How should I prepare my mixes?
We prefer the mixes at highest resolution possible per song. For example, if one song is 48K/24bit, and another at 88.2K/24bit, we would prefer you bring them in at their own native resolutions rather than making them all the same. Please leave 3 - 6db headroom on each track. See the Mastering Delivery Resolutions page and our pieces in Electronic Musician on getting ready for mastering.
Do you take analog tape mixes?
Yes! Please make sure there is a full set of tones on one of the reels, as well as any documentation regarding speed, EQ curve and noise reduction.
Is it possible to work with you remotely if I do not live in the Bay Area?
Of course! We have worked with clients all over the world. We use Dropbox for uploads and downloads and can securely send files for reference to you and masters directly to the manufacturer upon completion. We are also available for video/phone consultations.
What does it cost to master a record?
In general, our per song flat rate is $125/song. For attended sessions we charge an hourly rate of $225/hr. If your working with a specific budget or have songs that are over 5 minutes in length please let us know! This may affect your total mastering estimate.