Maledictis Studio Mastering
Maledictis Studio offer profesional Analog & Digital Mastering at an affordable price across a wide range of music genres. However I´m specialiced in the genre electronic dance music, currently making professional masters for different European labels.
Since the moment I became a sound engineer, I found Mastering the “key” element to a profesional sound. Mastering involves many times prohibitibe prices not for a random reason but because it needs certain elements to make it possible such as equipment, monitors, a proper room and the ears, which makes it really hard to do put all toghether.
I ended my studies when the digital sofware was just starting to be accessible to the wider world, so I was trained to have that feeling that it was impossible to achieve profesional results without all those radical techniques which involves millionaire equipment and super specific rooms. After some years working profesionally in my own music project, having to make my own mastering, I soon realised how that’s not all.
Is truth that, propper Analogue mastering of 1000 euro a track, have to be really good if you have that money, for the rest of us we have to find an alternative… The problem here is, that a mastering engineer, even if he can Master any music, is true that there are certain limits when the Style is very specific, so a good Rock Mastering engineer, can ruin a good Psytrance track and viceversa.
Like they say “The proof is in the pudding”, in case you are interested in getting some work done, please get in touch with me trough the contact section and I will prepare a sample for you to check the result.
Some of my recent Mastering Work
Primare Tryptamine VA – Compiled by Hypnoise & Basslion – Maharetta Records
Vortex VA – Compiled by Neutron – Maharetta Records
2013 DosMilTrance – compiled by Ying Yang Monks – Maharetta Records
Organic Machinery – Hypnoise EP – Maharetta Records
Psynapse VA – Compiled by Hypnoise – Maharetta Records
Yarzaa – Forbidden Garden EP – Maharetta Records
Interconnekted – Musical Meditation EP – BMSS Records
Yin Yang Monks – Alice EP – Maharetta Records.
VA Harmonic Spectrum – Maharetta Records.
Multiman – Olé – BMSS Records.
I will gather here some usefull information about the mastering process, how to prepare files to send to a mastering company or how to make proper file preparation for masters in general.
I hope you find it usefull!
To improve a track the mastering engineer can:
- Raise the overall level.
- Even out song levels and EQ individual tracks for cohesion.
- Correct minor mix deficiencies with equalization.
- Enhance flow by changing the space between tracks.
- Eliminate noises between tracks.
- Make your music sound great on any sound system.
- Add IRSC codes (required for digital distribution).
- Add CD-Text information (Artist, Title, Track Names, that can be displayed by some CD players).
File Preparation: Quick notes.
- Peaking anywhere up to -3dB is fine. The main thing to remember is to at least leave a bit of head room. It is not recommended to clip any channels, busses, or plug-ins.
- Send stereo interleaved or dual mono Wave or Aiff files.
- Make the mix-down of your mixes at the native sample rate and bit depth of the recording and mixing session. If the song was recorded at 24 bit 48K, you should bounce it out the same. There’s no reason or advantage to up-sample or down-sample. This is best done at the mastering stage.
- It is not recommend to send a mix that has any brick wall limiting on any buss used by the project.
Music And File Preparation For Mastering.
In order to gain the best possible sound out of mastering, it is important to deliver suitable mixes or versions and well-prepared files to the mastering engineer. To help you optimize your mixes and prepare for mastering, you can find below a listing of the major aspects to look at before sending files.
To be able to create the sound you are looking for, it is useful to provide some details that help the engineer to understand what sound exactly you desire for your masters. The information required, includes your preferred mastering style, comments to each song if you like and some general music references, that provide an idea of the sound you love.
Dynamics and Compression
When preparing for mastering, only subtle dynamics processing should be used during mixdown. Dynamics processing includes any form of sound compression, limiting and expansion. There is a simple rule you can follow. Do not use any dynamics processing unless it is essential to the specific sound. Also do not use any compression or limiting on the sum / master bus, better leave it completely to the mastering engineer. During mastering the engineer can alter the overall dynamics more precisely and elaborately using top notch analog and digital compressors.
Psychoacoustic processing includes any form of stereo widening and phase shifting. As phase problems are very difficult to fix, better avoid using any psychoacoustic processing during mixdown, again this excludes any form of creative use for effects essential to the specific sound, but never use any form of psychoacoustic processing on the entire mix / master bus / sum. The overall stereo width and spread is being optimized during mastering, but with subtle care and knowledge of all side effects and with the use of high-end equipment only.
Bit depth and Sampling Rate
In regards to bit depth and sampling rate, it is advisable to use the highest available bit depth (24bit or 32bit float) and a sampling rate best suitable for your final medium. Double the sampling rate of the target medium would be the best suitable sampling rate for the project. For example for a CD project at 44.1kHz the optimal sampling frequency would be 88.2kHz, for a DVD Audio project at 96kHz the optimal sampling rate would be 192kHz. This is due to the conversion quality being best when divided by two. For the digital market most projects are currently driven on systems running on 24bit/96kHz.
The loudness war
The phenomenon was first reported with respect to mastering practices for 7″ singles. The maximum peak level of analog recordings such as these is limited by the specifications of electronic equipment along the chain from source to listener, including vinyl record and cassette players.
With the advent of the Compact Disc (CD), music is encoded to a digital format with a clearly defined maximum peak amplitude. Once the maximum amplitude of a CD is reached, loudness can be increased still further through signal processing techniques such as dynamic range compression and equalization. Engineers can apply an increasingly high ratio of compression to a recording until it more frequently peaks at the maximum amplitude. In extreme cases, clipping and other audible distortion is introduced to increase loudness further. Modern recordings that use extreme dynamic range compression and other measures to increase loudness therefore sacrifice sound quality to loudness. The competitive escalation of loudness has led music fans and members of the musical press to refer to the affected albums as “victims of the loudness war”.