Taking Your Music to the Next Level
You've spent your hard earned money and time in the studio recording and mixing your project. So what's next?
If a production is destined for commercial release or even for local radio airplay, mastering is essential. If certain criteria are not met, there's a very good chance that radio stations won't even consider it for air time, or they will over process it during playback and give it an entirely different sound than you may want. Our goal is to educate you on the importance of mastering, what it does to your production, and maybe just as important, to inform you on just how surprisingly affordable the process can be at National Media Services.
To put it simply, mastering is, "Taking an already great sounding production and making it sound even better." From project studios to professional recording facilities, from independent artists to the major record label artist, mastering is understood as being an essential process in the completion of any musical production, and is the final step that will make your mixes sound bigger and better.
Creating continuity between tracks by addressing track transitions, fades, relevant dynamics between the tracks, and overall dynamics preferences are key steps in the mastering process. We also address aspects such as frequency balance, harmonic distortions or enhancements, dynamic headroom, stereo imaging, ambient distractions such as extraneous noises during intros and fades, and filtering simple digital anomalies and noise floor issues such as hiss and hum that may be present or enhanced during the mastering process.
The Art of Mastering
Mastering is an art, and should be trusted to trained and experienced mastering engineers.
Our Chief Mastering Engineer represents you as an experienced and educated consultant. He's your "second set of unbiased ears". You'll receive a reference CD after mastering to review and approve. We understand this is YOUR creation and it's our responsibility to see that your ideas are translated onto your final master. We will achieve this by communicating with you during the process until you are completely satisfied with your product.
Send a mix to our studio for a free evaluation. Our Chief Mastering Engineer will consult with you "one-on-one" in an attempt to understand your preferences for the final sound. You'll receive a description of suggested technical changes and/or audio enhancements that could be utilized to get the sound you want. It's this communication that will continue until your master is satisfactory, and hopefully will develop into a lasting working relationship for your future projects. This can help to ensure that your mix is as close to final as possible before mastering. Even though you are the final decision maker, we are here to help.
What Formats Do We Accept?
We can work with many formats, both analog and digital such as cassette tape, various size and speed vinyl discs, and 7" and 10" open reel tapes recorded in various speeds and thickness from 1/4" stereo to 1/2" 16 tracks. We can also handle most digital formats including hard media audio compact discs, DVD audio, DAT, ADAT, Minidisc, and many file extensions such as but not limited to .mp3, .aif and .wav files. We can also handle most video formats. If you are uncertain about the physical or virtual attributes of your analog or digital media, please don't hesitate to call and we can help you over the phone.
Is Mastering Affordable?
How does only $45* per song sound? For nearly a third of the cost of other major mastering studios, National Media Services has the gear and the talent to rival the best mastering suites in the country. But don't take our word for it, read our customer testimonials. We'll make your music ready for commercial release and your project will receive the individual care and attention it deserves. Most professionals will agree that mastering is the best investment they can make in their project.
* Minimum mastering fee of $150.00. The mastering fee is based on jobs with a manufacturing commitment to National Media Services. There will be an additional charge of $200 for mastering jobs not manufactured at National Media Services.
Add ISRC Codes and CD TEXT to your master!
For only $49 (FREE with your mastering job) National Media Services will add ISRC Codes, CD TEXT, register your product with Gracenote. Call for details!
Are you iTunes ready? Get a 24bit iTunes ready MFiT master! It's the ideal format for the best quality iTunes upload. Call for more information.