For a more detailed explanation, please read this comprehensive guide that will take you through the essential steps to prepare your mix for mastering. This article, filled with practical advice and tips, will help you understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of your mix, the significance of file formats, and the role of metadata in your final files. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: The article provides a detailed guide on preparing your mix for mastering, emphasising the importance of maintaining a clean and dynamic mix. It advises against overusing processors and recommends keeping the mix's peak level below 0dBFS. The article also highlights the importance of file formats and metadata for distribution, suggesting 32-bit float audio files as the preferred format and providing a comprehensive list of metadata options for your final masters.
To submit your track, please fill out our intake form at the link below. You'll get an instant quote for the project and we'll have all the info we need for mastering and scheduling.
Depending on the complexity, mastering projects' turnaround time is generally less than 72 hrs for singles and 3 to 7 days for EP/Albums after project confirmation.
If you are working to a deadline and need a faster turnaround time, please let me know when booking your project.
Our mastering rates are determined by factors such as the total number of songs, any additional alternate mixes, and the desired deliverables (e.g., DDP, individual WAV & MP3 files, separate preparation for lacquer cutting, Mastered for iTunes, etc.). To get an instant cost estimate based on your project's specific needs go to our projects quote page here.
Mastering revisions based on client feedback are free of charge. We can work together as necessary to make sure we get the sound you’re looking for.
If you need to remix a song to fix a problem or adjust something in the original mix, yes you can resubmit your mix and a small fee of $25 apply to remaster/re-print the new mix.
If you are not happy with my work, you can contact me for free revisions within 30 days. I will do whatever it takes to meet your requirements during our revisions process.
If we decide that I am not the right person for your project after the revision process, contact me for a refund. My only requirement is that my mixes/masters are not released for sale or promotion and that refunds are requested within 30 days of receiving mixes or masters.
After the final masters are approved, all deliverable files will be prepared as per your project-specific requirements. The standard delivery files included in all projects are:
If you have additional file format requirements, please specify them in the project's intake form or during the project discussions.
Yes, you can. I understand, hiring a stranger (who might be on the other side of the world!) to master your music can be daunting, so I’m happy to offer a free test master. You’ll be able to see how your mastered track sounds and we’ll both know whether my mastering style is right for you.
If you like what hear, you’ll then have the option to buy the release-ready final masters.
To request a free test master, please upload your track using this form, and you’ll get a sample within 72 hours.
I can do stem mastering for some projects. This is not a standard service and you should only ask for it if your mix has technical problems that need stems to fix.
Stem mastering costs $120 per track for up to 6 stems. Each extra stem is $15 more.
If you want stem mastering, please use the contact form here and tell me about your project. Here are a couple of blog posts that will guide you through the decision-making process of whether to opt for stem mastering or traditional stereo mastering. It covers the what, when, and how of stem mastering, including its benefits, ideal use cases, and the process involved. Here are the links to the full articles for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: Stem mastering is a technique that uses groups of similar-sounding instruments, offering more control to the artist. It's typically used when there's an issue with the mix that can't be resolved in the mixing stage. However, if the mix is satisfactory, traditional stereo mastering is recommended. Stem mastering involves exporting the stems with all the effects and processing used during mixing, and the mastering engineer then works to generate an optimal-sounding master for final distribution.
Yes, we can master your tracks for vinyl and prepare them for the vinyl-cutting engineer. Just select Vinyl under the "production formats" options when submitting your project via our intake form. This way, we can make sure the final masters are ready for vinyl.
For more info about vinyl mastering please check out this article that explores the unique challenges and considerations that come with preparing music for vinyl release, from understanding the physical limitations of the medium to optimising the frequency distribution and playing times. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: The article discusses the resurgence of vinyl records and the unique challenges they present for mastering engineers. It explains the physical limitations of vinyl, such as the RIAA equalisation curve system that reduces low-end frequencies and boosts high frequencies to fit more music on a record. It also covers common issues like high-frequency distortion and challenges with low frequencies and stereo bass. The article emphasises the importance of optimising the high-end, low-end, and stereo information for the vinyl cut, as well as considering vinyl playing times and loudness. It concludes by suggesting that good communication with the vinyl-cutting facility is key to achieving the best results.
Yes, we've been evaluated and approved by Apple as an official Apple Digital Masters Provider studio. Just select "HiRes Apple Digital Masters" under the "production formats" options when submitting your project via our intake form.
Read on to learn more about Apple Digital Masters, a program introduced by Apple to offer the highest possible quality of audio through the iTunes music store and Apple Music. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: Apple Digital Masters, formerly known as Mastered for iTunes, is a program designed to ensure the highest audio quality for Apple Music and iTunes. Apple has set forth a series of recommendations and workflows for mastering engineers to prepare and submit masters for distribution. To ensure these standards are met, Apple has created a set of 'Apple Digital Masters mastering tools' to be used by the engineers. Mastering engineers, like those at Cefe Flynn Mastering, must go through an evaluation process to be added to Apple's official Apple Digital Masters Providers List.
Yes, we can prepare and create a DDP Image and it's the corresponding DDP player. Please select "DDP" under the "production formats" options when submitting your project via our intake form.
Read on to learn more about DDP images, their advantages over traditional methods, and their crucial role in modern CD production. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: DDP, or Disc Description Protocol, is a format used for specifying the content of optical discs, including CDs. It's essentially a digital clone of a compact disc, containing all the necessary elements that make up the audio CD, and is immune to physical defects common with CDs. The article also highlights the importance of using a DDP image for the production master to ensure the preservation of audio quality and correct inclusion of track information.
Payment for a project is due upon completion and final approval of all mastered files. Please note, the payment needs to be completed before the final deliverables are sent.
We accept payment through bank transfer, PayID, and credit card.
We can also arrange PayPal payment at your request.
If you choose to use PayPal as your preferred payment method, depending on where you live and whether you have an active PayPal account, PayPal may give you the choice to pay in four installments without interest or late fees when you check out. Please note that this is subject to PayPal's terms and conditions.
If after the revision process we agree that I'm not the right fit for your project, you can contact me to request a refund. My only requirements are that my mixes or masters are not released for sale or promotion and that refunds are requested within 30 days of receiving your mixes or masters.
Mastering is the finalisation process where everything gets baked together. This is where the mix is perfected, and the track as a whole is worked on to give it shine, sparkle, volume, depth, punch and loudness.
During the mastering process, as an audio engineer, I will typically utilise different tools like compression, stereo width tools, limiters, maximisers, EQ, automation and more to ensure that the final master achieves the right levels to meet industry standards and the proper tone for your style of music.
Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
Here is a comprehensive guide that demystifies the world of audio mixing and mastering. This article provides a clear understanding of the differences between mixing and mastering, their importance in music production, and why they should be handled by professionals. It also offers insights into the time and cost involved in these processes. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: Mixing and mastering are two distinct but crucial stages in music production. Mixing involves blending individually recorded tracks like ingredients in a recipe, adjusting volume levels, adding effects, and tweaking EQ settings to create a harmonious output. Mastering, however, is the finalization process where the mixed track is polished to give it shine, sparkle, volume, depth, punch, and loudness, ensuring it meets industry standards. While it might be tempting to mix and master your own music, the article advises against it due to inherent biases and emphasizes the importance of professional handling for achieving a balanced and industry-standard track.
In the world of music production, the quality of a mix plays a pivotal role in the final product. But what happens when the mix isn't up to par? Can mastering salvage a bad mix? This is a question often posed to mastering engineers. The answer, as you might expect, isn't a simple yes or no. It depends on various factors, including the specific issues with the mix and the tools at the mastering engineer's disposal. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: Mastering can indeed breathe life into a mix, but it's not a magic wand that can fix all issues. Some problems, like clipping, can't be eliminated entirely during mastering. Issues of EQ and panning can be patched up to some extent, but a mastering engineer can't separate individual tracks during an online mastering session. The key takeaway is that a clean, balanced mix, free from artifacts, gives your mastering engineer the best audio to work with. So, before you jump into mastering, ensure your mix is as polished as it can be. Remember, mastering is about enhancing a good mix, not fixing a bad one.
As an artist, you might wonder if it's necessary to create unique masters for each streaming platform, considering their varying requirements. This article dives deep into this topic, exploring the concept of normalisation used by streaming platforms, the evolution of platform standards, and the financial implications of creating separate masters. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: In conclusion, the article suggests that creating separate masters for different platforms may not be the most efficient or cost-effective approach. Instead, focusing on creating the best possible master from a great mix is recommended. This master can then be used across all your streaming and download platforms, as the volume will be normalised anyway. If algorithms change, your audio will automatically receive adjustments from the platforms themselves. So, invest your time and money wisely to get the best master possible, and let the platforms handle the rest.
My first goal in mastering is to make something sound great and not exceed its loudness potential. Its loudness potential is the point above which the sound gets worse, anything louder is by definition a compromise.
I aim to get a sound for the master that the artist and/or label are happy with in terms of their vision for the track, and that is technically correct, and this can sometimes be an iterative process.
Here is an article I wrote that provides seven crucial tips to maximise the benefits of mastering. These tips are not just for seasoned professionals but also for those who are just starting out in the music industry. They cover everything from preparing your mix, and using a reference track, to the importance of communication with your engineer. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: Mastering is the final technical step in audio production, ensuring your mix is balanced, consistent, and adheres to industry standards. To get the most out of mastering, ensure your mix is solid and balanced, use a reference track, communicate effectively with your engineer, get a mastering sample, check your master on different speakers, compare the mix and master at the same volume, and let your mastering engineer guide you.
Dive into our informative posts about all things music industry. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, you’ll find handy tips and insights here. These articles feature practical guides on copyrights, how to master a song to release your music, and more. Enjoy exploring!
This article provides an in-depth into the intricacies of digital music distribution, focusing on how independent artists can get their music on major online platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Tidal, and Amazon. It explores the pros and cons of free and paid distribution services, and how to choose the best one for your needs. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: The article emphasises that digital music providers rarely deal with individual artists directly, but rather with approved distributors. It reviews six popular music distributors that can help artists get their music on Spotify and other platforms. The article also explains that distributors make money by charging upfront fees or a percentage of revenue earned from the streaming and downloading of your music. It highlights that each distributor has unique features and that artists can only use one distributor per release. The article also provides a step-by-step guide on how to upload music to distributors and emphasises the importance of professional mastering to ensure the music is technically ready for release.
This guide is a must-read for any artist looking to digitally release their next single. It provides a clear roadmap to releasing your single, from the importance of professional mastering to the intricacies of digital distribution. Remember, in the world of music, it's not just about creating; it's also about ensuring your creations reach the ears of listeners worldwide. So, take the time to understand the process, make informed decisions, and let your music shine. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: This guide emphasises the importance of releasing singles in the current music landscape dominated by streaming services. It highlights the need for frequent content release to increase the chances of your music being added to playlists and getting noticed. The guide also underscores the importance of professional mastering to ensure your tracks sound as good as other releases in your genre, and provides detailed information on how to get your music onto major digital platforms through approved distributors. It offers practical advice on preparing your track for release, including getting the specs right, choosing the right distributor, and understanding the administrative paperwork involved.
If you're an independent artist without a record label, you know how crucial it is to get your tracks out there on digital platforms. But with a plethora of aggregators to choose from, how do you make the right pick? In the link below you will find a comparison chart of 10 popular and well-established aggregators to help you make an informed decision. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: In the audio realm, when you're not signed with a label, an aggregator is essential for distributing your music through digital stores and streaming platforms. Cefe Flynn has crafted a comparison chart of 10 well-established aggregators, highlighting the key features to consider when choosing the right partner for your music distribution.
Navigating the intricate world of music copyrights is essential for any artist. It's not just about protecting your creative endeavors but also about understanding how to rightfully benefit from your work. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding.
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience:
Music copyrights are legal rights granted to creators, ensuring their works are protected and they're rightfully compensated. From the moment of creation, these rights exist, but registering amplifies their power, offering undeniable proof of ownership and stronger legal protection.
Staying informed about copyrights is crucial in the digital age. It not only safeguards your music but also ensures you're rewarded for your passion and hard work. Stay creative and protected!
Here is a short list of some useful music industry resources:
Another DIY option is to master your tracks using an online audio processing service such as cloudbounce.com; ariamastering.com; landr.com; emastered.com. These online services use an algorithm to master tracks – meaning your music will typically not be heard by human ears – instead, your track is run through some software that automatically makes adjustments to volume, compression and EQ based on a formula the algorithm applies. Algorithm-based mastering can come in handy when you want to get a glimpse at your track's potential or when you want to check a mix against standardised processing. You may have a quick demo mix that you think sounds good, and perhaps you want to add some overall compression and limiting to get that “radio sound” through a volume boost.
However, these mastering services do tend to work by applying a rubber stamp to each track because no one is actually listening. In the below link you can read a comprehensive review of the top 11 online mastering services, including Landr, Emastered, Bandlab, and Cloudbounce.
Two of the most prominent services in this field are eMastered and Landr. But how do they stack up against each other? In the following article provides an in-depth comparison of these two services.
This comprehensive guide explores the art of mastering your own music. This article demystifies the process and provides practical tips to achieve the best results in your home studio. It's a comprehensive guide that covers everything from preparing your mix, using reference tracks, and setting levels, to the final render. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
You can further explore the subject with three main approaches to mastering: the DIY method, working with a professional mastering engineer, and using an automated online algorithm-based mastering service. It's a treasure trove of knowledge for anyone looking to understand the intricacies of this critical final step in music production.
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: Mastering your own music is a feasible task that can be accomplished even in a home studio. The article emphasizes the importance of a proper mix before mastering, as the latter is essentially the final polish on your mix. It also encourages the use of reference tracks for comparison and advises on getting the levels right. The author suggests listening to the entire song a few times before starting the mastering process to identify any issues that need to be addressed. Automation is recommended where possible, and the article stresses that the goal of mastering is not to dramatically change the sound, but to treat the track as a whole. The final steps involve compression, limiting, and adding finishing touches like stereo widening. Lastly, it's important to take breaks to avoid ear fatigue and to render your master according to the requirements of the medium you're publishing to.
Mastering your own music is a journey of discovery and learning. With the right tools and a willingness to experiment, you can craft the exact sound you're looking for. This article is a treasure trove of insights for those who are interested in mastering their own music. It provides a comprehensive list of six essential tools that you need to create the perfect sound. From speakers and DACs to mastering rooms and plugins, this article covers it all. Here's the link to the full article for a more detailed understanding:
To complement this article, read this compilation of best mastering plugins:
If you're pressed for time, here's a brief summary for your convenience: Mastering your own music requires the right tools and a bit of patience. The six must-have tools for this process are: speakers/monitors that produce a flat or neutral response, a high-quality digital-to-analog converter (DAC), a well-treated mastering room, a capable digital audio workstation (DAW), processing plugins to enhance the track, and metering plugins to monitor levels. Remember, mastering is a craft that gets easier with practice and patience.