FAQ

I'm in a hurry to get my record mastered, how quickly can I get it back?
In almost all cases, I can have the songs ready for you within 48 hours of receiving your CD/files, and typically I will get you a sample mastered mp3 to approve within 24 hours. You can receive high-quality MP3s or WAV files immediately after the master is complete in your own private folder on my website. I will also mail you a master CD. I ship first class free of charge, but if you'd like to upgrade to a faster shipping, that is fine too!
How much input do I have on the way my master will sound?
When you send in your songs, I'll ask you if you have any preferences in terms of EQ or overall sound. As I master your album, I will upload mp3 samples for you to check out so you can provide feedback and tell me if everything is sounding exactly as you want it. Your master isn't considered finalized until you have approved it and it sounds exactly the way you want!
What are the services you provide in the mastering process?
I will compress your songs to make sure your album is at standard CD volume, EQ the songs to make your mix sound brighter and fuller, and set up track transitions and any special requests you may have regarding fades or post-mix editing. In general, I will make your mix sound as good as it can sound and most importantly, make sure that YOU are happy with it!
What is the best way to send you my songs?
The fastest and simplest way is by using my Uploader tool, which will drop your mixes directly onto my server. To avoid abuse/bot spamming, I don't link the uploader from the site, but just send an E-mail to request the link. Alternately, if your mixes have already been uploaded to a site like dropbox or wetransfer, a link to those is fine to send as well (though please avoid sending me links to sites like Mediafire that are filled with captchas and popup ads).
In what format do you prefer to receive the songs?
For ease and quality, it's best if you can send WAV or AIFF files, stereo interleaved at a minimum of 16-bit, 44.1KHz. If, however, that's not possible for some reason, I can deal with just about any format.
How loud should my songs be when I send them in for mastering?
It's best if your mix is uncompressed and peaks at about -3 to -4 dB. If your songs are louder than that, there will be very little head room to work with EQ and compression.
Can you master my record for vinyl instead of CD?
Absolutely - I do plenty of vinyl releases. While we'll need to pay attention to taming some problem frequencies to better accommodate vinyl pressing, you can rest assured that the final product will maintain all of your dynamics and sound great when you get your records made. The additional charge for this second set of vinyl masters is typically about $20-$45 (total, not per song), depending on the number of songs.
Why should I get my record mastered?
Mastering will quite simply improve the sound of your record and help to polish your finished product, no matter how it was recorded. It doesn't matter whether you spent all your show profits and then some to splurge on a good studio, or if you recorded at home with Garage Band, or even if you just threw a few microphones into an old 4-track while you played live in your own basement. Getting your tracks mastered by an experienced engineer will ensure that your album sounds professional and cohesive, and that you are getting the best possible sound out of your recording.
I like the sound of my master, but can you make it louder?
This one comes up often enough that I've dedicated a whole page to it.
Can you deal with ISRC codes? Do I need them?
An ISRC is a 12-character code that uniquely identifies an individual song. Assignment/purchasing of the codes is handled at http://www.usisrc.org/. Some online music distributors may require them to sell your music, though by no means are they mandatory (and the majority of releases that come through Azimuth do not use ISRCs). If you or your record label have obtained them for your release, we can include ISRCs on your CD, DDP image, or digital masters. Just provide the ISRCs when you send your mixes, and they will be added in at no extra charge.
Your prices are low - why? Does that mean it's just preset mastering?
Nope! Every album and song gets my full attention to make sure you get whatever sound you want or need. My prices are low because mastering is a hobby for me as much as it is a business. I also work another full-time job, but make time for my mastering projects every day of the year because I love working with bands and helping people make music!