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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Hermetech Mastering
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next [all]
Author Hermetech Mastering
Babaluma
I've recently started mastering professionally.

I specialise in pre-mastering electronic music, as I can add nice analogue warmth to that type of recording, and I am intimately familiar with that genre.

I'm pretty dead set against over limiting and over compression, and will do all in my power to keep reasonable dynamic range in people's recordings. I work with Bob Katz's K-System for metering, and try to stick to K-14 for "commercial" type releases.

Experience:

I've been mastering my own projects for about 10 years, and have also mastered commercial CDs and many projects for friends and Muffwiggler members. Please contact me for a full client list. I am looking for the experience of mastering many different styles of music, and I know word of mouth is the best assurance of success and quality in this industry.

Equipment:

My stereo mastering chain consists of purely discrete Class A, Class A/B and passive transformer balanced EQs, pre amps and compressors:

Chandler Germanium Compressor x 2
Thermionic Culture Pullet EQ
Chandler TG2 Preamp


I also have various "secret sauce" processors and techniques (effects, M/S processing etc.)

Rates:

The first track is free.
Further submissions are charged at the following rates:
A single track is US $50 all inclusive.
More than a single track is charged at a rate of US $5 per minute of audio plus a US $25 setup fee. Therefore a 15 minute EP would cost US$100, and a 55 minute album US$300.
Paid work takes priority and includes unlimited revisions. I would also be happy to consider trades for gear, vinyl, books etc.
Turnaround varies from a day or more for a single track, to a week or more for an album.

Submissions:

1) Please send links to tracks at the highest quality you have them. I can work with any sample rate and word length, and all the regular file formats (.wav, .aif, .flac, .mp3 etc.)

2) Files will be returned via FTP link at the same sample rate, bit depth and format as you sent them, unless you specify otherwise. I'd be happy to provide CD quality .wav, .aif, .flac, or .mp3 files along with the regular file, please just ask. Note: I always upload the returned files with .rar compression (.rar is optimised for audio compression, .zip is not), as this shrinks the file size, reducing bandwidth, and also contains error checking, so you can be sure the file you downloaded is complete.

3) Please leave off any two bus/mix processing you have done yourself (compression, limiting, EQ, reverb etc.), unless that is an integral part of the sound that you want.

4) Please specify if you have any particular artistic requirements. Alternatively, you can just let me do my thing, and I'll make it sound the best I can.

Please PM or email me (see my profile page) for further details.

All the best,

Gregg at Hermetech
worker8
I'll send you one someday. Just to hear comments from a mastering point of vue (something like : "not ready for mastering cause the mix is ... blablabla).

Anyway, thx for offering.
Babaluma
no worries dude, bring it on!
panda30y
Remember people, leave some headroom in your mix! You might drive Babaluma crazy if you don't. very frustrating
Babaluma
yeah, for best audio quality please track everything at -18dBfs RMS (that's around 0dBvu, where all your analogue chain is designed to sound its best). there should then be plenty of room for tweaking and bringing it up to commercial level without having to crush all the beautiful transients which give your music the space to BREATHE!
Babaluma
still no takers? i would be happy to run one of your tracks through my gear for free!

thumbs up
goiks
i hope your kind offer is still valid when i have a track ready!
Pockets McCoy
goiks wrote:
i hope your kind offer is still valid when i have a track ready!


Word. I've been thinking about it, I just don't have anything worth sending yet.
Babaluma
coolio, have had a couple of pms's, will reply later!
wetterberg
I'd go for it, but I'm more of a strangle-hold kinda guy than a "room to breathe" kinda guy, hehe.
Babaluma
hey wetterberg, i can work with you for a strangle-hold effect if you'd like? in the end it's up to the artists to decide how they want their final mastered mix to sound.
Babaluma
i've been mastering some tracks for people here, and it has been going really well.

more please!

all the best,

gregg
Babaluma
edited first post with info about rates etc.
worker8
Listening to "In Spaces Between", I wish I could hear the unprocessed track. Just to train my ear.
suitandtieguy
Babaluma wrote:
i've been mastering my own projects for about 10 years (i know, it's a NO NO!!!)


that "no no" part is not true.

either you're good at doing something or not. _most_ people are not good at mastering their own material, some are. unfortunately the "most" tends to be completely inadequate at the task, which is why it's often said you should never master your own work.

however, anything i do _has_ to be mastered by me. it's the way i've always done it, and the quality of my recordings has enough weight here in Peoria that the only money i've ever made in music other than selling synthesiser modules has been in mastering albums for people.

however, all of that was through one studio. if i thought there was a problem with a mix ... i'd send it back instead of trying to fix it with processors. i do really believe that if the mix is good the only thing it needs is a bit of compression and/or limiting on the output to balance it against the other tracks on the record. that's it. a brickwall filter at 20hz is also a good thing.

the exception i will make on that is vinyl. you absolutely cannot DIY your vinyl master ... it must be done by a guy with a lathe and skillz. period.

fortunately my best friend is a mastering engineer ( http://www.bonatimastering.com/ ) who just bought a lathe, so i'm in luck when it comes time to do my record.
Babaluma
worker8 wrote:
Listening to "In Spaces Between", I wish I could hear the unprocessed track. Just to train my ear.


i could post the raw mix before all the two bus stuff if you are interested?
Babaluma
suitandtieguy wrote:
anything i do _has_ to be mastered by me. it's the way i've always done it, and the quality of my recordings has enough weight here in Peoria that the only money i've ever made in music other than selling synthesiser modules has been in mastering albums for people.

the exception i will make on that is vinyl. you absolutely cannot DIY your vinyl master ... it must be done by a guy with a lathe and skillz. period.


thanks for your experienced input STG!

i feel exactly the same way as you, in that i've always mastered my own material, and that a piece doesn't feel finished until i have mastered it. i see it as an essential, and perhaps the most important and exciting stage in the whole creative process. it's when you go from the best posiible mix you can, and add nice polish to that.

agreed about the vinyl processing too, i am certainly not up to that task yet!
Babaluma
to all those who have sent me tracks:

THANKS!

last week i had a lot of free time, as my wife and daughter were both away, but this week chaos reigns again! wink

it might be the weekend before i get to them, sorry for the delay.

all the best,

gregg
Babaluma
one of the forum members, whose music i am currently mastering, asked me about the mastering process (both creative and technical), and i wrote a detailed response. i thought it might be of interest to other people too:

my standard stereo mastering chain is as follows -

the digital file is sent to an echo audiofire 12 for d/a conversion.

it then enters a pair of chandler germanium compressors, all discrete class a transformer balanced in and out, and capable of everything from invisible compression to all out squash. how hard you drive the input transformers, what compressor settings you use, and the line amps and transformers on the output all add up to an amazingly configurable box. it can be very colourful, or very subtle, and everything in between. perhaps my favourite piece of studio gear ever.

this then goes to a thermionic culture pullet, which is a stereo passive eq (like a pultec) based around inductors. it has a transformer balanced input. the insertion loss of this piece is about 40dB, so you need to follow it with a really high quality mic pre amp. it's a crazy piece, you can do 21dB of narrow band boost in the mid frequencies, and it will still sound good on some things (try that with a digital eq!)

next the signal goes to a chandler tg2 mic preamp/d.i. this is a stereo unit, class a/b, transformer balanced in and out, and is an almost exact clone of the mic pre amp circuits used in the emi/abbey road tg12345 desk (as used on the beatles "abbey road", pink floyd's "dark side of the moon", early queen stuff etc.) it has a very coloured sound, warm, clear and present, with a very slight high end lift.

pause

as you can see, i certainly favour "warm/colour" pieces over "clean/neutral" ones. this is a personal preference, and probably wouldn't win me any favours with the classical or jazz crowd, but for warming up digitally recorded electronic sources, and imparting some analogue vibe, i think they are just the ticket.

of course, the actual settings i choose to use on all the analogue processors are completely source dependent. what's needed for banging techno can be very different than what's needed for drone, or pop, or acoustic folk ballads etc. every track is different and gets the individual attention it deserves, there is no "one size fits all" setting.

pause over

the signal then goes back to the echo audiofire 12 for a/d conversion. once in the digital domain i apply as little limiting as i think is necessary to bring the sound up to "commercial" levels, without sacrificing any sound quality. i am very conservative here. if i notice any difference in sound quality i back it off a bit. i also occasionally add some last minute, extremely subtle eq here, but the more i practice with the outboard gear, the less i find i need to use eq at the end in the digital domain.

at the moment it's all hard wired, but over the last year or so i've been planning a patchbay setup, which will let me have things rotatable to wherever i want them to be, very easily (e.g. changing the eq/comp or comp/eq order etc). this is slowly going to be instigated over the coming months.

i also have some extra "secret spice" bits, which i don't always use, but i will sometimes use on my own ambient/dub/drone tracks, that i guess are more "artistic" choices. for example, i have a really nice spring reverb (the zerotronics coolsprings le), a lexicon pcm 70 effects unit, a seraph dimensional chorus (based on the boss dc-2 pedal but much higher quality), and the modular (i'll often use a pair of blacet time machine delays for trippy effects, flanging or chorus, and i also just got a great new synthasonic/mfos phaser, not to mention the four wiard filters)!

another trick i sometimes use in mastering is m/s. i'll split a stereo file digitally into its mid and side components, send these through different analogue processors with different settings, and then mix to regular l/r once i'm back in the digital domain again. some truly stunning results can be achieved, especially in the stereo spread. if you want to hear a very "artistic" use of this effect, then check the track "maggie" on my blog which uses this m/s technique heavily.

http://hermetech.blogspot.com

i hope i didn't bore you all, but i do love discussing this stuff!

all the best,

gregg
Suburban Bather
Awesome! Thanks for the explanation of your mastering process. Now, if I could just finish a track d'oh!
alexP
I want to say that Gregg mastered a track for me, thats going on to big things, and he did a fantastic job. I am wholeheartedly recommending him to anyone that wants their stuff mastered quickly, thats still super high quality!


Gregg, I am coming at you soon with something else!!


alexP
Babaluma
thanks alex, means a lot to me!

Chugging Beers
timmah
thumbs up

double thumbs up for hermetech mastering.

I'm a very happy banana and will be going back for more.

Rockin' Banana!
Babaluma
thanks tim!

thumbs up
perky
Funny im planning to make a mastering business aswell grin
Got a STC-8 today to try out. I have a Chandler Zener Limiter sitting in the studio atm. EQ's are still to be decided upon. Good luck with the business Babaluma SlayerBadger!
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