Mastering: Recs for a DIY album on a DIY budget

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stringbeane
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Mastering: Recs for a DIY album on a DIY budget

Post by stringbeane » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:11 am

Hi all,

My Chinese Democracy, :D , is nearing completion. Now it's time to find a mastering house. I'm always reading the ads in the back of Tape Op, but wanted to ask the forum for some recs. My only mastering exp was at The Plant and we/the band were able to be there in person, amazing experience. However, I have since relocated to Boulder, CO. So my questions:

1. Is it better to give final mixes to ME and let them do their thing?
2. Is it better to be there, in person, during mastering?
3. Any recs for mastering facilities in the Boulder/Denver area?
4. Any recs that are cost affordable, and that have given you goosebumps on post mastering playback?
5. Opinions on posting up mixes for ME to download, then they do the same to get finals back to me?

Thanks so much in advance! As always, your opinions are golden!
Andrew
What's wrong with a couple beers before yoga?

qball
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Post by qball » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:44 am

I use Airshow Mastering in your area. David Glasser is a great guy and will give you the final polish that you're after.

http://www.airshowmastering.com/frame.html
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chris harris
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Re: Mastering: Recs for a DIY album on a DIY budget

Post by chris harris » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:11 am

stringbeane wrote:Hi all,

My Chinese Democracy, :D , is nearing completion. Now it's time to find a mastering house. I'm always reading the ads in the back of Tape Op, but wanted to ask the forum for some recs. My only mastering exp was at The Plant and we/the band were able to be there in person, amazing experience. However, I have since relocated to Boulder, CO. So my questions:

1. Is it better to give final mixes to ME and let them do their thing?
2. Is it better to be there, in person, during mastering?
3. Any recs for mastering facilities in the Boulder/Denver area?
4. Any recs that are cost affordable, and that have given you goosebumps on post mastering playback?
5. Opinions on posting up mixes for ME to download, then they do the same to get finals back to me?

Thanks so much in advance! As always, your opinions are golden!
Andrew
1. probably
2. not in my experience. it often costs more to attend mastering sessions.
3. sorry..
4. Garrett Haines at Treelady mastered our last record. He's also mastered much of what's come out of the studio where I work. He does great work at really, REALLY reasonable rates.
5. it's fine to upload your mixes. But, you probably want the ME to send you a disc for manufacture.

drumsound
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Post by drumsound » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:21 pm

From most every mastering engineer I know or have talked to mose sessions are un attended. They all take really good notes and have mostly switched units to recall is pretty simple.

Garret at Tree Lady is a completely cool guy with a great passion for his work.

And at the risk of sounding like a broken record Carl Saff is great and supe affordable.

And Bob Weston just opened a room in Chicago too.

And there's always JJ Golden whos done great work for me and my friends.

What is your budget BTW?

bap
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Post by bap » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:39 pm

Airshow Mastering is world class but may not be within a DIY budget.

Coupe Studio (off Valmont E. of Foothills Pkwy) may be able to help out if you want to keep it local. They are a recording studio and do mastering but not a pure mastering facility. Nice people there.

Bruce P. (from Longmont - welcome to the area)
'Oh... no... it wasn't the airplane...it was beauty that killed the beast.'

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asw.3060
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Post by asw.3060 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:04 pm

Alan Douches at West West Side Music.

Alan is amazing and his price was unbelievable.

He CLEARLY posts his prices on his website which i find really helpful when budgeting a project.

i'll definitely use him again.

-a-

mc437
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Post by mc437 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:38 pm

Silver Sonya Mastering in the DC area does fantastic work. www.silversonya.com

xonlocust
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Post by xonlocust » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:58 pm

i like to attend my mastering sessions when possible, but of course it's not always possible...

carl saff is also my go to guy for on the cheaper side, yet still professional level work. he's doing something sat in fact that i just finished. i don't feel like the project is getting shortchanged by any means going his way.

then when talking more $, there's john golden of course who i obviously havent sat in on, but sent extensive notes to, and trevor sadler / mastermind who's also excellent. and the few things i've heard from bob weston's new place sound great as well.

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mikeyc
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Post by mikeyc » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:12 am

+1 on Carl Saff. He does really good work-- regardless of price.

stringbeane
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THANKS EVERYONE!!

Post by stringbeane » Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:58 am

Thanks so much for the killer feedback. I'm sending out emails to all mentioned. Budget wise, I'm hoping to keep it between $500-$1000. Treelady is looking tasty at $600, so we'll see. Thanks again and have a great weekend!

Andrew
What's wrong with a couple beers before yoga?

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MASSIVE Mastering
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Post by MASSIVE Mastering » Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:49 am

1. Is it better to give final mixes to ME and let them do their thing?
2. Is it better to be there, in person, during mastering?
3. Any recs for mastering facilities in the Boulder/Denver area?
4. Any recs that are cost affordable, and that have given you goosebumps on post mastering playback?
5. Opinions on posting up mixes for ME to download, then they do the same to get finals back to me?
1) Within reason - Communicate what you're after - THEN let him do his thing.
2) It tends to go quicker with the client in the room most of the time, yes. Immediate feedback is a wonderful thing. I used to be 90% attended -- Over the years, that's dwindled to 90% UNattended. The attended sessions almost invariably go much more quickly. The "hybrid" of FTP'ing or mailing in mixes in advance (so I can "get a handle on things") before the client shows up is the "ideal" scenario IMO. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with unattended sessions as long as you're dealing with someone decent.
3) My geography escapes me -
4) I can think of a few in your price range.
5) Nothing wrong with it - I'm still a fan of sending out physical discs. But FTP sessions are becoming more and more common. And FTP delivery (from the client) & FTP "audition" files (to the client) are probably (at least here) winning the race over physical delivery. Heh... "Probably" - I'll bet it's 80%.
John Scrip - MASSIVE Mastering

ataraxia
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Post by ataraxia » Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:24 pm

I don't know if he's still doing it, but check out.
http://www.8housesdown.com
try writing jeff merkle there. He's pretty much a Denver staple.

Ronan Chris Murphy
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Post by Ronan Chris Murphy » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:56 pm

He is in LA but Stephen Marsh has done about 20 or 30 records for me and I love working with him. He used to be the chief mastering guy at Sony West Coast.

I know he does some special deals for some indie artists.
Ronan's Recording Show
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