Enmore Audio’s mastering studio offers a wide range of mastering services and can tailor your master to suit an array of contrasting listening environments. Our control room, “The Kitchen” is designed with acoustic purity and analytical focus in mind – which for mastering, is essential.
Mastering adds the final polish to your mix. Nowadays, a typical music fan will listen to their favourite songs in an ever-widening variety of situations – at home on the stereo, on the radio, in the car, online through tiny laptop speakers, in headphones of all types of different quality, even on vinyl.
The role of mastering in the process of production is frequently misunderstood, and underestimated. Mastering is the process of preparing a mix for commercial release. The mix engineer will work with all of the recorded tracks, distilling all the sound sources to a 2 track stereo mixdown. It will then be sent to a mastering engineer, where they will add the final touches, before the public release.
There are a few things to consider previous to releasing of a body of work for public consumption. The final audio processing may include things like limiting, compression, equalisation and making sure the elements of the mix are sitting appropriately within the stereo field. These things are often addressed in the mix stage, yet mastering allows for a fresh approach to these parameters which means substantial improvements to the mix can be made. In addition to this, the mastering engineer’s role is to maintain a balance and coherence across multiple songs within an a collection of tracks.
There a few additional technical tasks that are completed in the mastering phase as well. These duties are critical as they ensure the content is playable across all platforms. These include the creation of a master CD (the copy from which all others are duplicated), track sequencing, appropriate crossfades between tracks and file format transcoding – which is additionally imperative, considering the amount of music consumed online through lossy, compressed file types. Even obscure tasks like making sure your CD’s tracks are registered with Gracenote and AllMusic (so the track information appears when you open the CD in ITunes or Windows Media Player) can be handled in mastering.
Enmore Audio has industry standard software for commercial mastering. Our Waves and Universal Audio plug-in collection provides a broad sonic pallette for the analysis and optimisation of stereo mixes. In additional to our modern, digital capability, Enmore Audio possesses an Otari MTR-10 2 track tape machine. The Otari is an analog workhorse, with outstanding character. This makes it an ideal mastering machine if you’re looking for a warmth and vintage compression that is reminiscent of classic recordings. It also has been used to great effect in the mix stage. With its varispeed capability, it’s useful for a other-worldly pitch shifting, echo and flange effects.
In comparison with the recording and mixing phases of a production, mastering can seem a little opaque in its method and purpose. It is, however, vitally important for presenting the final mix in the best light possible, across an ever-increasing range of media platforms. Enmore Audio is a Sydney mastering studio with the tools and expertise to guide you through the mastering process. If you’d like to ask a question, or tell us about your project, get in touch with Radi or Dan.