It is often said that mastering is the last creative step in the record making process and the first step in manufacturing. Final mastering of your music is the last chance you have to fine-tune your master to make it the best it can be, both sonically and artistically. In addition to sequencing of your songs into the ideal order, we also use equalization and gentle compression to make sure that each track sounds it’s fullest. We also give special attention to the pause lengths between each song to ensure a smooth creative flow to the whole project. Cross fades between songs can also be added where appropriate. Once your project is complete, we encourage you to “live” with the CD ref for a day or two before giving us final approval to cut the master. In this way, we can all be sure that the master embodies all the final input from the artist and the production team.
Lastly, we add the “PQ” codes that are needed at the manufacturing plant to encode into the glass master. These coded tell the listeners’ CD players the start/stop times and total duration of each song and contain other embedded documentation concerning product ownership and other information.
At the Music Lab, we specialize in the transfer and restoration of analog tape masters. We can help archive all of your analog tape formats to digital for long-term preservation, enabling convenient digital distribution of your product. See our current blog for this topic and call today for a quote on your project.
In addition to handing all digital formats for incoming projects, we also specialize in transfers of analog tape and disk formats. We have several audiotape machines in house to handle all 1/4″ and 1/2″ mix down formats. This includes the much-praised Ampex ATR-100 and a specially modified Ampex 440 with tube playback electronics. If you have older masters on analog tape, you may want to consider converting them to digital ASAP. Many of the older tape formats are deteriorating and have trouble playing back without proper treatment. If you have tried to playback an older analog master and it started sticking to the tape heads and making a squeaking sound, TAKE IT OFF THE MACHINE IMMEDIATELY! Further attempts to playback the tape will cause oxide loss and severe damage to the recorded sound. We have extensive experience in this area and have done many catalog restorations to both analog and digital formats.
If you have 78-rpm records or acetate disks, we can handle those also with our custom playback chain. Our services include cleaning of the record to reduce surface noise during playback and “pop & click” removal using Sonic’s “No-Noise”.
CD Manufacturing and iTunes Posting
When you’re ready to get your music into the marketplace, we can help you with full manufacturing packages. Thanks to our relationship with a major east coast CD plant. we can help you take your project through the full manufacturing process, including artwork design and creation. Let us quote your project today!
Another avenue for distribution of your music is through the Apple I-Tunes Music Store.
Through our partnership with a major record label, we can convert your songs to the MP3
format and set you up with a deal to get them posted on I-Tunes for download.
Long-term storage of masters in our secure climate-controlled vault :
If you need long-term storage solutions for large archives, consider using us to store your masters in our climate-controlled vault. The vault is fully secured with password and key access only. Some of our major clients utilize this service. It enables us to get our hands on a master ASAP if they need a transfer or copy.