Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Info
What is mastering exactly?
Most of you probably know this already but for those you are not familiar with the term "Mastering", here is a brief description:
The aim of mastering is to transform raw mixes into professional sounding tracks that translate well on any media whether it's Radio, Club, Home-system, iPod or the Internet. The difference between a mastered and unmastered track can be huge, or hardly noticable. A great deal of music is recorded and/or mixed in acoustically inaccurate monitoring environments these days which makes having your tracks checked and mastered in a professional mastering studio more important than ever. It's the last opportunity to accurately hear a recording and solve any problems it may have.
Here are some before and after mastering examples.
How does 24Mastering work?
Register After registration you will receive an activation email. If you do not receive such email just contact us and we'll fix it for you.
Login Will take you to the "My Account" page.
Payment is always done upfront. We work with credits. You can purchase credits by bank or PayPal. The advantage of this is that you do not have to pay every time you want to order a service. When you pay with PayPal the credits are automatically added to your account immediately after payment is received, so you can start ordering right away.
Fill in the number of tracks you want mastered or select other services. The page will indicate how many credits will be deducted from your account.
After placeing the order you will be directed to the "View My Orders" page. Here you can upload the file(s).You can also download your invoice(s) from this page.
After mastering is complete you will receive an email that your files are ready. Simply download your files from your account. Be aware that files will stay in your account for 14 days. After this period files are automatically deleted.
How much does mastering cost?
How much you pay per track depends on which options you choose and how many credits you buy. You can buy individual credits which cost 1 euro each. If you buy a credits pack you get a discount. The higher the pack, the higher the discount. Remaining credits can be used at any other time. Please see pricing for all our services. We have incredibly low prices so please don't bug us about lower prices ;). Buy credits pack and you pay as low as 25 euro per master!
What kind of equipment do you use?
- Sontec MES-432C Mastering EQ
- Fairman Tube Master Equalizer TMEQ
- Knif Vari Mu II
- Maselec MTC-1X Transfer Console
- Maselec MPL-2 Peak and HF limiter
- Vertigo VSC-2 Quad Discrete Compressor
- Foote Control Systems P3S ME Compressor
- Weiss AFI1 Interface
- Weiss BW102 signal processing system incl: 12band EQ, Dynamics, 2x De-esser, Mixer, Touchscreen Masterpinguin
- Valley Audio Dynamap 730
- Studer 1/2" A80RC mkII High speed (15/30 ips). Master Tapemachine
Monitoring and Routing
- Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus 800D Speakers
- Bi-Amps by Hexateq Amplifiers
- Mischa Jacobi Subs (2x)
- Z-Sys z-32-32r Digital Router
- Dorrough 380D Digital Loudness Meter
Playback / Misc
- Sadie PCM4
- Quad Mac Pro incl
- Logic Pro X
- Plextor PlexWriter Premium2
- Izotope RX3 Advanced Restauration
- Zaolla Silverline Cables
- Tascam DA-30 MKII DAT Recorder
- Sony 7030 DAT Recorder
- Xilica XP-2040
- Marantz CD5001
- Sonoris DDP player for clients
- Neumann VMS70 cutting lathe
- SAL74C Cutting Amplifiers
- SX74 Cutting head
- Pitch13 with remain time module for longer/louder cuts
- Sonifex RB-DS2 Delay
- Audionics Digitally controlled RDL
- Audionics A/B path Switcher
- RTW 1119E Peak and Correlation Meter
- SME 3012R Tonearm with S2 headshell and Technics 205c-II Cartridge
- Numerous mods for shorter and cleaner audio path and tricks like: Locked Grooves and Inside-out cuts (reversed direction)
Do you have any examples?
Can I get a mastering demo?
Yes you can. As an introduction, we offer a free mastering demo service before making any payments. (You will receive a 1-2 minute sample of the master).
To get a demo you will need to register and upload your full track thru our website. During upload you must leave specific wishes regarding sound/loudness/format etc in the order form. As we have not worked together before it is recommended you upload a reference track too. We don't accept links to tracks for demos and YouTube videos are useless references!
What else can you do?
Is the process by which a multitude of recorded sounds are combined into one or more channels. During this process, the source signals level, frequency content, dynamics and panoramic position are being manipulated.
Individual audio tracks are grouped together to allow for independent control and signal processing of each stem and can be manipulated independently from each other. Stem Mastering should only be used if there are serious problems in the final mix.
Due to the limited lifespan of DAT (Digital Audio Tape) it's recommended to have your (old) DAT's transferred to wav. We can transfer your DAT recordings to Wav or CD using our hi end converters.
Removal of imperfections (such as hiss, crackle, noise, buzz, wow and flutter) from sound recordings.
Changing the tempo of a song without audible artifacts.
We can cut 14", 12", 10" and 7" master lacquers and acetates for DJ/Reference. As one of very few cutting rooms we can do perfect Locked Grooves and Inside-out cuts. (So record starts on the inside!)
What if I don't like the mastering?
If the initial master is not what you were looking for, we will make revisions to meet your requirements. The first revision will be done free of charge. Any other revisions after that will be charged at our standard rate. Revision requests will need to be submitted no later than 7 days after the track was available in your download folder. Providing us with a new mix will always be charged as a new master! So triple check your files before uploading.
How do I prepare and deliver my music?
Please do NOT use limiters on the master channel. Try to leave at least -3dB headroom. This means the peaks of the signal should not exceed the -3dBFS mark of your digital meter.24
Record/Bounce your song in interleaved 24bit and 44khz or higher (use native rate you work on), No dither or normalize. Add an extra empty bars before and after your arrangement.
We accept WAV and AIFF files. MP3, WMA, etc are not suitable for mastering.
Package and upload
If you prefer you can compress your songs into 1 file using ZIP or RAR.
In case you don't have a fast internet connection or just prefer to send your tracks by 1/4" Tape, D.A.T, CD/DVD (data), go to the contact page for our mailing address..
How does lacquer mastering work?
Lacquer mastering can be ordered right from your account. After processing the tracks will be available in your account in digital form. It's also recommended you order a reference acetate so you can play the record in your own studio. After your approval the master lacquers will be cut and send directly to the pressing plant.
What's the most that can fit on a side of vinyl?
How long a side can be depends on the musical content, bass heavy material and a louder cut will take up the most space.
If you want too much material on a side we will have to take steps to make it fit such as reducing the level, reducing the bass and/or narrowing the stereo image.
Also remember that as you approach the center of a record, quality of playback in terms of frequency response goes down and distortion goes up. A good reason for keeping the duration of each side within reasonable limits. Here are some general guidelines:
Format / RPM Loud Level Average Level 7" 45rpm Up to 3 ½ Min. Up to 4 ½ Min. 10" 33rpm Up to 7 Min. Up to 9 Min. 10" 45rpm Up to 5 ½ Min. Up to 7 Min. 12" 33rpm Up to 13 Min. Up to 15 Min. 12" 45rpm Up to 7 ½ Min. Up to 9 Min.
How safe are my files and payment?
Our web servers run industry standard 128bit ssl-secured encryption to provide you with the most up-to-date data encryption available. The whole site is secured by SSL. This will verify that you are talking directly to the 24mastering server and ensures that only the server can read what you send and only you can read what it sends back. In other words very secure!!
After registration your personalized private data folder is only accessible for you and our mastering engineer. No one else.
Your data will never be shared with third parties. Period!
How long does mastering take?
Turnaround time for a single track is usually within 1 day*. Larger albums, Stem-mastering, Mixdown, Vinly and master lacquer cuts can take longer.
Need it fast? Don't worry we have a **24hour Rush option which will guarentee your master back within 24 hours or shorter.