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allarms
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#31
24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
I'm not sure if "Scam" is the proper term for businesses that aren't legitimate. To me a "scam business" is one that takes your money and doesn't give you anything.

Anyway, I do like Thomas W. Bethe's list. All I would add is:

If your "business" email is a yahoo, gmail or msn account, that tells me you're not really a business. If your online website isn't a real domain, then I would not do business with you (the expense of your own domain and site these days isn't that expensive, so if a "business" can't spring for their own dot com, it should say something).
Thanks for getting back to topic. Agree about the scam thing. The list was great.
Not agree about the email, sorry. I think gmail for example is way more convenient and easy to use and to be trusted that own hosting domain. Althought I must say I never used own url email cause never felt the need. I agree it looks more pro, but to me it's only a question of looks.

About not feeling like hiring somebody without their own domain I understand and I'd say I agree.
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#32
24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
I'm not sure if "Scam" is the proper term for businesses that aren't legitimate. To me a "scam business" is one that takes your money and doesn't give you anything.

Anyway, I do like Thomas W. Bethe's list. All I would add is:

If your "business" email is a yahoo, gmail or msn account, that tells me you're not really a business. If your online website isn't a real domain, then I would not do business with you (the expense of your own domain and site these days isn't that expensive, so if a "business" can't spring for their own dot com, it should say something).
I think that's fine if you are expecting a bricks and mortar business, but I know plenty of freelance engineers and pro's who have properly registered domain names, but choose to primarily use gmail accounts for their portability and accessibility from remote locations.

It's like saying they only list a mobile phone number instead of a landline for contacting them.
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#33
24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazhurst View Post
I know plenty of freelance engineers and pro's who have properly registered domain names, but choose to primarily use gmail accounts for their portability and accessibility from remote locations.
with most webhosts you can go to webmail.yourdomain.com to access your e-mail from anywhere.

reliability is the only advantage gmail has.
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#34
24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbraglia View Post
with most webhosts you can go to webmail.yourdomain.com to access your e-mail from anywhere.

reliability is the only advantage gmail has.
Is that not a suitable overriding reason for anyone to use anything in a professional capacity?
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24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazhurst View Post
Is that not a suitable overriding reason for anyone to use anything in a professional capacity?
what? that its more reliable? gmail also offers e-mail hosting, using your own domain. they're a little on the pricier side for e-mail hosting, but its worth it for that extra 1-2% up time.

but if you're running a business, you really should use your own domain for your e-mail. seeing a gmail does look unprofessional to most people.
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#36
24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Originally Posted by jackbraglia View Post
... if you're running a business, you really should use your own domain for your e-mail. seeing a gmail does look unprofessional to most people.
I don't see it from that point of view at the moment, but you might well be right.

Back to the topic, I don't think that it's exclusively "scam" artists that use gmail/hotmail/yahoo etc as a primary email address.

It can be very difficult to identify real scammers from people who simply deliver very poor work and charge way over what it's worth... The latter is not a scam, just a rip off.

I'll often take a swift sidestep of any "pro" whose website material or advertisement is particularly badly written. Bad punctuation, grammar, word selection and such. I can forgive the odd spelling mistake, but having a poor understanding of the language you are attempting to write in is usually a bad misstep, unless you have a fluent proof reader available to you.
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#37
24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Originally Posted by allarms View Post
I think gmail for example is way more convenient and easy to use and to be trusted that own hosting domain.
Really? Wow. I don't think hosting companies data mine your inbox as much as Google does and I think that's probably at least a little bit important for people doing business (in fact, my hosting company constantly brags about how private/secure my data is on their servers, go figure). As far as access, I've never had any issues accessing my web mail in the last 10+ years, and I've been using the same hosting company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chazhurst View Post
I think that's fine if you are expecting a bricks and mortar business, but I know plenty of freelance engineers and pro's who have properly registered domain names, but choose to primarily use gmail accounts for their portability and accessibility from remote locations.

It's like saying they only list a mobile phone number instead of a landline for contacting them.
I don't think it has anything to do with a business' physical location/set up. A "Real" business is going to be registered in some way with a local government entity, so if you give said business your money and they're properly registered as a business and are doing things like paying for web hosting, it's possible they (as individuals) can be traced if a business transaction goes wrong; that's security for the consumer.

Anyone can create a gmail account and create a free website under an alias (and you definitely can't go after Google or Facebook, or any other service that gives you free "blogs" or "sites" if you've given someone money and they're not answering their emails).

I also don't think mobile phones should be seen as unprofessional. I know plenty of people who have gotten rid of their land lines and only use their mobile phones now (not to mention freelance engineers who work at various studios; giving out a mobile phone only is very typical these days). Commercial businesses that have a physical address may have a land line, but I know of a few that don't (especially if they don't expect to be answering calls all day).
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allarms
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#38
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
Really? Wow. I don't think hosting companies data mine your inbox as much as Google does and I think that's probably at least a little bit important for people doing business (in fact, my hosting company constantly brags about how private/secure my data is on their servers, go figure). As far as access, I've never had any issues accessing my web mail in the last 10+ years, and I've been using the same hosting company.
Well, I already said I never used another. And I agree it LOOKS more professional. And of course it can be better for anybody they prefer it. But that's the main thing as far as I know: looks imho. Anyway, anybody use the email domain they feel more confortable with. No problem here and related to topic, no fraud/scam red flag for me whichever you choose.

Let's stay on topic.
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#39
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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Just do your research before starting any work / handing any money over. It's not rocket science.
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allarms
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25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huejahfink View Post
Just do your research before starting any work / handing any money over. It's not rocket science.
That's good advice to search for mastering.
But the thing here was what is or is not a mastering scam/fraud.
#41
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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I don't give a shit about all of the people who do bad work. It makes no difference for my clients... People come to me because they like what I can do for their music. If some 18 year old asshole is mastering shit with Ozone on some consumer-grade hi-fi speakers, it has zero relevance to me. And if said asshole has repeat clients who actually value said bullshit work, I probably wouldn't enjoy working with said clients anywayyyyy.

By the way, doing bad work is not fraud. Whatever "industry standards" that existed, do not exist.
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#42
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Mastering Scams...

1. Putting up list of equipment on your website that you do not own or trying to "convince" the potential client that what you have is the physical equipment but all you really have is the plugins.

2. Using another studio's pictures as your own.

3. Taking credit for material you never mastered.

4. Taking credit for working with artists you never worked with.

5. Taking someone's money for polishing a turd.

6. Promising your potential clients the best only to deliver the worst.

7. Providing mastering samples on your website that you did not master or that you reverse mastered meaning that you took something that sounds good and then making it sound bad as the pre mastered version.

8. Not putting your real name or the location of your studio on line and trying to convinced potential clients that you are located in an real building when you are working out of your basement.

9. Going on GearSlutz or other forums to downgrade someone else's work

10. Designing a fake blog where you are both the person asking the questions and answering them and trying to degrade as many other mastering engineers as you can while you stroke your own ego.

My list of 10 "mastering scams"




Wow, i knew there some scams out there but wow didnt know it was this prevelent.
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#43
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #43
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I smell snobbery.

How about if the claim is: You're a scam unless you can cut acetate masters
I mean, a REAL mastering engineer can cut vinyl, right?

Ask about the quality of saw your carpenter uses to build your house or the wrench your mechanic uses to fix your car. Call them a scam for using anything less than the finest and then out a steak on that shiner you just got.

I mean, ultimately this thread seems like "you shouldn't master if you're not already a mastering veteran." I'm calling BS. There's plenty of room for all levels of service and price points. Mastering is the one service that musicians really understand needs to be done by someone else. Studios are closing left and right due to a lack of clients but as bands go DIY, partnering with a good ME is often the only thing that's keeping the quality up enough to not be distracting to the listener.

If you're going to call anyone working with Ozone and a set of hi fis a scam, you're a hypocrite until you start turning away home recordings. If you're head and shoulders above the low end upstarts, you're not even competing for the same projects so enough with the name calling on that front.

I worked entirely off a gmail account, cell phone and small rented office. I worked on some very cool stuff that did well locally and some stuff that had success nationally. I worked entirely on word-of-mouth and never had an unhappy client. No website, no studio photos, only a handful of before and afters if someone was interested and always happy to do one gratis. I could have done it full time if I wanted to advertise.

I quit because I didn't want to be a bottom feeder but threads like these remind me why I started offering mastering on modest gear at modest prices in the first place. My clients told me time and again of their experiences with "big mastering houses" that churned out results that sounded like a preset because people get locked into an approach and get snobby about the source material. Everyone starts somewhere and I charged according to what I thought my service was worth which was $40/hr. There were always others willing to work for "$20/song" but I found I could get most things done so quickly that it was actually cheaper to pay me for 8 hours than to pay someone else per song. My biggest competitor was DIY on the low end or 3x as much on the high end. I filled a niche and had a very positive impact on many great records and some that I'll never listen to again.

A scam is a dishonest business. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a new player entering the market and offering a cheaper service with inferior results. It's like buying something at TJ Maxx, you're getting the b-stock. I never claimed to be as good as the guy charging 3x as much as me but bands couldn't afford that, they could afford me so I poured my heart and soul into that music working with the limited tools I had and they were happy with the result and kept coming back as they went on to the next project.

I am literally still getting calls for gigs working out of my house based on my results despite zero advertisement and zero solicitation other than helping friends out here and there. I'm focusing on my label and those productions now. The hourly booking game was too frustrating for me.

I respect the heck out of this community which is why I decided to stop competing and get out of the way but some of these comments almost make me want to open back up just to give you all a run for your money.

Ok, I'm done being a punk but cool off the snobbery. Stolen pics, phony credits, phony before/afters, taking money and providing inadequate or non existent service? That's a scam, not a kid working of out their basement hoping to be the next Bob Katz, that's the next generation
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#44
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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Iv been thinking can someone really scam you? They can attempt it with the mentioned scam techniques, but normally I would pay for a master after the job is done and so if it's bad you just don't pay.
So you cannot really get scammed in a sense but you can be conned into beginning the process.. through them faking this and that.

If it;s kak tell em to F off.
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#45
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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Like anything today do some homework. Before you spend any money find out about the potential mastering engineer from blogs or from what others are saying about him or her. Send them some of your material and ask them to comment on it. Maybe ask for a test mastering. If you are dealing with someone in a different state or in a different country don't send any money until you hear what they have sent you for refs. 50% down is standard for some places but most mastering engineers will not charge you until they have done something for you and you are pleased with the results.

I maybe old fashioned but I still think it is better to find someone locally to do your mastering where you can attend the session. You get to hear what the engineer hears and you get to see if what is on line in their website is anything close to what they really have.

If the person you have chosen locally doesn't want you to attend the mastering session it should be a big red flag and you have to assume they do not have what they claim to have and are probably working out of their parent's basement. Pretty pictures and long lists of equipment do not = a good mastering engineer. It is what he or she can do with the equipment and software that counts.

As to working with scammers. It is your money so chose wisely. Sometimes what you think is a "good deal" is not. I had a long time client that said I was too expensive for him and wanted to find someone else to do his mastering. He went to a place that advertised $20.00 per hour. I would have charged the client about $400 for the mastering he wanted done. The $20.00 per hour place charged my client over $800. My former client called me and asked if I could listen to his "mastered" stuff because it did not sound as good as he thought it could be. We listened to the mastering and it was OK but nothing speciial. I asked my former client why it was so expensive and my former client told me that the other engineer took hours to do "custom fades" and "custom eging". My former client became my client again after this and he is still with me.

You get what you pay for and the buyer should be very aware of what they are getting for their money.

FWIW
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#46
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Pretty pictures and long lists of equipment do not = a good mastering engineer. It is what he or she can do with the equipment and software that counts.

The $20.00 per hour place charged my client over $800. My former client called me and asked if I could listen to his "mastered" stuff because it did not sound as good as he thought it could be. We listened to the mastering and it was OK but nothing speciial. I asked my former client why it was so expensive and my former client told me that the other engineer took hours to do "custom fades" and "custom eging". My former client became my client again after this and he is still with me.
The first part is the absolute truth.

That story is out of this world. That means that 40 hours went into that mastering job. If your ME takes 40 hours to master your material, something is wrong with the material or the ME. That sounds like a real bait and switch though it sounds like maybe that was an attended session?

When I was quoting my hourly rate, I had a formula. It was an hour to set up, an hour and a half to finalize and do all of the administrative stuff like PQ edit and cd-text info, burning the master and reference etc and about 30 mins a track. Sometimes something would require surgery from a bad mix and no possibility of a mix revision. I always provided estimates based on that formula and if I went over, that was my fault so I wouldn't charge more than my estimate to avoid sticker shock. I was always happy to do a revision gratis because I'm human and I make mistakes. Being all digital helped there because recall was so easy.
#47
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #47
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Why would anyone want to scam anyway. What's wrong with standing by your own body of work?
#48
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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A scam is when somebody knowingly cheats a customer out of money. A bad ME dose not necessarily mean its a scam. there are bad workers in every industry. sometimes you half to work with them to find out, we are human after all. nobody is perfect.

the plug in vrs hardware topic is very silly at times, inexperienced people give plug ins a bad rap. In experienced hands they are very useable. The EQ in ozone5 works great!

to me it seems this thread is nonproductive, not everyone has or needs a 200k$ studio to make great masters. they need to know what they are doing, Its the experience you are paying for at the end of the day. and should be the most important factor. I list of gear should never be the deciding factor.


When people steal pictures or post a picture of a studio they do not work at, That is not a scam.. its fraud.
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#49
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umulamahri View Post
That is not a scam.. its fraud.
scam |skam|
noun
a dishonest scheme; a fraud



there's a place here that sells hamburgers for $8.50 usd. that's a ****ing scam...
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#50
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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Originally Posted by stinkyfingers View Post
there's a place here that sells hamburgers for $8.50 usd. that's a ****ing scam...
lol ever been to new york? $8.50 is "normal" here.
#51
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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i've never been to new york, but new york comes here in the fall to see the leaves and also in the winter for some skiing and maple syrup...
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26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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Sure,I'm just a guitar player,but there is some appalling spelling,and grammar in this thread[especially Page 1]that makes understanding,"what the heck",are these people talking about,a definite issue,especially as "that",was given as a pointer,toward something being a scam.

Just something I noticed,that left me quite confused,I'll get over it,but WTF?
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#53
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rksguit View Post
Sure,I'm just a guitar player,but there is some appalling spelling,and grammar in this thread[especially Page 1]that makes understanding,"what the heck",are these people talking about,a definite issue,especially as "that",was given as a pointer,toward something being a scam.

Just something I noticed,that left me quite confused,I'll get over it,but WTF?
If you're referring to the person who started this thread, I don't think English is their first language. It's probably good to cut them some slack.

You're from Australia. What's your excuse?
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#54
26th July 2013
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i guess the best part about scammin' people is the money you make.
i mean, obviously i want to make as much as i can and do as little work possible, who doesn't ?
the easiest way to do it is to just keep changing emails and never answer people when they complain you did a suck job. as long as they never find out who you are, you're all set. i know, i do this all the time.
i don't get paid enough to give a shit, and even if i did, i probably wouldn't. label scams me and the artist so **** them.
#55
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfingers View Post
i guess the best part about scammin' people is the money you make.
i mean, obviously i want to make as much as i can and do as little work possible, who doesn't ?
the easiest way to do it is to just keep changing emails and never answer people when they complain you did a suck job. as long as they never find out who you are, you're all set. i know, i do this all the time.
i don't get paid enough to give a shit, and even if i did, i probably wouldn't. label scams me and the artist so **** them.
Maybe you should improve so you can get return business?
#56
26th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
Maybe you should improve so you can get return business?
i work 'in house' for a label so i get a lot of work i don't want. i'd rather be fishing.
#57
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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.. and you can eat the fish you don't have to pay for them lol
#58
26th July 2013
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you got it

and there's a farm down the road where i go to get my milk around 2 am...the cows love me and don't mind me milking them while they are asleep...
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#59
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
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Thought I would pipe up here.

I have been making music for 17 years (since the age of 15) I have always been very passionate about mixing and engineering.

I have always tried to push my mixing to be the best it can be, I love the art of mixing and as part of mixing and putting out my own work I have also got quite good at mastering. I have sent my mastered tracks to mastering engineers as reference tracks on a few occasions and have then been asked why am I paying for their services. And told I am often 99% the way there. The answer to why I send them for mastering is I always value the second opinion and the skills of a full time great mastering engineer. I use mastering engineers who are incredibly skilled and have A1 credits for days.

I do have some mixing credits to my name, and a load of uncredited mixes from remixing. And have also been uncredited for the mastering of many of my own records and remixes that have been successful in their scenes and been played all over radio (radio 1, kiss, capital and so on), mentioned in rolling stone online, topped the buzz charts.. Blah blah blah
And a huge amount of that stuff is not on Discogs!

So recently I have been pimping out my engineering services to feed my gear addiction and pay studio rent while I am waiting for some songs I have written for a decent artist to be released later this year and working on a bunch of new spec production projects. This pimping started when a producer I know offered to pay me to stem master his records after hearing some of my work. I have found it much easier mastering work for other people as I am able to be much more objective than when mastering my own productions.

I always state when it comes to mastering I am not as good as some of the top boys, but that is reflected in my prices. But I have been getting great results and my works sits very nicely next to other records in a variety of scenes. I haven't had one complaint. And everyone who has come to me, still comes to me. And in fact my experience as a mix engineer gives me a huge skill set for creative stem mastering.

I am not trying to brag here, there are hundreds of people here who's credits and experience far exceed mine (although I am no where near finished in my journey yet), I am simply setting out the scene. I don't think someone's credits are the most important thing, I think the quality of their work is the most important thing. Their results! Not what equipment they use. I have a lovely outboard mastering compressor (RND-MBP) that I do use a lot, but still a huge amount of my mastering happens in the box. I do have the full range of UAD, Waves and TC mastering plugins, are all of these no good at all because they are ITB?

Am I a scammer because I offer mastering services but don't have x amount of credits or outboard gear.

Was Dave Pensado a scammer when he first started mixing with only a few credits under his belt?

There is so much talent out there, there is always an amount of luck in really making it "big" in this industry, so there could be some kid who lives in a shack on a beach in some remote village in Africa who is a genius and will be a rising star in the Mastering world, potential to be the best we have ever known, but he is yet to have any credits! Maybe just keep an open mind and judge work for its quality and help new talent rise.

This is all just my opinion.
I hope this doesn't come across too preachy!
And I don't live in Africa either.

I changed Australia to Africa as I just saw Austria was mentioned above in this thread, and this potential genius is entirely theoretical at the moment. Lol
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#60
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
  #60
Lives for gear
 
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: South Africa
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Originally Posted by stinkyfingers View Post


you got it

and there's a farm down the road where i go to get my milk around 2 am...the cows love me and don't mind me milking them while they are asleep...
classic
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