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allarms
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24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Mastering scams?

Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away there is a place were they are denouncing suposedly mastering scams based on this two principles or just one of them:


- There's no gear pics (and expensive and a lot of it) and/or no room pics in the offering place = scam

- There's not proof of at least 10 years of experience / not any or less than five mastering credits on AlbumCredits.com / Less than 10 credits or no credits on Discogs.com and AMG = scam


I'd like to know your honest opinion on that, in this freely open forum were you don't have to get your comment aproved before it gets posted. What o you think about this principles? What would you call a mastering scam and what not? etc.

I'll say my opinion after if this gets interest, also I prefer to say nothing to see what you people say.

Please, keep this clean and as joke free as you can. By clean I mean no mention or asking about where in the galaxy is that place. I wont too. No surprise here. No names. No urls. No links.

Just opinion and reasoning. Thanks.
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24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Yeah I agree with you.
Iv inquired to a few:
Me:What gear do you use? We use digital
Me:No analogue? No digital is just as good.
Me thinking: hmmmm... Well you charge to much then, probably just gonna slap IZONE on this, I can do that myself...
Them: Listen to the music on our web page? Okay

Me: not impressed.

Screw that... There are guys in my town who take poor musicians for a ride completely.
Its not cool.
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allarms
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
Yeah I agree with you.
Iv inquired to a few:
Me:What gear do you use? We use digital
Me:No analogue? No digital is just as good.
Me thinking: hmmmm... Well you charge to much then, probably just gonna slap IZONE on this, I can do that myself...
Them: Listen to the music on our web page? Okay

Me: not impressed.

Screw that... There are guys in my town who take poor musicians for a ride completely.
Its not cool.
Thanks for sharing. Interesting... and would you say their's is a scam? Did they offered a free sample?
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24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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I don't necessarily think little/no pics is a scam, nor is a lack of evidence that they've been in the business for more than ten years. They may not have an incredibly photogenic work area and may have worked mostly with groups that never went anywhere. I suppose it helps to have the dark pictures of room/gear taken from odd angles all over the site like everybody, but the biggest sign of a scam IMO is bad spelling/grammar, claims to have some secret weapon/technique (which can also be true but...) or the lack of information all together. On the note of pictures, though, pictures of inappropriate gear is a big sign (like a graphic EQ).
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allarms
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
I don't necessarily think little/no pics is a scam, nor is a lack of evidence that they've been in the business for more than ten years. They may not have an incredibly photogenic work area and may have worked mostly with groups that never went anywhere. I suppose it helps to have the dark pictures of room/gear taken from odd angles all over the site like everybody, but the biggest sign of a scam IMO is bad spelling/grammar, claims to have some secret weapon/technique (which can also be true but...) or the lack of information all together.
100% well put and totally agree.
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allarms View Post
Thanks for sharing. Interesting... and would you say their's is a scam? Did they offered a free sample?
They offered a sample it was a shocker OZONE land.. to me that's a scam.
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I saw a guy once send me a picture of his "mastering studio". Amazing looking.
I mastering studio and the image was on the first page.
I told him that it wasn't his studio he said no he works from there and rents it, I emailed the studio they had no idea who he was.
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This is hard to reply.

I guess that something being a scam is more connected with the (bad) intentions of the so called studio and not so with what gear they have, if they have decent pictures or not, if theirs website is properly written and so on. You can't really judge a book by its cover, though you should be cautious as with everything.

Find something local that you can call and drop by, or look for a professional that's been recommended by a friend if local isn't really an option, have the studio master one of your tracks for a test-run of their services so you can properly evaluate their work, just to mention a few tips on he to avoid such scams.
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
They offered a sample it was a shocker OZONE land.. to me that's a scam.
Ozone is a very good plug-in. On the other hand, if it can be identified, it's probably poorly used (presets with tons of exciter, multiband compression and so on...).

If there's a free sample to allow the potential customer to check the quality, it's not a scam, just bad work.
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanddigger1 View Post
Ozone is a very good plug-in. On the other hand, if it can be identified, it's probably poorly used (presets with tons of exciter, multiband compression and so on...).

If there's a free sample to allow the potential customer to check the quality, it's not a scam, just bad work.
It is good, But still its not pro mastering to myself.
Yeah maybe not a scam... but why pay someone to do that, I would pay a mastering engineer a lot because of the amount of cash and skill it takes to use
the best converters and outboard.

But again the one guy who send me a pic of a studio from google thats a scam.
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24th July 2013
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But again the one guy who send me a pic of a studio from google thats a scam.
Absolutely. Cheating is not acceptable.
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24th July 2013
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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"
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allarms
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
They offered a sample it was a shocker OZONE land.. to me that's a scam.
I respect that, however let me ask you: was it bad bacause it was made with ozone or was it bad because it just sounded bad?

If they didn't lied about what they used or they don't say and you've been able to try it free free of charge, is that still a scam in your opinion?

EDIT: I've seen you already answered that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
I saw a guy once send me a picture of his "mastering studio". Amazing looking.
I mastering studio and the image was on the first page.
I told him that it wasn't his studio he said no he works from there and rents it, I emailed the studio they had no idea who he was.
Hehe, that's a funny story. That's 100% ilegit, false, fake and I agree in that is a scam in the part that they lie about the room. But here I add; despite the fact they lied, used an incredibly wrong and too easy to spot false marketing strategy and of course anybody would trust or hire them, quite possibly not even bother to try them for free, do you think it would be possible, despite seming too highly unlikely, that they could have actually delibered a good souning master?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bendermastering View Post
This is hard to reply.

I guess that something being a scam is more connected with the (bad) intentions of the so called studio and not so with what gear they have, if they have decent pictures or not, if theirs website is properly written and so on. You can't really judge a book by its cover, though you should be cautious as with everything.

Find something local that you can call and drop by, or look for a professional that's been recommended by a friend if local isn't really an option, have the studio master one of your tracks for a test-run of their services so you can properly evaluate their work, just to mention a few tips on he to avoid such scams.
BRAVO !

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Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
It is good, But still its not pro mastering to myself.
Yeah maybe not a scam
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanddigger1 View Post
Ozone is a very good plug-in. On the other hand, if it can be identified, it's probably poorly used (presets with tons of exciter, multiband compression and so on...).

If there's a free sample to allow the potential customer to check the quality, it's not a scam, just bad work.
Bravo as well. That's one of my main ideas: If you can try it for free it can't be a scam. (Specially if not lying).

About I would even say some aspects of it are arguably the best in their league (yes, I mean mbit+). I bet a lot of people buy it only for it and may never use any other module on it.

Last edited by allarms; 24th July 2013 at 12:43 PM.. Reason: save another post
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24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
I don't necessarily think little/no pics is a scam, nor is a lack of evidence that they've been in the business for more than ten years. They may not have an incredibly photogenic work area and may have worked mostly with groups that never went anywhere. I suppose it helps to have the dark pictures of room/gear taken from odd angles all over the site like everybody, but the biggest sign of a scam IMO is bad spelling/grammar, claims to have some secret weapon/technique (which can also be true but...) or the lack of information all together. On the note of pictures, though, pictures of inappropriate gear is a big sign (like a graphic EQ).

There some big names Me's websites, they don't post pictures, gear list or upgrade the credits, once you get to some level don't matter?

They don't want to people know what they using?

Maybe they don't want someone still the photos?

This business is about the ears not the gear but if you are not well know Me, photos and gear list may help.
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24th July 2013
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I do think that scam is when you take people's money without providing the service period. Room photos, gear list or client list....are just means of advertisement for the service. Some people like to drive the Ferrari but others are happy with just the Fiat, even though both cars can get you to where you want to go.
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24th July 2013
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Originally Posted by stefa View Post
I do think that scam is when you take people's money without providing the service period. Room photos, gear list or client list....are just means of advertisement for the service. Some people like to drive the Ferrari but others are happy with just the Fiat, even though both cars can get you to where you want to go.
Perfect. Now I love this thread. I feared a lot of general thinking in other ways was so common. I enjoy reading all you say about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
Yeah...
Call me a freak but I just want to make clear that the thumbs down in your post wasn't mine. (Some if not most thumbs up for now they are). This may seem a little bit ridiculous and I'm sorry for off topic, but I don't like the fact the thumb voting is annonymous for various reasons and previous bad experiences.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
My list of 10 "mastering scams"
AMAZING LIST. 100% agree.
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdland101 View Post
Yeah I agree with you.
Iv inquired to a few:
Me:What gear do you use? We use digital
Me:No analogue? No digital is just as good.
Me thinking: hmmmm... Well you charge to much then, probably just gonna slap IZONE on this, I can do that myself...
Them: Listen to the music on our web page? Okay

Me: not impressed.

Screw that... There are guys in my town who take poor musicians for a ride completely.
Its not cool.
Using digital processors and using an IZONE (sic) preset on are different things. I have done projects only using digital processors, happy clients, money exchanged hands, records get bought.. world keeps turning..
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Originally Posted by WBM View Post
This business is about the ears not the gear but if you are not well know Me, photos and gear list may help.
headshot

such a strange lack of trust on these forums sometimes for engineers! the proof is in the pudding, most MEs I know dont even ask for money upfront
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Originally Posted by stefa View Post
I do think that scam is when you take people's money without providing the service period. Room photos, gear list or client list....are just means of advertisement for the service. Some people like to drive the Ferrari but others are happy with just the Fiat, even though both cars can get you to where you want to go.
I once came up with a restaurant analogy..


Michelen star restaurants, the quality is going to be objectively high, the delivery will be pro, the communication will be bang on and based on experience. But you might have ordered the wrong meal, full of tastes you just dont like (in my case, mushrooms, yuck!)

But sometimes what you need is that awesome pizza parlour when you're in a certain mood, the feeling you get eating there might not apply to everyone but it applies to YOU. So when you go "Ive got the urge to go eat amazing food and get the feeling of elation walking away from the experience", you might not wanna go eat objectively high mushroom soup, you might wanna eat that pizza that does the trick.


I am not a Michelen star mastering engineer, I dont have endless interviews in magazines, I dont have a full rack of 5k plus analogue processors (I have a couple mind), I can't buy the slightly upgraded DA the second it comes out and chuck my old one which still works fine on Ebay..

But what I can do is do the best work for my clients, and give them the right result, I won't give them world famous mushroom soup which they secretly resent paying 100 dollars for, but my pizza will be completely bang on for when they are hungry and need to get some food... and they walk away happy, not interested in the backstory of my pizza parlour or the incredients, they are full and not staring at their bank balance crying.
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wado1942 View Post
I don't necessarily think little/no pics is a scam, nor is a lack of evidence that they've been in the business for more than ten years. They may not have an incredibly photogenic work area and may have worked mostly with groups that never went anywhere. I suppose it helps to have the dark pictures of room/gear taken from odd angles all over the site like everybody, but the biggest sign of a scam IMO is bad spelling/grammar, claims to have some secret weapon/technique (which can also be true but...) or the lack of information all together. On the note of pictures, though, pictures of inappropriate gear is a big sign (like a graphic EQ).
Totally agree.

Regarding inappropriate gear, it's amazing the amount of online mastering services now that do post pics and gear lists, but the pics are full of things like the Access Virus/Latest Roland ROMpler keyboard, Behringer Truth monitors, and Mackie desks...
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I sent a track to a mastering engineer who has a decent reputation and all the industry standard gear.

What came back I thought was too loud, too hyped and missed the point of the track entirely not to mention he ruined my vocal sound.

Maybe he thought I'd go wow, because I'm not a named artist.

It wasn't a scam as I'm sure he has all the gear in his photo's but it felt like a scam. how long did he spend on it .... 10 minutes!

Waste of £90!

My Master done on Wavelab with a HEDD192, TC BWL and a Sonoris Mastering Compressor plus a few decent software EQ's absolutely blew it away.

Maybe I should be a mastering engineer!
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24th July 2013
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tightenor, did you explain what you wanted ahead of time? Did you ask for a revision when it wasn't to your liking? If you answered "no" to either of those questions, it's your fault. If he said "no" to either of those requests, he failed. This is an industry of client service and in a case where somebody sends me something without specifying what they want, I'll do what I think they want. Most of the time, I'm right but sometimes I'm not. In the case of the latter, I'll gladly do a revision for a small fee. If they DID tell me what they wanted and I missed it or some other obvious detail, I'll do a revision for free.

BTW, I value gear as much as the next guy but I know plenty guys who do a good job with just a computer. When I first got started, all I had was Cool Edit Pro 2.0 and some Alesis monitors but a lot of people said I was doing better work than people charging way more. I certainly never scammed anybody, even if I wasn't the best nor most experienced. Even now my gear is modest (no HEDD192 or $50,000 monitors here) and I may not be the best or even the cheapest, but I'm no scam artist by a long shot.
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to the OP
not trying to be picky, but...

'All our mastering sessions use most of the above tools spread along 5 to 15 busses'

that's what you say at your website
sorry but this is balls... maybe someone picked on you because of this
and if this is not balls,
could you explain the process with details ?
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Originally Posted by Red Mastering View Post

'All our mastering sessions use most of the above tools spread along 5 to 15 busses'

could you explain the process with details ?
I'm curious too.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Mastering View Post
to the OP
not trying to be picky, but...

'All our mastering sessions use most of the above tools spread along 5 to 15 busses'

that's what you say at your website
sorry but this is balls... maybe someone picked on you because of this
and if this is not balls,
could you explain the process with details ?
Hello, my website is quite shit in some aspects. I have to update it since years light and I still have to find a good way I like to advertise my offer there. Some doubts regarding some aspects of my website can be understandable. I really have to improe it. But i think even with that not to greatly exposed information, there is not a single lie.


That being said, that you say tries to make reference to a lot of tracks with several processors on them, all that tracks required because a lot of parallel processing, multiband processing and M/S spliting and joining. Sometimes all of that at the same time. Combined and a lot of times repeated like for example lr2ms > process > bandsplit > process > bands sum > ms to lr > "normal" processing > parallel processing > ms split again and so on and so on.
Maybe not the best speech but that is the thing.


Now, yes I really got a buch of trolls throwing shit on me, just like they did to a lot of people. Some maybe half deserveed it. Some surely don't.
And it wasn't because of that you say. They only based it those two principles: No room / no discogs credits. And specially, they read about me in gearslutz, a place they profoundly hate.
They hate gearslutz and also a total legendary Mastering Engineer, nice guy and active gs user.
The reason why it is I don't know. It seems the GS hate has to do due with they getting banned here in the past (and maybe ridiculized in a reasonable way) and they decided to make their own forum where every comment is approved prior posting; so finally they can say as they please being treated as the audio gods they seem to think they are, control what's been said, create fake accounts to back up it. Etc. But, Enough about it. No more talking about the place or what they do or how they do it. I didn't created this thread for that even I starve to expose them . Not here. Not now. Actually I already did in an open way. The thread got hacked by them. Voted thumbs down to everything with multiple fake accounts (yes, it can happen, that's why I said that about the thumbs system), the thread got deleted and the admin says they don't want nothing to do with them here. So enough said about the place.

I posted this thread as nothing personal, not about me, not about the place, just wanted to know your thought about what do you'd consider a mastering scam. And not only because of that happening on that place, but also because I've seen the reasoning "no room = scam" in several other places defended by not trolling individuals.
This is being interesting. Let's keep the place, names etc still out of here. Thanks.
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allarms View Post
.....That being said, that you say tries to make reference to a lot of tracks with several processors on them, all that tracks required because a lot of parallel processing, multiband processing and M/S spliting and joining. Sometimes all of that at the same time. Combined and a lot of times repeated like for example lr2ms > process > bandsplit > process > bands sum > ms to lr > "normal" processing > parallel processing > ms split again and so on and so on.
Maybe not the best speech but that is the thing...
sorry but I do not understand it
could you explain it in more detailed fashion ?
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you posted several threads about 'bad mouthing forum'
I understand your frustration, but maybe instead of spilling blood here, you better straight up things with your website and '15 parallel busses',
forget about haters and move on
bear in mind, if you want to repair your SEO - that's the worst idea, as you named the thread 'mastering sc@m', where you post and link to your website
it's genuine advise mate,
live is beautiful, sun is shining, sky is blue - inhale/exhale and relax
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24th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Mastering View Post
sorry but I do not understand it
could you explain it in more detailed fashion ?
Despite that is off topic, the thread was nothing personal, not about me, not about the place, and I feel I already explained, i'll try to explain it in another way.

I kinda say there I use a lot of tracks because they are required for all signal encoding and decoding (ms, parallel and band split; sometimes repeated and combined). That's all. The sentence it nothing important. Quite gratuiteous. And I already said that is far the reason of any trolling. Actually very far from it. And I already said this thread is not about me or them. If you still don't understand I invite you to pm or email me or open athread about it, i'll respond there. Or here if you want, but hope it's clear enough and we don't loose the point of the thread with less interesting and important off topic questions.
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24th July 2013
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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).
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allarms
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#30
24th July 2013
Old 24th July 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Mastering View Post
you posted several threads about 'bad mouthing forum'
I understand your frustration, but maybe instead of spilling blood here, you better straight up things with your website and '15 parallel busses',
forget about haters and move on
bear in mind, if you want to repair your SEO - that's the worst idea, as you named the thread 'mastering sc@m', where you post and link to your website
it's genuine advise mate,
live is beautiful, sun is shining, sky is blue - inhale/exhale and relax
I understand what you say. Thanks for the advices. I'll change the sentence when I update it for sure. Don't wanna confuse anybody with it or anything.

The "several threads" was actually only one.

The seo, cool thought, but It's no google strategy of course. I don't see how it could be. I said no talking about the place,no names etc.

It's plain curiosity and wanting to just hear you open free opinions on what a mastering fraud (if you prefer the word) is.

Also, now you say, I think not posting their name, not mine, being the signature an image with a link, makes this page absent of any written link, no keyword anywere; I guess it would never get seo for the right key words, so I guess you seo suspicion was smart but kinda wrong. I understand that you may have thought it however.

Again, the 15 buses thing you can stand had nothing to do with that, neither with this thread. And this thread wasn't about the place or nothing personal. I heven't even actively participated with my direct opinion here cause I felt there was no need for it. All I had say is already said.
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