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Mastering in Philadelphia area?
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Surfkat
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#1
3rd October 2006
Old 3rd October 2006
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Mastering in Philadelphia area?

Any mastering facilities in the greater Phillie area? I am looking for a place where I could attend mastering for a client I am recording. This is a mid budget, self released solo artist, singer-songwriter stuff. Email me please.
Thanks
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#2
4th October 2006
Old 4th October 2006
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Phil Niccolo?
I don't know him personally, but have heard a few examples of his work, and also heard good things about him from clients.
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#3
4th October 2006
Old 4th October 2006
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Phil's not a mastering guy. He runs Studio 4 out in Conshohocken. His room is amazing... You're going to want to check out Masterworks on Delaware Ave. near Penns Landing. They are like the premier mastering facility in the area.
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4th October 2006
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My studio is in Pottstown PA. About 30 minutes from Philly.

Artists I have worked on include:

Iggy Pop
Pat Benatar
Foghat
The Alarm
Dave Edmunds
and many others ...

Feel free to email me or call (see site for info).
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#5
27th October 2006
Old 27th October 2006
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Pete at Masterworks
1020 N delaware ave second floor.
He has an insane list of hit records to his credit and he's a super nice guy. Patient and mellow which is a big bonus when your a first time client.

If he is too busy or if your budget is tighter than masterworks rates -
Mike at Studio Crash which is right across the hall from Masterworks.
Mike will say that he is a mix engineer more than a mastering engineer but he has an incredible set of ears. His mixes are many levels above his rate card.
Bring some CD's to show him were you want to go and he will get you there.

Both Pete and Mike are guys you should meet anyway.
Great people - fair rates - killer ears.
#6
31st October 2006
Old 31st October 2006
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Suggestion for mastering in the area...

Guys,

I've used Peter in the past for projects and I did not feel the end product captured the essence of what we were looking for. I have used Tom over at Mastering House for the past few projects and he really came through. He also never made us feel like the clock was ticking, y'know? He really cares about what I care about and I'm a pretty particular and anal producer...

Cheers.
-s

http://www.livenotonevil.net
#7
4th February 2008
Old 4th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormin View Post
Guys,

I've used Peter in the past for projects and I did not feel the end product captured the essence of what we were looking for. I have used Tom over at Mastering House for the past few projects and he really came through. He also never made us feel like the clock was ticking, y'know? He really cares about what I care about and I'm a pretty particular and anal producer...

Cheers.
-s

Live Not On Evil
I never used peter, but I recently worked with Tom at the mastering house for my project and I totally agree with stormin's comments. Tom was really patient with me. He did a really great job and I learned a ton from him. His place is really nice and he knows his stuff. I would recommend him for sure!

You can have a listen to my project that he mastered:
CD Baby: PINK HUMPY: Your Diamond Ring and My Guitar
#8
4th February 2008
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Thanks Brendan, it was a pleasure working with you!

I always enjoy hearing great music, especially from artists in the hometown area.

Best of luck on the new CD, I have the framed Discmakers CD hanging on the wall here
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4th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGlory View Post
Phil's not a mastering guy. He runs Studio 4 out in Conshohocken. His room is amazing... You're going to want to check out Masterworks on Delaware Ave. near Penns Landing. They are like the premier mastering facility in the area.
Phil is, indeed, a cool guy and not (to my knowledge) a mastering engineer. When I was up there, he was battling the addition of a protools rig. I believe he's still one of the few diehard analog kats out there.
I think Phil's room is still there tho..

As far as Masterworks on Delaware ave? They kut to pieces more than one of my clients projects. If you are doing a gangsta rap mixtape, they will give you what you need but otherwise I'd steer clear of them. Just an opinion, people...
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#10
4th February 2008
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Both Phil and Pete (Masterworks) are very cool guys. Heck, we're from Philly, we're all cool!

I've worked with Phil on a few projects, him taking care of the mixing responsibilities, me mastering; or in the case of some of the early projects I've worked on me recording, Phil mixing, and then sent out for mastering. He's a good friend.

Things are alive and well in Conshy. The rooms have scaled down a bit due to some issues with the owner of the building (Phil was the owner but sold it) however the product he produces is still great. One goes to Phil for Phil, not his rooms or gear.
#11
4th February 2008
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John Baker at the studio I work at (MAJA) has been doing some really great stuff. We work with a lot of different budgets, too.

Bryan
#12
5th February 2008
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We're across the bridge from Philly.

Peter Humphreys does good work and of course, so does Tom, as mentioned. I've heard their stuff come in for replication and a handful of our employees went to these guys before they started working here.

Paul
#13
5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelliott View Post
We're across the bridge from Philly.

Peter Humphreys does good work and of course, so does Tom, as mentioned. I've heard their stuff come in for replication and a handful of our employees went to these guys before they started working here.

Paul
And Paul does good work too!

Send my thanks to the Discmakers crew, they helped to decorate my lobby and staircase with all of those plaques! Do they have anything with foliage? I could really use some more plants. :-)

Best,
Tom
#14
5th February 2008
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I think we can do a custom for you, Tom. Maybe do a digital one that can change with the seasons.
#15
5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
Both Phil and Pete (Masterworks) are very cool guys. Heck, we're from Philly, we're all cool!

I've worked with Phil on a few projects, him taking care of the mixing responsibilities, me mastering; or in the case of some of the early projects I've worked on me recording, Phil mixing, and then sent out for mastering. He's a good friend.

Things are alive and well in Conshy. The rooms have scaled down a bit due to some issues with the owner of the building (Phil was the owner but sold it) however the product he produces is still great. One goes to Phil for Phil, not his rooms or gear.

I know Phil's tech Jeremy quite well, and he and Phil and I did a little mic shootout last summer that was pretty fun. I sat in on a mixing session for a bit in his SSL room. His tracking room (which was somewhat under construction at the time) is a Neve and he mixes in the SSL room. Not a bad situation, if you ask me. I was there a few years back when he had the big live room, but it had to get scaled back due to ownership/tenant issues. Coolest and most accommodating dude in the recording business that I've come across. He led a local NARAS tour through the new Kimmel Center a few years back (when it was new) and talked acoustic design... good times.
#16
5th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
Both Phil and Pete (Masterworks) are very cool guys. Heck, we're from Philly, we're all cool!
Hell yes.

Haven't had the pleasure of working with Tom yet on mastering but have heard only great things.

Phil is a top-shelf producer and engineer. He may not specialize in mastering but he certainly does a solid job. (And so does his tech Jeremy!)

Pete Humphries at Masterworks is the most accomplished mastering engineer in Philly and also a heck of a nice guy. I don't know what he might have done that wasn't to someone's liking, but he's mastered over a dozen of our projects over the years, and I can't think of a single time when we had something to complain about.

I can vouch personally for John Baker and Maja, a great shop with a bunch of great guys. They mostly do post work and scoring over there, but John has a pretty nice mastering resume as well. They are right down the street from us (from Locust to Race on 3rd St.), and we worked with John on a half-dozen projects since January 07. Great ears, great attitude, and I really value that he's been referencing that same room for eight years running. We expect to send him another half-dozen projects this year.

Our guy Jeff Hiatt has done some great mastering work in the past year or two, but we don't yet have the kind of setup most folks expect from a high-end mastering service.

And it's not just mastering, we got a ton of great bass players in this town, too.

JSL
#17
6th February 2008
Old 6th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
I don't know what he might have done that wasn't to someone's liking,
With all the glowing recommendations for Masterworks, I had to take a seriously unbiased recollective look at who of my clients had gone there and why, in hindsight, the name masterworks did not ring as quality to me...
The five years I worked in Philly, I did records with most of the artists in the hiphop scene. Probably close to 1000 records.
Of the one project I can distinctly remember listening to and critiquing that came back from masterworks, the artist and songs were not all that great to begin with. It could be quite possible that my opinions about the artists work itself, influenced a lot of any opinion I had about later work done to the recordings (?)

this was a few years ago too, mind you...

Thanks, Gearslutz, for sending me back down memory lane

Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
we got a ton of great bass players in this town, too.

JSL
THAT is a fact.
#18
6th February 2008
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There is a lot of great talent in Philly and the surrounding area. For example Taylor Swift (I hear that she is currently quite popular) is from the Reading/Wyomissing area.

It's a shame that our talent seems to have to migrate elsewhere to actually "make it big" in the music biz.
#19
6th February 2008
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another vote here for pete and the guys at masterworks. pete's got great ears and he's a great guy too
#20
6th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
It's a shame that our talent seems to have to migrate elsewhere to actually "make it big" in the music biz.
but after the tours over they dumped back in Philly.

The drummer of the band I'm producing just went on tour with Kanye. The bass player has played with Prince, Stevie Wonder, Usher, etc.
These are worldclass musicians...and they still are living in North Philly.

Philly will rise again....one day....
#21
6th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jslevin View Post
Pete Humphries at Masterworks is the most accomplished mastering engineer in Philly and also a heck of a nice guy. I don't know what he might have done that wasn't to someone's liking, but he's mastered over a dozen of our projects over the years, and I can't think of a single time when we had something to complain about.
Pete does nice work. Some folks beef with him is, he's not too aggressive. You usually get what you give him. (In a nice, finished, mastered kinda way) If you want aggressive, you can push him a little. Matter of taste, I guess. Anyway, he's always done nice work over here. thumbsup
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#22
6th February 2008
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pete worked for us for years as a recording engineer..he has great ears ..he gives you what YOU want..or he does corrective tweaks if you don't specify a "sound' you are shooting for..

which is what a good mastering engineer should do..

i'll be mastering my stuff there next week..i master myself but not my own mix work generally

I sent stuff of to Ludwig that had to get redone as i thought there was too much 3k..

Matering is like mixing it's a relative thing and you work with people who you can communicate well with and can take that and create from it

just remember the MOST important thing..

ya want a bright master? ..master on a friday after a mastering engineers ears are a little burned [my old man taught me that]
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#23
23rd January 2010
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Just curious what options are available more recently in Philly ?


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#24
23rd January 2010
Old 23rd January 2010
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I'm in Philly.
#25
3rd May 2010
Old 3rd May 2010
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so close!

I've been doing work recently with a lot of great bands out of Philly though my partnership with The Deli online music magazine. Recently, I've done sessions for Super Goose, Ladyfingers, The Spinning Leaves, and others, most of which were recorded at The Studio. I'm very happy with this relationship, and it's definitely got me driving into Philly more to catch shows. At about an hour and a half from Asbury Park, it's just about the same drive time as going into NYC, and right now I'm really enjoying checking out a new scene. I'm hoping bands will see my experience and affordable rates and choose to make the trip to meet me, too.

Richard
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