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$500 Dollar GLASS MASTER????
Old 28th June 2005
  #1
Gear Nut
 

$500 Dollar GLASS MASTER????

I'm just finishing my current project and have decided to get it mastered by a well known LA mastering engineer. He is actually pretty reasonabley priced.. until I got the info on the glass master, which is 500 bucks! However, Reference CDs are only 40 bucks.

QUESTION: Can't I just RIP the reference CD tracks via Pro Tools/ Nuendo, then import it into Wavelab 5.0 and make my own glass master??? Is there an advantage to using the mastering engineers glass master instead of Wavelab? Its all just about PQ encoding which Wavelab can do, right??? Does Sonic Solutions have some kind of magic in it that will make it better then Wavelab?
Old 28th June 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

i think you are perhaps getting confused with terminologies.

a glass master and a PMCD (what it appears you are thinking of ) are very different animals.

pre master CDs (PMCD) are used as the basis upon which to create a glass master...this is then used as the stamper upon which the commercial (store bought) CDs are made.

normally the glass master part is controlled by the pressing plant and run off prior to your run being made however some mastering houses do offer this service aswell.

think of it as the master plates for a vinyl pressing and you will get a better idea.

theres plenty of info on google if you are interested.

http://www.disctronics.co.uk/technol...rep_master.htm

here has a fairly succinct description.
Old 28th June 2005
  #3
First off, he's not making a glass master - that's made from the PMCD (or whatever master you send) at the plant. No mastering house I'm aware of can make glass masters.

Second, while you can cut it yourself, it's worth the dough to do it at the mastering house. Fact is, any mastering house worth their salt will have several levels of hard core QC installed (one of which will include a listen on headphones to insure nothing has slipped past) - you're paying for the time and experience that insures you get a clean master. IMO, it's not worth the risk to skimp on the actual production master...
Old 28th June 2005
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
13chroma20's Avatar
 

can your cd burner burn glass cd's? the glass master is the physical disc that the copies are made from at the pressing plant. you can't make that at home. what you could do is try and find a place that would make a cheaper glass master, and have your mastering guy send a regular cdr to this place. the place actually duping the cd's may be able to make a glass master as well.
Old 29th June 2005
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

brad,
theres mastering houses here in europe that will give you your glass master...all are mastering houses within a production plant but they will still offer the "regular" mastering work ie PMCD with the option that they can then take it to the glass stage at which point you can take it away and have the remainder done elsewhere...
who on earth would do this personally i dont know but it is possible.

based on the limited info provided and the fact that it was a charge of $500 over mastering rates and the words "glass master" were used i didnt think it was too much of a stretch to assume that this was a possibility here. it would seem to me that a mastering house wouldnt use this term unless it was actually providing it, they should know better if its PMCDs all the way.

i'd be curious to hear who this was if they were actually using this terminology and werent providing a real glass master.
Old 29th June 2005
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwight
based on the limited info provided and the fact that it was a charge of $500 over mastering rates and the words "glass master" were used i didnt think it was too much of a stretch to assume that this was a possibility here. it would seem to me that a mastering house wouldnt use this term unless it was actually providing it, they should know better if its PMCDs all the way.
I hear that term being mis-used all the time, so I generally assume they mean PMCD. Plus, I'm unaware of any well known mastering houses in the states that can create glass masters (as none of them are in manufacturing plants), so naturally, I assumed he meant PMCD.

FWIW, $500 for a PMCD is fairly standard at most of your 'a-list' mastering houses...
Old 29th June 2005
  #7
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Glass masters can be very expensive and a bunch of screwed up CDs even more so. PMCDs are guaranteed masters. The mastering facility is taking financial responsibility for anything they screw up.

Many recording contracts make the artist responsible for EQ. time with the label paying for the actual PMCDs so mastering facilities tend to steer any reasonable charges into their PMCD price.
Old 30th June 2005
  #8
Don't get confused about what a glass master is. It's not made at mastering (technically "pre-mastering") houses. It takes expensive and not commonly available equipment and is the first step before making stampers at the manufacturing plant. Though people frequently misues the term, you do not get true glass masters from mastering studios. Take a look at the following links (or search for LBR & CD manufacturing) and reconsider whether anybody is actually supplying you with a glass master, and whether it would be a good idea even if they could:
http://www.mfdigital.com/2004/06/cd-...aser-beam.html
http://www.roxio.com/en/support/discs/cdrmfg.html

As for why the master CD costs so much at these top level houses, it's because of the time it takes to make it with all the QC (Quality Control) steps incuded. It's typically burned fairly slowly (no 52X mastering!), then put through a machine for error testing, sometimes loaded back, verified, and perhaps occasionally null tested, Start IDs checked, and finally listened to all the way through. It's usually a several hour process, and if you look at the hourly rate for the studio, you'll probably notice a correlation. You're really paying for the time it takes to make a fully QC'd, verified, and guaranteed master, not the physical media itself. The clock may stop for the hourly EQ rate when the engineer finishes twisting the knobs, but the time it takes to create the master is still figured in.
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