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Low rent mastering Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Low rent mastering

I want to provide an inexpensive mastering service (15 USD / TRACK). It will all be done ITB using legit gear.

I am no pro but for 15 USD I can give value for money - though it won’t be up there with you 60 USD + guys

Is this wrong?





FYI here is a mock up of the site:
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
Not really wrong, a man has to earn a buck somehow... you'll find your niche maybe. Everyone has the right to try.

BUT I fail to see the reason to attempt something that you know in advance won't be "on par" at least with the average level of mastering as you honestly admit.

I would suggest you offer this when you are ready to be "ON PAR" - even with the limited equipment - but you need to have at least a proper room and some serious monitoring - you can do a lot ITB - but not without a room and proper full range monitors... Otherwise your operation will be just a mockery of the term "mastering" as too many guys out there already do...

What you describe is something that most mixing guys can do with a little extra time on the side - sort of giving out a bit hotter mixes so the clients don't get too confused when listening to mixes outside the studio.

Personally I started to feel bad even for doing "mastering" jobs occasionally for friends, since there are so many "60 bucks per track" guys around with a lot of experience, great equipment, serious credentials...

I'll raise my mixing rates and try to refuse those little mastering jobs in the future...





Quote:
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
I want to provide an inexpensive mastering service (15 USD / TRACK). It will all be done ITB using legit gear.

I am no pro but for 15 USD I can give value for money - though it won’t be up there with you 60 USD + guys

Is this wrong?





FYI here is a mock up of the site:
Old 1st September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you for responding .My pricing is aimed at kids who need a little extra polish. I do have some acoustic treatment and my Mix and masters have made beatport so they can't be too bad (though that is no sign of quality these days).

FYI, I use Genelec 8030s on primacoustic pads coupled to an apogee duet. This by all means is not high end but I think matches the 15USD prove tag. I could be very wrong of course which is why I ask. I don't want to be a rip off merchant. There will be demos on the site too.
Old 1st September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
huejahfink's Avatar
 

Verified Member
There's definitely a place for low cost mastering. A high volume of digital releases going on without a lot of revenue (if any) coming in.
I don't find it deceitful as long as you're honest about what you are doing and what you are using etc.

Wishing you the best in your endeavour!
Old 1st September 2011
  #5
Craneslut
 
Brad Blackwood's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Not really cool ripping off Apple's icons. Doesn't bode well.
Old 1st September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
Thank you for responding .My pricing is aimed at kids who need a little extra polish. I do have some acoustic treatment and my Mix and masters have made beatport so they can't be too bad (though that is no sign of quality these days).

FYI, I use Genelec 8030s on primacoustic pads coupled to an apogee duet. This by all means is not high end but I think matches the 15USD prove tag. I could be very wrong of course which is why I ask. I don't want to be a rip off merchant. There will be demos on the site too.
Well, OK, I see what you mean.

But at least get a subwoofer before offering this commercially - with those monitors there is no way you can know what's really happening in the low-end. You will probably end up automatically hipassing things to be safe and that's such a pity for your learning of mastering and the sound of the final product.
Old 1st September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
SASMastering's Avatar
The biggest factor in mastering is the years of experience the engineer has had working professionally. Unfortunately there is no plug in available that will give you a couple of decades of professional audio engineering experience.

If you are charging USD 15.00 you should as an absolute minimum ensure you have significantly better monitoring environment than any of your clients.That includes DA, amplification, cabling, loudspeakers and acoustics if not it's not mastering, it's guessing.

All the best.
Old 1st September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
I want to provide an inexpensive mastering service (15 USD / TRACK). It will all be done ITB using legit gear.

I am no pro but for 15 USD I can give value for money - though it won’t be up there with you 60 USD + guys

Is this wrong?

not wrong

but will it work ??
who is your target clientelle?

what exactly would you do with your "mastering" service?
if its ITB why cant people do it themselves?
what makes you better at it ??

can you make even minimum wage at that rate ?

what do you do if it succeeds and hundreds of others start offering the same thing at $14, $13, $12, ...... $1, FREE

what will set you apart so you can stay in biz ?
Old 1st September 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you all for the feedback, it is very much appreciated. I brought up the subject because I do not want to make this step lightly. You have given me much to think about.

Cheers
Old 2nd September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 
huejahfink's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Don't take the thread negativity to heart too much...

There are some good points being made, but I would rather offer you some encouragement.
I think you have made a good step forward by putting yourself out there to take on work. It shows confidence and initiative.
You seem perfectly humble and understanding about what your position is at this stage, who your target market is - plus you seem willing to learn and ask questions which are all very important factors.

If clients are not satisfied with your work, then you are not going to be getting much if any business... but if you do make people happy, they will come back and recommend you to their colleagues and you can gradually raise your game and make better investments.

That's about it really. Those who wish to criticise you before you have even begun your business should have nothing to worry about.

Good luck Benedict!
Old 2nd September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
huejahfink's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Maybe a really nice pair of headphones with extended bass response would be a good ally for you.
This way you have a second reference for your Genelecs, plus headphones are excellent for QC.
Just don't crank em up too loud!
Old 2nd September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
Don't try and sell your business on the basis of price, sell it on the basis of value (price vs quality), anyone can drop their rates, but not anyone can produce great work justifiably cheaper than their competition.

I started out with nothing really, I just jumped in an did it, made the mistakes, which gets you down, but you just have to learn and move on.

I think 15 dollars is just too cheap to be considered serious. I started with 15 GBP a track and I did a survey asking if they considered mastering services this cheap to be fake/false/considered bad and everyone said yes, I raised my price to 20 pounds (now 25) and I got MORE business after doing that.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
Plenty of haters on here, but everyone has to start somewhere. I encourage you to look at some cheap opinions for hardware as you go along and grow and build up your steady clients. Look at raising your rates once a year as your monitoring system, outboard gear, and software collection (legit) grow.

My encouragement would be do no harm on mixes, and make sure you deliver on your word. Its the only thing you have, so humility is a big factor. I agree with someone previously that you might want to change your website icons, however I think he approached in a less then tactful manner. Good luck man and I look forward to seeing you in the studio build section one day!

Oh and one last thing, be able to learn about new platforms and always be upgrading what media you can deliver or at least receive. You might just have mp3's now but later on look at cd's, tape, reel, vinyl, dsd, blue ray, ect ect.. Always be upgrading even it its in baby steps!
Old 2nd September 2011
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Thank you everyone for the feedback. Good or bad i appreciate it and it has given me alot of food for thought.

My site is now live : www.housemusicmastering.com. i am already getting inquiries from people who know my productions and have a backup engineer with over 10 years of experience.

Cheers
Old 5th September 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 
SASMastering's Avatar
Following on I think pricing is an incredibly important factor and unique to an individual. You need to price according to what you consider will work for you, this includes many factors and is complex and needs careful assessment especially in these times we are in. Knowing you have your structure right is demonstrated in not having to change it frequently. What works for one may not work for another. Mastering engineers are unique in approach and ability despite common goals. Musicians, producers and record labels are wise, they research and make informed decisions relative to their needs and budgets, afterall they are the front line in this industry.

cheers
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