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Abbey Road Online Mastering. Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 18th April 2012
  #1
Gear maniac
 
ribteen's Avatar
 

Abbey Road Online Mastering.

Close to finished mixing my album...self recorded and mixed to a Korg mr2000s. curious about online mastering as I am in the middle of nowhere.

Seems the pros would be access to great engineers and gear like the mastering room at Abbey Road. On the cons side, I checked out the site and they seem very specific about formats and don't mention DSD....i was hoping to have the DSD mixes mastered. Also, how does client input work? is that available or is it just a great engineer at the helm and no client input? I have not inquired further so I'm not certain of anything.

anyone here (especially in the US) tried this service?
Old 18th April 2012
  #2
online mastering didn't work for me. I'll never go for unattended sessions anymore...
it was not Abbey Road tough
Old 18th April 2012
  #3
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Verified Member
I read their info a year or so ago and it seems to me that you're basically paying for the name of the place. For all you know, they use trainees, interns, and who knows what to do the mastering.

That's just the initial impression I got.
Old 19th April 2012
  #4
Gear Guru
Do you really think Abbey Road would sully their legendary reputation by allowing a monkey to run any old crap mix through L2 and send it out the door ... ?

Have a little faith.
Old 19th April 2012
  #5
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by ribteen View Post
anyone here (especially in the US) tried this service?
I'm in California. I've used Abbey Roads Online Mastering a number of times. They have a listing of their available engineers on their website. Pick one! ;-)

Lucy (Abbey Road's online administrative liaison) answers any and all questions sent her way and I've even been able to request specific engineers.

As for specific audio moves or instructions; the engineers have always been open to any input I wanted to provide and have always followed up with answers to all of my post mastering questioning. They do offer a post tweak if that is required as part of the price and of course you can always pay for more tweaks. I've never asked for a tweak.

In the end, it's an unattended session, so I didn't go into any of that expecting much communication-wise. The answers to my questions were understandably short and to the point, but clear none-the-less.

If you are looking for a "warm and fuzzy" mastering experience, best to book an attended session. As mentioned in another post in this thread; why would Abbey Road (or any other audio/mastering house for that matter?) be willing to throw their reputation away willie-nillie? Seems they will always be trying their best.

Again, it's online and you're not paying by the hour to sit in a room tweaking until you're done. That's a completely different kind of mastering - I've done that too. Paid a lot more than what Abbey Road charges for a online master for that experience. Both can return great results.
Old 19th April 2012
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Do you really think Abbey Road would sully their legendary reputation by allowing a monkey to run any old crap mix through L2 and send it out the door ... ?
A monkey? No. Don't think a monkey would get hired there. But their site does show 12 mastering engineers with varying degrees of experience. They may also have other MEs there. Again, I see the name of the place as being the main draw.

I don't see legendary me names on the roster although all 12 engineers are probably pretty good at what they do.
Old 19th April 2012
  #7
Gear Guru
Being a ME at Abbey Road is sort how you get to be legendary thought, don't you think?

I agree - you are paying for the name. Which is exactly why they aren't going to devalue their name.
Old 19th April 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
There was a big studio here who did evanessrnce,mudvayne, Hank Williams the 3rd and a few big acts and albums that made it big. However when it came to not so big acts they had a smaller studio of interns mostly full sail graduates, that mixed those at a hefty mid range price. My guess is that's a standard practice that goes on with interns and people starting out in the big studios. If I was to do it I'd probably go by reference of friends and work provided for me to check out. But hey I wish it was in the budget for the bands I do, but alas it never is. Good luck!
Old 19th April 2012
  #9
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
It is worth noting that almost every mastering guy/gal in the world will do "on line mastering" When I hire other engineers to master things for me, I am always choosing the person not the place.
Old 19th April 2012
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
A monkey? No. Don't think a monkey would get hired there. But their site does show 12 mastering engineers with varying degrees of experience. They may also have other MEs there. Again, I see the name of the place as being the main draw.

I don't see legendary me names on the roster although all 12 engineers are probably pretty good at what they do.
Steve Rooke, Geoff Pesche, Sean Magee and Adam Nunn have all been at Abbey Road for over 10 years - I knew them when I was a runner there in 2002! Between them, you'll own records they've mastered I'd be prepared to bet.

The rest of the guys are either up and coming, classical specialists or restoration (like Peter Mew, top of his field in what he does).
Old 19th April 2012
  #11
Gear nut
 

I'm sure they will do a great job.

The important thing here is to NOT overestimate the power of mastering. If your mix has major issues, mastering is not the silver bullet. Chances are, if you have self-recorded, your project will not benefit from big-budget mastering any more than it will from little-budget mastering. I have seen friends take their home-DAW project to big name world class mastering engineers and spend MANY thousands of dollars to get back a louder, processed version of the same challenged mixes they sent in. They are disappointed every time, thinking that mastering is going to have this magical transformative power to chance their mix. Many folks don't really understand what mastering is capable of and what its limits are.

You may already realize this. I just wanted to chime in because I see so many artists make the mistake of believing that blowing a lot of cash on expensive mastering is going to make a huge world of difference on their home studio record.
Old 19th April 2012
  #12
If there's one place in the world you could trust with online mastering, it's Abbey Road. They don't have any dopes walking around in those halls (unless it's dudes like me just there for the day). And, I have to say, I thought tehir prices were pretty reasonable for mastering. Not that you couldn't get a better deal elsewhere, of course, but for Abbey Road.
Old 19th April 2012
  #13
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don´t know if it´s common practise in US, but in Europe most mastering studios will do a test master
everybody got an own opinion and i think it´s better to search the person that´s 100% doing what he/she wants
if you send to 10 mastering houses, you´ll get 10 opinions and they might all be good but maybe there is one that you like the most
Old 19th April 2012
  #14
without a test- you don't get trust !

Peter Neuber
www.vintagemastering.com
Old 19th April 2012
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Raoul23's Avatar
 

When I first got my studio up and running I advised a heavy metal band I was recording to have their tracks mastered at Abbey Road and they did. It cost them just over £300 and we were all very pleased with the result the songs sounded great on anything we played them on iPhones to £2000 Hi Fi's I would recommend Abbey Road any time
Old 19th April 2012
  #16
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by ribteen View Post
Close to finished mixing my album...self recorded and mixed to a Korg mr2000s. curious about online mastering as I am in the middle of nowhere.

Seems the pros would be access to great engineers and gear like the mastering room at Abbey Road. On the cons side, I checked out the site and they seem very specific about formats and don't mention DSD....i was hoping to have the DSD mixes mastered. Also, how does client input work? is that available or is it just a great engineer at the helm and no client input? I have not inquired further so I'm not certain of anything.

anyone here (especially in the US) tried this service?
I would contact them and ask, I am sure they will be pleased to answer all your questions. The engineers are very good as you would expect. One of them, Sean, posts here regularly.
Old 20th April 2012
  #17
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IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I read their info a year or so ago and it seems to me that you're basically paying for the name of the place. For all you know, they use trainees, interns, and who knows what to do the mastering.

That's just the initial impression I got.

We don't have any interns or trainees. You're paying for one of our mastering engineers to master your track/s. If you choose to say it's mastered at Abbey Road or not, thats your call. There are seven that currently do it.

Online mastering was next logical step in the practice of receiving and sending audio electronically, something that we had already been doing for some time. The only difference here is a client friendly front end, and means to pay remotely.

DSD, best ask, I see no reason why not as we do do it, best ask as suggested.

"no test, no trust"....LOL....ask for a test it'll be no problem. I can count the number of tests we've been asked for in the last year on one hand though.

Make sure you include an idea of what you're after when or if you book.

hope this helps, you can PM me for for further info if you want,
Old 20th April 2012
  #18
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Working online is great if you are any good at what you do. If I was the artist I would want a master preview whoever was mastering if I had no previous relationship. In these straightened times I would like to know if I was receiving the best result for my money. At the end of the day the engineer is a human being and so very much depends on the quality of the mix delivered and whether anyone is willing to spend time working with you or not should you need extra support.

Those with mix experience can easily say bass line +3dB at 56Hz Q 0.5, kick 60Hz 2dB Q 1.2, this provides a lot of value, more than mastering can achieve in itself, right there, people appreciate it and I appreciate it cause it means the master is better. Some models cannot support this way of working.

Everyone finds the right place for themselves in due time.

If Abbey Road is offering a test, I would be on it quicker than you could say EMI.

Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering
cd mastering | online mastering services | audio mastering |
Old 20th April 2012
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Raoul23's Avatar
 

That band I recorded never asked for a test they just told the engineer the would like the Kick prominent and the vocals buried a bit. The Band I recorded was called Want For Destruction, they have a MySpace with the tracks on. This was one of my very first projects and I was learning an awful lot as we went thought the record/mixing process. It was recorded on an PT 8le system. With quite average gear but the final result we thought was quite good.
Old 20th April 2012
  #20
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Laurend's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ribteen View Post
they seem very specific about formats and don't mention DSD....i was hoping to have the DSD mixes mastered.
DSD can't be processed without a conversion in DXD or PCM.
Old 20th April 2012
  #21
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IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by SASMastering View Post
Working online is great if you are any good at what you do. If I was the artist I would want a master preview whoever was mastering if I had no previous relationship. In these straightened times I would like to know if I was receiving the best result for my money. At the end of the day the engineer is a human being and so very much depends on the quality of the mix delivered and whether anyone is willing to spend time working with you or not should you need extra support.

Those with mix experience can easily say bass line +3dB at 56Hz Q 0.5, kick 60Hz 2dB Q 1.2, this provides a lot of value, more than mastering can achieve in itself, right there, people appreciate it and I appreciate it cause it means the master is better. Some models cannot support this way of working.

Everyone finds the right place for themselves in due time.

If Abbey Road is offering a test, I would be on it quicker than you could say EMI.

Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering
cd mastering | online mastering services | audio mastering |
The last one I did had about a minute of the track done, you wont get the whole track done. Enough though to hear the mastering..
Old 20th April 2012
  #22
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SASMastering's Avatar
Yes thats about the norm then the client can compare.

I like it because it directly demonstrates confidence and ability, no bull, no fronting, all about result.
When I am busy they just have to wait till the paid work subsides. That way it is fair to all.

Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering
http://www.masteringmastering.co.uk/
Old 20th April 2012
  #23
Gear maniac
 
Laarsø's Avatar
 

online premastering

Abbey Road can't do mastering for digital formats over the internet or in person! The master CD is burned only in a Class 100 Clean Room. Abbey Road can contract a glass mastering to be done, elsewhere, but my understanding is that Abbey Road is only a recording, premastering, and lacquer cutting studio complex. If that's what you are looking for, then I'm sure Abbey Road online premastering service can process your DSD files in the analog domain without converting to DXD or PCM.



Cheersø,
Laarsø
Old 20th April 2012
  #24
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IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laarsø View Post
Abbey Road can't do mastering for digital formats over the internet or in person! The master CD is burned only in a Class 100 Clean Room. Abbey Road can contract a glass mastering to be done, elsewhere, but my understanding is that Abbey Road is only a recording, premastering, and lacquer cutting studio complex. If that's what you are looking for, then I'm sure Abbey Road online premastering service can process your DSD files in the analog domain without converting to DXD or PCM.



Cheersø,
Laarsø
Exactly, we don't make glass masters, we don't contract that out either but could point you in the right direction. As for the DSD, it's not my area as room isn't equipped for it, but we do do it. Best enquire as mentioned before.
Old 20th April 2012
  #25
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Bonati's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Of all the places out there to be suspicious of, Abbey Road isn't one of them.
Old 20th April 2012
  #26
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Verified Member
Or maybe just as easy to playback through good DSD converters to do any analogue magic before capturing at the target rate?

Thor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend View Post
DSD can't be processed without a conversion in DXD or PCM.
Old 22nd April 2012
  #27
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mixerguy's Avatar
I know someone who had a very sub-par experience from Abbey Road.... and he is a sharp guy...... but maybe he was just unlucky.

and that is only one person.

YMMV.
Old 22nd April 2012
  #28
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixerguy View Post
I know someone who had a very sub-par experience from Abbey Road.... and he is a sharp guy...... but maybe he was just unlucky.

and that is only one person.

YMMV.
From time to time I receive some costumers who where unhappy with abbey road online mastering and they decide to try out other services even though they lost some money with abbey road's service.

The results are generally a very compressed and limited master, with a loudness oriented EQ that makes the final result sound bad! It may not be an intern loading some presets on plug-ins and on gear but it did sound like that.

I'm not trying to be rude with the people at abbey road online mastering but just sharing my experience with it. I received more than a new dozen clients that reached me because they were looking for a local alternative, in this case me, after being very disappointed with abbey road's service.
Old 22nd April 2012
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bendermastering View Post
The results are generally a very compressed and limited master, with a loudness oriented EQ that makes the final result sound bad! It may not be an intern loading some presets on plug-ins and on gear but it did sound like that.
I bet there is a form which you can add your comments when sending files. If you write there that you don't like over compressed and over limited masters they'll probably don't do it. I guess communication is the key.
Old 22nd April 2012
  #30
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sdbmastering's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by sat159p1 View Post
I bet there is a form which you can add your comments when sending files. If you write there that you don't like over compressed and over limited masters they'll probably don't do it. I guess communication is the key.
That was my guess too, problem of communication.
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