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Online mastering services?
Old 6 days ago
  #1
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Thread Starter
Online mastering services?

Does anyone have experience with online mastering services?

These days many mastering services are being offered on Landr and Fiverr for example. Are they good quality for the price?
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaesarX86 View Post
Does anyone have experience with online mastering services?

These days many mastering services are being offered on Landr and Fiverr for example. Are they good quality for the price?
Hello and welcome to GS! What are they charging and what are they offering. If it is around $40 or $50, they are probably just cutting their teeth and trying to build their resume. Depending on their skills, this does not mean they can not get the job done. We all have to start somewhere. There are many 5+, 10+ year members on GS that offer these services as well. In my area, Washington DC, the studio I use is around $80.00 per song. They are the best of the best on the EC, IMHO and their credit list is extremely impressive!

Old 6 days ago
  #3
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
Hello and welcome to GS! What are they charging and what are they offering. If it is around $40 or $50, they are probably just cutting their teeth and trying to build their resume. There are many 5+, 10+ year members on GS that offer these services as well. In my area, Washington DC, the studio I use is around $80.00 per song. They are the best of the best on the EC, IMHO and their credit list is extremely impressive!

Thanks for your reply Dana.
I was surfing around on Fiverr as online platforms like LANDR just want you to subscribe. I found a lots of gigs for mastering, some of them claiming to be grammy nominated engineers and charging +100 dollars and some who only do this for 5 dollars. Perhaps they are idd still building their customer base and offer the service for a price too low..
Old 6 days ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
Hello and welcome to GS! What are they charging and what are they offering. If it is around $40 or $50, they are probably just cutting their teeth and trying to build their resume.
These are automated mastering services using software algorithms.

@Caeser....type LANDR into the GS search and you can read the many existing threads about it.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

When it comes down to it, these days every mastering house is an online mastering house. That became clear the day Bob Ludwig moved to Maine.

That's the beauty of the internet -- you can be anywhere and have the best people in the world master your music. Then the rest of the people in the world can use the internet to steal it.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
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That could be true, but you know what they say, "buyer beware". What are you trying to get master? How are your mixes? Can you put a song up as an example? Just so you know, you do not have to spend hundreds, to get quality within this community.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
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Originally Posted by stella645 View Post
These are automated mastering services using software algorithms.
Yes that is correct but some also list in these communities, trying to break into the market.
Old 6 days ago
  #8
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Sigma's Avatar
lol for giggles i just put a mix i did a few years ago in LANDR.. lol it didn't change anything eq or level wise and yes i did use the compare function
Old 6 days ago
  #9
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jj88's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
That could be true, but you know what they say, "buyer beware". What are you trying to get master? How are your mixes? Can you put a song up as an example? Just so you know, you do not have to spend hundreds, to get quality within this community.
Indeed, buyers beware.

There are more than a handful of people on this forum readily giving out recording, production, mix, mastering critiques and advice on subjects they have very little if any actual real world experience with. I've already spotted one such person in this very thread!

Before you spend anything, look at their discography, listen to their body of work, check the artists and labels they work with and check their studio website to see what they're working with to verify everything. That process alone will eliminate about 90% of the bull****. Narrow it down to a short list of mastering engineers you like, contact and talk specifics about your project vision, budget etc., then make your decision.

As a new client hiring a truly word class mastering studio/engineer, expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $100-$200 per song (usually with a sliding scale for more songs and repeat business). It's well worth every dollar spent.

RE: online mastering services - IME they're a total waste of time and money.

You put your heart and soul and time and money into your music only to skimp on the essential final stage of the whole process?! Why go there? I really don't get it...
Old 5 days ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Yep there sure are. Lots of people talking a great game with zero to back it up. Many of these cats are amateur hobbyists at best. Preying on newbies with their copy/paste plagiarism skills, brown nosing and "clever" little sales pitches. for those of us that have been around a while they're easy to suss out. Especially those that have only been around a month or two and already have 10,000 post counts

Jules should bring back the thumbs down feature and implement a minimum time limit before sales links in signatures are allowed. That would help whip this place into shape right quick!

Take a minute to head over to the 'post your demos, 'mix-off, 'master-off, 'showcase threads to see and hear what I mean. Suck is probably the wrong word to use, but when it comes to these used car salesmen types much of the time it sure does feel right.

Landr and Fiverr are a joke.
Old 5 days ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaesarX86 View Post
Are they good quality for the price?
No.
Old 5 days ago
  #12
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Originally Posted by hubba bubba View Post
Jules should bring back the thumbs down feature and implement a minimum time limit before sales links in signatures are allowed. That would help whip this place into shape right quick!
I believe this software used for GS also has a "Reputation" feature. Combine that with your two suggestions and people would be able to see who is who, very quickly. One guy just got booted last week for misrepresenting their ability to master audio. It seems his "studio gear" was built using someone elses pics, taken from Google.
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
One guy just got booted last week for misrepresenting their ability to master audio.
There's misrepresentation and fantasy all over Gearslutz. It just seems more extreme with mastering people. Maybe certain people are drawn to it by the name -- it makes them sound like an authority figure. Or someone in black rubber with a mask and a whip.
Old 4 days ago
  #14
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Personally I think finding a mastering engineer you trust is really important for a mixer. You can trust them to do very little when required, totally save you when required, and to give honest feedback that will help you learn. For me that relationship has to be with a person you can actually chat to about your work, someone who knows your foibles...

I've had important mixes go off to different mastering engineers because of politics, and wished I had insisted on who worked on it.

Other that the already mentioned credits/discography, two things when it comes to mastering engineers:

(1) Be wary if they say they mix and master.

(2) See their response when you ask them if they cut vinyl
Old 4 days ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dights View Post
(1) Be wary if they say they mix and master.
While I do agree that there are many mixing engineers that may not have the ability or experience to master audio, any professional mastering engineer should posses the ability as a mixing engineer as well as a recording engineer. Many professional studios have the ability to lay down, mix and master someones tracks.
Old 4 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
While I do agree that there are many mixing engineers that may not have the ability or experience to master audio, any professional mastering engineer should posses the ability as a mixing engineer as well as a recording engineer. Many professional studios have the ability to lay down, mix and master someones tracks.
I see what you're saying with studios, but when it comes to the actual engineers I'd have to disagree.

For me mixing and mastering are two different and specialised disciplines that require years or decades of experience to excel at. I also think they're two very important and different stages in the process of making a record, and that it's better to have two different perspectives and sets of ears for each.

Whilst many engineers from the traditional studio path may well have been recording assistants/engineers before deciding to specialise in mixing or mastering, I really don't see that a mastering engineer needs to be a great mix engineer or recording engineer to do their job... or vice-versa. They no doubt understand each other's disciplines, but that's a long way off professionally excelling at both.

In my experience the people who are excellent mix engineers or mastering engineers have spent the vast majority of their careers doing only that.

You won't find top mastering engineers taking on mixing jobs, and you won't find top mix engineers taking on mastering jobs.
Old 4 days ago
  #17
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
... any professional mastering engineer should posses the ability as a mixing engineer as well as a recording engineer.
Thanks to my wife's work history (way more than my own), I've had the opportunity to hang out with several top-tier mastering folk. It's fun to ask how they got into it. I've heard answers like, "Short attention span." "I suck at mixing." "The all-nighters in the studio were killing me." "It was either that or get fired." And maybe my favorite: "Assisting in the studio meant changing light bulbs, and I'm afraid of heights."
Old 4 days ago
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
While I do agree that there are many mixing engineers that may not have the ability or experience to master audio, any professional mastering engineer should posses the ability as a mixing engineer as well as a recording engineer. Many professional studios have the ability to lay down, mix and master someones tracks.
Hello and welcome to GS! every point you make is either so broad and generic and technically can be applied to literally any one, or what the point suggests is just totally wrong when talking about the experience of career professionals. go ahead to take your band to a master studio and see about micing up drums guitars vocals piano horns and recording. or take your premaster mix bounce to a tracking studio and see about mastering. they are totally different studio gears and set up and totally different disciplines. each require totally different skill sets. any one can do it anywhere but not real professionals. its offensive to say otherwise.
Old 4 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dights View Post
I see what you're saying with studios, but when it comes to the actual engineers I'd have to disagree.
Cool, we are on the same page.

Quote:
For me mixing and mastering are two different and specialised disciplines that require years or decades of experience to excel at. I also think they're two very important and different stages in the process of making a record, and that it's better to have two different perspectives and sets of ears for each.
I agree with you 100%.

Quote:
Whilst many engineers from the traditional studio path may well have been recording assistants/engineers before deciding to specialise in mixing or mastering, I really don't see that a mastering engineer needs to be a great mix engineer or recording engineer to do their job... or vice-versa. They no doubt understand each other's disciplines, but that's a long way off professionally excelling at both.
This is where we may be splitting hairs. In order for a mastering engineer to be able to do their job, they must surly know how to mix. To know how to mix, the best way is to know how to record.

Quote:
In my experience the people who are excellent mix engineers or mastering engineers have spent the vast majority of their careers doing only that.
Depending on your age, you could be 100% correct. In my time line, you started as a recording engineer and worked your way up.

Quote:
You won't find top mastering engineers taking on mixing jobs, and you won't find top mix engineers taking on mastering jobs.
I respectfully disagree. I see it every week, sometimes every day.

<snip - don’t provoke>

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 2 days ago at 09:53 AM..
Old 4 days ago
  #20
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dights's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
This is where we may be splitting hairs. In order for a mastering engineer to be able to do their job, they must surly know how to mix. To know how to mix, the best way is to know how to record.
Mmm... not really, I think that's subjective at best. Besides, knowing how to do something doesn't mean that you excel at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
In my time line, you started as a recording engineer and worked your way up.
Again, it depends. Actually I've met a few top mastering engineers who never worked in a recording studio, as the big mastering houses only did that.

My point was that for the top mastering or mix engineers, the amount of time they spent as an assistant or recording engineer is small when compared to the time they've spent specialised in mixing or mastering.

They've spent the vast majority of their careers just mastering or just mixing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
I respectfully disagree. I see it every week, sometimes every day.
Really? I respectfully stand by what I've said.

Perhaps your idea of top mastering engineers or top mix engineers differs from mine...

Feel free to name me some top engineers who do both?
Old 4 days ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dights View Post
Mmm... not really, I think that's subjective at best. Besides, knowing how to do something doesn't mean that you excel at it.



Again, it depends. Actually I've met a few top mastering engineers who never worked in a recording studio, as the big mastering houses only did that.

My point was that for the top mastering or mix engineers, the amount of time they spent as an assistant or recording engineer is small when compared to the time they've spent specialised in mixing or mastering.

They've spent the vast majority of their careers just mastering or just mixing.



Really? I respectfully stand by what I've said.

Perhaps your idea of top mastering engineers or top mix engineers differs from mine...

Feel free to name me some top engineers who do both every week, and sometimes every day?
I am not going to get into naming names. I will put a $100.00 bill up against a doughnut for any Mastering Engineer, with creds attached to their name, in this community, who will publicly state they DO NOT know how to mix, yet they have the ability to Master, via their education that skipped recording as well as mixing.
Old 4 days ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
I am not going to get into naming names. I will put a $100.00 bill up against a doughnut for any Mastering Engineer, with creds attached to their name, in this community, who will publicly state they DO NOT know how to mix, yet their have the ability to Master.
That's not what I said though is it?

Knowing how to mix does not make you a top mix engineer, just as knowing how to master does not make you a top mastering engineer.

That's also not what you said either is it?

I said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dights View Post
You won't find top mastering engineers taking on mixing jobs, and you won't find top mix engineers taking on mastering jobs.
which you quoted and replied this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
I respectfully disagree. I see it every week, sometimes every day.
You see top mastering engineers taking on mixing jobs and vice versa every week, every day... Go on then, name them.

I apologise for being confrontational, but I suspect that your experience of top mastering/mixing engineers may differ from mine... and yet you're telling me you know better.
Old 4 days ago
  #23
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Originally Posted by dights View Post
I apologise for being confrontational, but I suspect that your experience of top mastering/mixing engineers may differ from mine... and yet you're telling me you know better.
I do know better! There are top mastering engineers that will take up the slack in their studios when one of their mixing engineers is unable to, or when they have been requested by their clients. You made the statement of:

Quote:
I've had important mixes go off to different mastering engineers because of politics, and wished I had insisted on who worked on it.
That is what started our conversation. Instead of being wary, you should be grateful! As far as what our definitions of mastering engineers are, mine are the ones who have professional recording studios for hire, have spent decades honing their skills, have Grammy award winning clients and have the means as well as the clients, to employ others in the audio industry on a steady basis.

Your statement about someone being able to mix as well as master, is cause to challenge their ability, is nonsense! You go on to say that just because they may be good as a mastering engineer, they may not be good as a mixing engineer. This is nonsense as well. You also state that:

Quote:
You won't find top mastering engineers taking on mixing jobs, and you won't find top mix engineers taking on mastering jobs.
This is 50% correct. Mixing engineers have no business working as a mastering engineer in till they are capable of doing just that, but a mastering engineer will have no problem working as a mixing engineer.
Old 3 days ago
  #24
Gear Nut
 

No obviously you dont know better. Like many already said tracking, mixing and masters are the 3 totally different discipline and special art form, 3 totally different studio rooms and gears set up and the 3 totally different skills set. the professional expert, general knowledge does not make.

yes yes but any one with laoptops and the earbud might may should could have ability to do all 3 but, not the world class 6 and 7 figures studios and long time professionals level all in one. I understand that some people do it all in a laptop fast or use only the tracking studio for all things in one session but that is more about lack of knowledge and-or the time and budget money than all else. no major band or artists will use the one studio room and engineer for all of the above task. none. they are the 3 totally different fields of experts, rooms and gears. saying that is all wrong is fine, but it doesnt change anything about the true facts. so how is saying truth and the facts hate all of a sudden?? you are new here and giving the wrong advice to newbies on this and other thread so people are going to give replies. This is the forum, why so sensitive about it when the career professionals and experts say the facts? I gave you just one of the many possible perfect examples but, you have no answer, ignore that, try to make the insult and then report me? Wow!

Caesar wants to know from real experienced professionals about mastering where, quality and prices. Some true answers were already given but, you keep saying any one or thing and any studio can provide the best professional results all in one is totally false and offensive to the real specialized professionals in our industry.


But please do carry on....

Old 3 days ago
  #25
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JamesOnFlames's Avatar
Aria mastering is probably the best of all the automated services - https://ariamastering.com/

Created by Colin Leonard at SING mastering. I've never used it so I can't comment, but I've heard good words for what it does.

All that being said, a reminder that at the end of the day no automated service is equal to a mastering engineer
Old 3 days ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
I do know better!


Well you can say that, but what you are writing demonstrates to experienced people on here that you don't... and I'm not the only one pointing that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
There are top mastering engineers that will take up the slack in their studios when one of their mixing engineers is unable to, or when they have been requested by their clients.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
As far as what our definitions of mastering engineers are, mine are the ones who have professional recording studios for hire, have spent decades honing their skills, have Grammy award winning clients and have the means as well as the clients, to employ others in the audio industry on a steady basis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
Mixing engineers have no business working as a mastering engineer in till they are capable of doing just that, but a mastering engineer will have no problem working as a mixing engineer.
I'm not sure what to say...

I suppose my favourite of your statements is that your definition of a mastering engineer is someone who has a "professional recording studio for hire" and the means to "employ others in the audio industry on a steady basis".



That's a recording studio owner.

Anyhoo... listen, whilst I think you'd be hard pressed to call up any of the top mastering houses and get one of their mastering engineers to mix for you... please do feel free to simply name all these top mastering engineers you know who take on mixing jobs every week? I'm genuinely interested.
Old 3 days ago
  #27
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Originally Posted by dights View Post
Well you can say that, but what you are writing demonstrates to experienced people on here that you don't... and I'm not the only one pointing that out.
I will stand by my post 100%. The fact that others may disagree means very little to me. Just like the keyboard commando that has jumped onto this thread, that has been a member of this community for 3.5 years, and has a whopping 130 post. He seems to agree with you and that is just fine with me. Out!
Old 3 days ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana_T. View Post
I will stand by my post 100%. The fact that others may disagree means very little to me.


Well I've asked you three times to simply name all these top mastering engineers you know who take on mixing jobs every week?

I think we've all got a good idea why you won't...
Old 3 days ago
  #29
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Originally Posted by JamesOnFlames View Post
Aria mastering is probably the best of all the automated services - https://ariamastering.com/

Created by Colin Leonard at SING mastering. I've never used it so I can't comment, but I've heard good words for what it does.

All that being said, a reminder that at the end of the day no automated service is equal to a mastering engineer
That seems like a legit service considering who is backing the project. @ $4.90 per song, it would be interesting to see how good they truly are if you had 10 songs to run for a month. I just listened to your sig songs. Hunter & Prey is impressive.
Old 3 days ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesOnFlames View Post
Aria mastering is probably the best of all the automated services - https://ariamastering.com/

Created by Colin Leonard at SING mastering. I've never used it so I can't comment, but I've heard good words for what it does.

All that being said, a reminder that at the end of the day no automated service is equal to a mastering engineer
You really should try a product (or in this case a service) before recommending it to others.

A while back I emailed Colin and asked for a test run, put a vocal House mix through the A-D algorithms and none of the masters were anything I would ever publicly release, much less use as a mix/master mock up for my clients. Of the four, three clearly had audible issues going on. The fourth was a distorted mess upon SRC. Not good.

The sonic differences between these auto-algos and the mastering previously done on this particular song by a reputable engineer in a world class mastering studio are blatantly obvious. It was no contest. As the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.
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