The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Should I Go For The Expensive Mastering Engineer, Or Not?
Old 16th October 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Should I Go For The Expensive Mastering Engineer, Or Not?

Hey...

I'm a relatively unknown artist and I record and mix my own music. I have just finished a single that needs to be mastered.

I'm really interested in hiring one of the big guns, Greg Calbi in particular. I think it would cost around $275 for the track. I'm not worried too much about the cost, as I want the best results that I can get. However, I am a bit worried that the top mastering engineers wont really put much time and love into my track as I'm not a well known artist and my mix is probably of lesser quality than the material they're used to working on.

Do you think I would be better of going with a lesser known and cheaper engineer that may put more time and effort into my track? Or is the experience/gear/ears of the top guys worth the extra cash even in my situation?

Would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
Old 17th October 2018
  #2
Very rough call there. Gotta go with your gut on that one. Obviously, you can't go wrong with people like Greg - But I can relate to your caution (been in this situation before myself and ended up having a project remastered after spending a small fortune).

That all out of the way -- If you could actually speak with Greg before he works on your project, I'd bet a dollar that he wouldn't take it personally if you were to bring these concerns up. Maybe give that a shot and see how the vibe feels. Then make a decision and go.
Old 17th October 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Hi,

It's a difficult question to answer. I have heard reports that vary from glowing to disappointed. On occasions when I have unwittingly found myself in a shootout with some of the big dogs, it has gone both ways. So there's really only one way to find out for sure...

There are some MEs, both well-known and otherwise, that I would recommend with confidence based on my experience of their work or consistent reports from mutual clients and colleagues. By all means PM me for some specifics.
Old 17th October 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Are you sure Greg Calbi is only charging $275? That seems kind of low for someone in his position. Most top mastering engineers are going for about $500 + additional random fees...
Old 17th October 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

If Greg Calbi is only charging you $275, I'd take advantage of that in a heartbeat. It's just $275, it's worth the risk... If you had a whole album of 15 songs going for about $500 a song which would be $7,500 + additional fees I could understand being hesitant. But, 1 single at the cheap rate of $275 is not that big of a deal, go for it!
Old 17th October 2018
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thank you all for the responses.

A couple of guys have offered me free samples, so I'm going to check them out and see how that goes. I have also sent an email to Greg (well it's his manager I think) regarding the concerns I have. As the first comment suggested, I'll see what kind of response I get from Greg's team and take it from there. If they just brush me off then I wont bother with them.

I think the $275 price was because I didn't request any alternate versions. I could be wrong though, maybe there are extra costs somewhere.

Thanks again.
Old 17th October 2018
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by smithy78 View Post
Hey...

I'm a relatively unknown artist and I record and mix my own music. I have just finished a single that needs to be mastered.

I'm really interested in hiring one of the big guns, Greg Calbi in particular. I think it would cost around $275 for the track. I'm not worried too much about the cost, as I want the best results that I can get. However, I am a bit worried that the top mastering engineers wont really put much time and love into my track as I'm not a well known artist and my mix is probably of lesser quality than the material they're used to working on.

Do you think I would be better of going with a lesser known and cheaper engineer that may put more time and effort into my track? Or is the experience/gear/ears of the top guys worth the extra cash even in my situation?

Would appreciate any advice. Thanks.
We sent some client mixes (bottom link in my sig) to be mastered with one of the mastering engineers here on Gearslutz; it was a valuable experience in that we had a benchmark for our own in-house mastering. We didn't feel that any less care was given to our music than if we were a 'name.'

I think it's good investment even if you only do it once.
Old 23rd October 2018
  #8
Gear Nut
 
JR Mastering's Avatar
 

Every time I mention this, some expert criticizes my comment. Whatever.... This logic SHOULD be applied in ALL facets of business when possible. PERIOD!

Get a FREE demo from several companies. Compare which company masters sound the best, how easy were they to work with, how much do they charge. This is the ONLY you will know which company is best.

I get remaster jobs from companies charging over $100 a song, and rework jobs from sound engineers who have really worked on all-time classic rock albums. Just because someone won a Grammy on a rock album 30 years ago, it DOES NOT mean JOE SCHMOE NOBODY is going to get the same service 30 years later. Why should he? And I have many many emails and songs since 1999 that I can prove that this happens.

Hearing what the sound engineer will to do with YOUR song TODAY is the ONLY way you will know what you're going to get back.

Visit my site if you have a CD you would like mastered and would like a free demo. https://CDmusicmastering.com or PM me

I wish you the very best with your music!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump