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Online Mastering starts here.  Upload your mix to our secure servers, we'll master the audio, then you can download the finished product.

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What is audio mastering?

Mastering is the final stage of the audio production process, and the last opportunity to get your project sounding as good as possible before its release, whether as a digital release, CD, vinyl, DVD or movie.

Mastering is a 3 stage process:

  1. Correcting issues
  2. Creative enhancement
  3. Final assembly

Stage 1: Correcting issues

Following a careful review of the audio, any issue in the frequency domain, levels or dynamics that may cause problems in certain playback environments are corrected.

Matthew Gray Mastering has invested a lot of time and expense to set up a listening environment which can reveal potential flaws or technical issues in a recording or mix. Our monitoring is truly world class and designed to be very accurate & detailed from 22kHz right down to 17Hz.

Dynamic control, through careful use of compression, can be used to correct inconsistent levels that aren't recognized to be a part of the musical performance. This also helps with the flow of the music and the overall consistency of the track.

Unwanted noises that have slipped through the recording and mixing process,  and can often distract a listener from the music, are removed using de-essing, de-clicking, de-crackling, de-popping and de-noising. A lot of these processes are especially useful for restoration work which may be from old analog tape or vinyl recordings. We still have some of the best 2-track analog tape machines ever made by Studer & Ampex, so we are able to master directly from analog tape, or even through analog tape if you're after this sound. We accept analog tape in the form of 2-track quarter inch or 2-track half inch from 7.5 IPS up to 30 IPS. Call for further detail.

Stage 2: Creative enhancement

The second crucial stage of the mastering process is to enhance the creative or 'musical' aspect of your project. This involves creative equalisation (EQ), compression and limiting tailored to enhance the musical direction and production style of your project.

To this end we use some of the finest analog mastering processors in the world: from vintage classics like the Neumann PEV-C active equalizers and our ATR-102 half inch analog tape machine which are great for warming up a cold or harsh digital mix; through to modern favourites such as the Thermionic Culture Phoenix all-valve vari-mu compressor, Hendy Amps Michelangelo all-valve equalizer, API 2500 quad VCA compressor, and the Buzz Audio REQ-2.2 class A resonance mastering equalizer.

We can help your project stand out sonically.

Stage 3: Final assembly

The final stage of mastering involves the assembly of your project into the format you require.

This can include track sequencing, fades, gaps between songs to create a flow for your release, as well as PQ codes, ISRC codes and CD-Text which is all completed before the audio is packaged in the format you require.  (As an example of a common format, for CD manufacturing a DDP or CD master is produced followed by error checking and quality control checking.)

In recent years it has become even more important to have your masters prepared correctly for each delivery format in order for your music to translate well on these mediums. This includes level and EQ balance for optimal playback on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, Tidal etc. We also have extensive experience and knowledge in mastering specifically for Vinyl.

Manufacturing and digital distribution

But it doesn't have to end there -  we also offer CD & DVD manufacturing and online distribution to help you maintain a quality product right through to the final release medium.