Mastering, Mixing & Other Audio Editing Services
Stereo Mastering | Stem Mastering | Vinyl Versions | Red Book PMCDs | DDP Image/Player | Digital Release Formats | Cassette Tape Mastering | Full Mixing, then Mastering
Initial mix evaluation for optimal mixes is offered prior to taking on your project. This is done free of charge and with zero obligations. After our analysis, if we feel we can't sonicaly improve your project we'll let you know. Please contact us at 323-574-5008 or email: mastering (at) redsecta (dot) com for any inquiries.
Stereo Mastering - $25 per Song (includes 24 bit and 16 bit dithered versions)
We'll take your optimal mix and make sure it sounds great over all systems. It will be loud, but not stupid loud; we're fighting the good fight here and we are not going to sell you short by making your masters sound like the squashed, thin, smeary albums you might be used to listening to. Our quality is easily heard over any decent playback system, especially when it comes to an overall sonic "weight" over any of the loud, but thin-sounding releases out there. You might need to increase the volume knob just a tiny little bit when comparing our work to most of the squashed releases out there (just like you would with any classic Hip Hop album that sounds great) but the bit of room we'll leave will be worth it; our masters will make speaker woofers earn their keep. The "loudness war" is over if you want it to be. We'll do our best to exceed your expectations, your projects deserve it!
Stem Mastering - $50 per song (includes 24 & 16 bit versions + instrumental)
Up to six stems. Mastering from stems offers options not availble when working with stereo mixes, like being able to correct issues related to the vocals only, or process other elements of the song (like drums) without interfering with others. Refer to the .pdf below if you're not sure how to bounce stems from your mix session. DDP image/player, Digital Formats and Vinyl versions are included in projects that are stem mastered (these extras are worth over $100).
What is Stem Mastering?
Vinyl Versions - $10 per song (in addition to standard digital mastering rate)
In addition to having us master your tracks for Digital formats, we can also provide you with a version of your masters that are more optimal for vinyl. These high resolution, slightly adjusted versions are more dynamic and "cut" better on vinyl than masters that are intended for Digital distribution only, which tend to sound a little thin when used for vinyl pressings.
Set of Red Book Certified Premaster CDs - $60 for a set of 3 CDs (Extra CDs $10 each)
Includes album sequencing and CD-R discs that meet all Red Book specifications for CD Replication.
If you will be having your album professionally replicated (commercial audio CDs, not CD-Rs that are used by duplication services), you should send in a certified premaster CD source which guarantees the lowest data errors possible (CD-R media is not perfect, and while we use a combination of the best media available, and best CD-R burners*, there are still some "recoverable" data errors). We recommend you send one of the discs in the set directly to the replication plant, keep one stored for backup and use the third to create copies for the label or artists. Priority mail is included in the price of the set.
*We use Taiyo Yuden and Mitsui (MAM-A) Media burned at optimal burning speeds on Plextor burners.
Overnight delivery also available
at an extra cost.
DDP Image - $50 (Includes a custom DDP Player that allows you to listen to the DDP, burn CDs and export audio files)
Includes album sequencing and a DDP (Disc Description Protocol) image that includes everything needed by a CD Pressing Plant to create Red Book Audio CDs. Also included is a custom DDP player that clients can use on any Windows or Apple OS X Machine to review what will actually be pressed, as well as the ability to burn a CD-R directly from the player, AND export the tracks as .wav files. The DDP image can then be sent over to any CD Replication plant that supports a DDP image as a source for creating Red Book CDs, and eliminates the use of CD-Rs as a source (which unavoidably will contain a small amount of "recoverable" errors).
The player comes with Peak (dBFS), EBU-mode loudness (LUFS) meters as well as a goniometer (to check peak to average energy). It also includes a help file with full instructions.
You don't have to have your project mastered with us to have us create a DDP image/player for you. If you already have your project finalized, sequenced and ready to go but all you need is a professional DDP image to send to a replication plant, a player (to listen to the project's transitions, check the CD-TEXT, ISRC Codes, etc.), and the ability to extract audio files (.wav), this will have you covered.
Note: The DDP Player isn't universal. It will only work with the DDP image that it was created for.
Digital Release Formats - $50
Includes album sequencing and Lossless .wav/.aiff (24 bit), FLAC, Dithered .wav/.aiff (16 bit), MFiT (Mastered For iTunes AACs) and CBR 320kbps MP3 formats. If you are going to be doing a digital-only release and want to give your fan base the option to download all of the relevant audio formats that range from Audiophile to Mobile, this option covers it all. We can also tag your MP3s with additional metadata such as album artwork.
Cassette Tape Mastering: $60
Thinking about putting out a cassette version of your project? We'll pretend it's 1989 and will optimize your project to sound its best for the compact cassette format. We will create an optimized version of your project so that it sounds as good as possible on cassette. This includes auditioning the results on our Dolby HX Pro-equipped deck and making tonal and dynamic adjustments so that your tape sounds like it was intended for this "throwback" format (as opposed to just recording your original masters on tape as they were processed for digital formats & distribution). This rate includes a high-quality cassette (extra cassettes are $10) and mailing in the continental US (international shipping available for a little extra). For more information on how we do this, including a bunch of nostalic thoughts and information, read our "Mastering to Cassette Tape in 2014" article.
We selectively* take on Mix work. If you are considering us to Mix as well as Master your project, please contact us at 323-574-5008 or email: help (at) redsecta (dot) com so that we may discuss your project. Discounts for full-length projects available.
*We have made a creative decision to not work on mix sessions that have 2-track beat instrumentals. We will only work on sessions that have optimally-recorded multitracks.
There's no autotune available here either. Want to replicate the latest robotic-sounding vocal you heard on the radio? You'll need to find someone else to mix your project. Our focus when it comes to mixing is to create the most optimal tonal balance, as well as amazing dynamics. Our thing is "feel", not sound design. We are absolutely capable of creating "wide" vocal mixes and we use some of the best reverbs and delays in the biz, but we don't get involved with creative effects, sorry!
Full Mixing (and then, after it's mixed) Mastering - $200 per song
Mastering of the song, which we treat as a completely separate process after a mix is finalized, is included. You'll get everything you can expect from any top-level Mixing Engineer WITHOUTH any additional charges.
Included are 24-bit mixes and masters, but also ANY version you could possibly want, like an Instrumental, Radio Edit, TV track, and also all the formats you need, like dithered 16-bit files, properly-encoded FLAC and/or MP3s for the mastered track. If you're a producer who has us mix an instrumental for them, and eventually want to add vocals to it, no problem, we'll be happy to do it for an additional (small) rate. It's what you can expect from any top-level service without the extra costs or HASSLES.
regarding our Digital Services, and mastering questions in general,
check the FAQ, call us at 323-574-5008 or send an email to: mastering (at) redsecta.com
Preparing your project for Mixing & Mastering