Audio Mastering

Audio mastering is the process that all commercial recordings go through before release. It involves applying the finishing touches to a recorded work to ensure that it sounds as perfect as possible and adding a bit of extra sparkle to the sound. However brilliant you may think your original is, if it is not properly mastered it will not sound as good as everyone elses, end of story.

The process of mastering a track involves applying a number of processes, usually EQ, compression, stereo field management and other audio enhancements to get the very best out of your recording and give it the smooth "professional" sound that you hear on commercial recordings. It also ensures that you get the maximum loudness level without distortion or loss of dynamics. Steve Bowe has at his disposal state of the art tools by Steinberg, Slate Digital, Sonalksis, Aphex and many more with which to achieve this. Perhaps more importantly, he has the experience of his own ears over many years of producing his own and other third party works to draw on.

Examples

Take a listen to the examples below. Each lasts about 30 seconds and contains two slices of music. The first is before mastering and the second is the same section after mastering. You can clearly hear the difference that the mastering process makes to the music, although it really helps to listen on good quality speakers or headphones to fully appreciate the improvements.

"Count Them In" from "Finest Hour""Orpheus" from "Soundscapes"

Pricing

We price mastering services by the track or every 10 minutes of audio being processed, whichever the smaller. Each track costs GBP25.00 to master. If you order 10 or more tracks (e.g. an album) at the same time we can offer a reduced rate of GBP15.00 per track. If you have not used BoweMusic before, we will be happy to master up to two minutes of your first track for free so that you can decide whether you are happy with our service before committing.

To order, please email sales@bowemusic.com with your requirements and we will get back to you as soon as possible with a confirmed quotation and full details on how to proceed. Payment can be made using our PayPal account (any major credit card accepted) or direct bank transfer. Details provided once you order.

The Technical Stuff

We usually work from a source audio file in non-compressed format (preferably WAV) with a resolution of at least 16bit/44kHz (CD standard). There is little point in mastering a track from a lower quality than this as it is unlikely to produce a satisfactory result. The mastered version of the track will be returned in 16Bit/44kHz format unless otherwise agreed. The audio files can be sent and received via email or our FTP drop site.