'Clarity, warmth, punch'
Are the classic comments people give when requesting the sound for the mastering and this defines our mastering service. This service was started by EPM in order to offer labels and artists the highest quality of mastering at a price affordable to anyone. Mastering is an essential part of the recording process and one that cannot be overlooked or compromised. A professional mastering engineer is trained to be able to get the best out of the music. Very importantly he will have fresh ears with which to listen to your track and find areas to improve, correct and enhance dynamically and sonically in your music. This will give it the power to stand out to any audiophile as well as in any environment, be it either analog or digital.
* reel to reel tape mastering using Studer A80 available *
Click here to check out a short video on the Studer A80
What is Analog Mastering?
Mastered on high-end analog gear, not computer plug ins. There are excellent digital mastering services out there but generally higher end mastering will be analog. When done right analog signal processing is more pleasing to the ear and offers control over the finer points of sound.
EPM Analog Mastering uses Crane Song HEDD to take your digital file/signal and turns it into an analog signal. This signal is then run through top end EQs such as the Manley, and compressors such as Drawmer before being run through the Studer A80 reel to reel tape, image processing to add any width and adjust any other stereo imaging that may need to be altered. Then back into Crane to convert analog back to digital before finally being processed digitally to enhance any sounds such as a limiter, remove any background hiss that comes via the Studer, or any other noise reduction.
Running the analog file through the Studer A80 can be removed from this mastering process to reduce the cost, but it is recommended to leave this in to get the best sound.
Benefits of sending separate stems for mastering the track
This is for total control over each element, sub group (drums, synths, etc) of the song. e.g. we can work the drums to enhance them to their best within the song without it effecting a different sound and possibly changing your track and therefore apply different mastering parameters to each separate stem. Then EPM Analog Mastering make a mix down from all the processed stems back into the analog rig. This gives total control of each stem/part to get the best out of each sound and therefore the best overall sound for your music.
How to deliver your music for mastering to EPM Analog Mastering
* do not send tracks with compression or a limiter on the entire mix because it 'brick walls' the sound quality, leaving no headroom for dynamic or EQ.
* Bounce at -6db peak is best.
* leave around 15 seconds of silence at the beginning and the end of the track, or stems, before bouncing. Please keep in mind the exact same time must be left at the beginning of each stem in order to align correctly this end.
* send wav or aif files, 24 bit
Other magical stuff:
PSP Audio Xenon transparent limiter
Stanton ST.150 Turntable
Digital Conversion and Routing:
DAW / Workstation:
Sonic Studio Soundblade Workstation
Universal Audio Satellite soundcard
Plextor CD burning
EPM ANALOG MASTERING EXAMPLES: