I’m not (yet) a professional mastering engineer. If you can get past that, please read on!
I’m offering to do free mastering work for a limited time to anyone who might be interested. Free for how long? I don’t know yet and just have to see how it goes. My overall goal is to develop this into a profitable endeavor (at least one that pays for additional gear) and hopefully full time down the road, but that’ll take some time and incremental steps. To start though, I’d like to begin gaining more relevant and current experience by offering to help others which in turn helps me.
My passion, ear and experience is really for bass heavy styles of electronic music, particularly (broadly) house, techno and electro. That said, I’d be willing to give anything a try as long as it’s understood it might not be within my usual genres. I’m doing this to progress my skills, build confidence, build a portfolio and for the enjoyment. I’m really passionate about whole process and helping people achieve and realize their goals with each track.
What I can do for you:
- Be a 2nd objective set of ears and provide any feedback or suggestions
- Master a stereo mix of your track(s) providing you the final digital output of your choice (e.g. WAV, MP3, etc)
- Provide a reasonable number of edits/revisions upon request and your feedback
My goal is to help you enhance and realize your final vision in any way I can through the mastering process.
What I request in return:
- Receive credit for mastering wherever you’d normally do so (e.g. track notes, website info, Discogs, etc) whether commercially released or not
- List your track(s) under my portfolio of work using your artist name and any other relevant info
- Use brief (e.g. 30-60 second) samples of before/after results on my website and/or various social media accounts (optionally providing artist, track details and links upon request)
- Feedback from you! How am I doing?
What I’m not experienced in:
- Mastering for vinyl. I’ll provide you a master, but additional processing may be required by either someone experienced in vinyl mastering or the facilities handling your pressing.
- Mastering in the context of a full album. I only have prior experience with singles or EP’s.
- Specifically mastering for Itunes, similar services or masters that require specific formats or labeling. I can discuss and attempt, but have no prior experience.
I’m in my mid 40’s and did a good bit of engineering work from 1997-2005’ish, then took a hiatus from anything production or gear related aside from listening to music until late 2016. My own original production work was always with a collaborator/partner. My strengths were always around engineering and some mastering. That’s where I get the most enjoyment and while I still work on my own tracks solo these days my heart is still around the engineering aspects more so than my own production.
I’ve got probably somewhere around 20 production credits for 12" singles going from memory, but those were all back “in the day” and most of those aren’t available on sites like Discogs. The majority probably never sold more than few hundred copies (the initial pressing run), so they’d be difficult to track down at this point, but I have finished copies of a small number along with a couple acetates and test pressings. I’m currently working a couple projects that should see commercial release later this year.
My prior work is under the name ‘sinix’, ‘Entoptic’, ‘Entoptic Studios’ or ‘Kinesthetic’ if you wish to Google.
** Edit: I didn’t realize Discog links change (thought they were more permanent), so fixing a few broken links from last time I noted them. Also adding in some YouTube links I found.
https://www.discogs.com/Resident-Alien-Radio-Killer/release/74453 – (mostly mixing)
https://www.discogs.com/Various-Florida-Electro-Artists-EP/release/1828119 – (mixing / restoration / mastering)
https://www.discogs.com/Exzakt-Musik-Is-The-Drug/release/74559 – (remix / initial master)
Resident Alien - Radio Killer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8uQKAh3jT0
Florida Electro Artists EP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA280B86yNE
Exzakt - Musik Is The Drug (Kinesthetic’s Soul Search Mix): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gha_qkwRuLw
Excel - “Don’t Stop Now”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp_6TcKAjGk
Studio work isn’t a full time endeavor for me right now and still a side project when time allows for it. I can likely handle 2 or 3 tracks per week (in total from all parties) with turn around times taking an average of 2-3 business days. However, I may need to retain some flexibility should something unexpected arise. It typically takes me 2-3 hours per song for the initial master right now as I’m very critical of the work, listen in a few different environments (different speakers, headphones, the car, etc) and learning/tweaking my overall process and tools.
About my process:
I do my best to deliver a master that’s loud, but retains plenty of dynamics. I’m not aggressive in any overall correction, treatment or loudness. For example, any compression is usually in the 2-3db range and any final limiting no more than that as well. If you desire to have something really pushed in terms of treatment, compression or limiting, I’ll provide it to you upon request, but that’s not what I’d initially deliver on my own. I’m willing to work with you to give a result you’re happy with though.
I’m 95% ‘in the box’ right now with the only external processing being an Elektron Analog Heat which I optionally use for subtle saturation at times. My interface is a UAD Apollo and I have an extensive library of plugins from Universal Audio, Plugin Alliance, Softube, Kush, Slate, Fab Filter, Sonnox, Izotope and many (many) others. For mastering, I prefer to work in a combination of Studio One and Izotope RX (as needed for conversions). I primarily monitor on Sennheiser HD650 headphones along with a pair of inexpensive Mackie monitors. I plan to incorporate studio/reference quality monitors later this year along with an outboard EQ and stereo bus compressor in the near future. My studio room isn’t highly treated and far from ideal, but as I progress, so will the equipment and room setup. Right now, I don’t want gear or the room to hold me back from getting started working with others, learning and diving in.
Again, I can only handle probably 2-3 songs a week right now. Depending on workload, I’ll likely only accept 1-2 tracks at a time per artist to see if my work is suitable for you before taking anything additional on. This is purely at my discretion but if you’re interested, please PM me as I’d like to discuss and see if I can help you out.
Edit 3/7/18: Clarification