Vinyl Mastering

$25.00 - $300.00
Vinyl Mastering

Mastering / Pre Mastering:

Vinyl's limited space means fewer tracks allow for louder recording; more tracks limit loudness options.

Vinyl mastering ensures proper loudness and high-frequency response, saving time and managing expectations.

PRE-MASTERING:

Pre-mastering is the process of getting your audio ready for the cutting stage.

Pre-mastering is a balance of frequencies, and dynamics to ensure that the audio translates well onto the physical format.

The pre-mastering engineer may apply various techniques such as dynamic range compression, equalization, and limiting to optimize the audio for vinyl cutting. They may also address any potential issues such as excessive sibilance or low-frequency rumble.

A PRE-MASTER is included for FREE with any record purchased.

(Pre-Mastering is only applied to Side A & Side B)

MASTERING:

Creation of individual masters for each song and then creating Side A/B for cutting.

Feedback on mix elements like vocal sibilance and high-frequency balance.

Assessment of stereo imaging and song order for optimal vinyl experience.

Application of processing for vinyl mastering (ex. EQ, compression).

Consultation before cutting to ensure readiness for release or test cut approval via digital version.

Vinyl mastering excludes test cuts for shipping; a single test record must be ordered after mastering approval.

High Frequency:

Adjustments for vinyl require a different approach compared to typical hard-limited "Spotify" masters, often even starting at or returning to the recording and mixing stages.

Low Frequency:

Excessive level in the very low bass can cause the record to skip. Excessive stereo information in the bass appears as vertical movement in the groove, so it's sometimes necessary to remove the stereo component of the music as well as any out of phase information in the very low frequency range. The cutting system is equipped to correct minor issues with the bass however, more severe problems will result in a record that can't be cut or that sounds very different from the source audio files provided. It's recommended to provide a vinyl premaster that already has low frequency level and stereo content that is suitable for vinyl production.

RUNNING TIMES:

Our general guideline for maximum side length is 15 minutes for a 12 inch 33 RPM record and 12 minutes for a 12 inch 45 rpm record.

LEVEL:

We cut your record at the maximum level possible within the confines of the vinyl medium. The factors determining the level are a combination of the HF and LF issues explained above, and the running time. The longer side of the record determines the level for all sides.

Preparation:

24 bit 96kHz WAV or AIFF format file is the vinyl pre-master standard. Other file resolutions are acceptable, down to CD quality audio, 16 bit 44.1kHz.

File resolution should be the highest available, but should not be converted up to a higher resolution.

MP3 audio is not a suitable source.

Source audio files should be provided as a single WAV or AIFF format file for each side, with track spacing as it is intended to appear on the record and with an accompanying PQ sheet, indicating track IDs.

Turn off all master bus processing except for essential sonic impact; remove processing used solely for loudness.

Include your "Spotify" loud master for reference.

SONG ORDER:

Inner diameter distortion refers to the degradation of sound quality as the stylus moves towards the center of a vinyl record during playback. This happens because the linear velocity decreases, affecting high-frequency detail and increasing surface noise. It's mitigated by mastering techniques and careful track sequencing.

If your songs are already mastered, Here are some OPTIONS:

FLAT CUT:

My Mastering Engineer has provided a vinyl specific EQ. Please do a ‘flat cut’.

PRE- MASTER ADJUSTMENT:

My Mastering Engineer has provided a finished premaster, but has left some adjustment to the cutting engineer’s discretion.

#1:

Please adjust the High Frequency and Low Frequency as follows:

High Frequency Options (apply only if the record is under 12 minutes / side)

Please adjust the cutting level to preserve the HF content of the premaster
as closely as possible, even if that makes the record a bit quieter.

#2:

Please adjust the HF EQ as necessary to make the record as loud as possible.
Low Frequency Options

Please adjust the cutting level as necessary to preserve the bass and the stereo image of the premaster source, even if that makes the record a bit quieter.

#3:

Please adjust the Bass, and the low-mid stereo image as necessary to make the record as loud as possible.