Drum & Bass Mastering....the dark art...digital v analogue


New Member
Okay so depending on your level of skill, knowledge, seriousness you may know a lot or a little about mastering. Ever wondered why your final digital product sounds smaller than the CD or wav you bought on i-tunes? A lot of that has to do with mastering. Analogue mastering in particular. You see in the analogue spectrum you can achieve a lot more natural headroom. allowing you to actually clip your record without it distorting effectively. Thus enabling more power, more control and overall more depth and quality to your mixes. However great the digital field is, analogue provides the warmth and tone of real sound. Mastering is quite often thought as something that can be very expensive. This is often true and it is difficult to know which people to use. I would recommend the main things you should look at are the companies track record. Find out who they have worked for in the past. Most good mastering and mixing houses will offer examples of A/B before and after audio so you can see the difference a good mix and master can make. This is something that's important to look at when working out the best person to deal with. Unfortunately there are a lot of people that say they master stuff when infact all they do is mix it and then add a maximizer to the final product and push the levels up a bit. I'm afraid that's really not mastering, it's just someone who is fobbing you off! A true master with analogue uses very expensive quality gear. Most studios do not have this equipment so make sure there is some good high end equipment. a look at the companies clients will often help here. That reassurance that an artist you admire has used the company in the past is a good recommendation.

It would be great for everyone to discuss there views on mastering. I work for Audio Animals, a mastering house based in London. We have a label that I help run and so far had some great success in the charts. this has largely I believe been down to the issue of quality. That warm sound makes a real difference.