Mastering

Toronto mastering studio Fandango Recording provides outstanding audio mastering services for your musical projects. Mastering is the last creative process that brings a musical project to its final sonic dimension. Mastering is the process of taking the source, the final mix, to a data storage device, the master, from which all the copies will be produced. Mastering takes care of the final assembly of an album, ensuring that a collection of songs will flow from start to finish, with consistency and impact, in the desired order and with the right amount of space in between songs.

Mastering brings forward the best in the mixes; expect mastering to enhance the sound, add more depth and make the songs shine. The better the songs sound, the more records will be sold. Mastering is equally important for playing songs on the radio, on a CD, for promotion and for the new formats that gained so much popularity as a result of the internet explosion. The mastering engineer is, if you want, yours and your customers best friend. He needs to ensure the listener loves the sound, and, in return, the listener will appreciate the artist and buys his music. I read somwhere that Mark Twain said: “ A man who represents himself in court  has a fool for a client”. That is the reason you want somebody with an objective set of ears to do the mastering, because one thing is clear: there is no middle way here, at mastering you either make it or break it! There is nothing else after this process!

Albums mastered at Fandango Recording

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A good final mix speaks for itself, but this is definitely not good enough anymore. The competition in the music business is tough and you shouldn’t make any compromise when it comes to the quality of your song. Even a demo for promotion needs mastering. There is always a tendency to save money, but in this case it can be costly and it can compromise your chances. A/R people, agents and producers who are doing the screening of hundreds of tapes are getting tired too, and you don’t want them to concentrate to hear your music instead of listening to it; they simply won’t do it. So, unless your demo is for promotion in clubs, I advise you to go for mastering and have that in mind when you plan your budget.

MP3 files are very popular and they are a fantastic marketing tool and directly influence your sales; their problem is the inherent sonic compromise and loss in audio quality. More and more acts are paying attention now to the quality of mp3 and understand that these files can be improved sonically through mastering the same way the regular songs are mastered.  Apple, in their effort to control the sales of music for different platforms came with the HD ACC format which allows the customer to play the music at the highest resolution that his player can do it (iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc). You need to know how your song will sound on each one of them, if you want to sell your songs.

The vinyl LP is coming back; in fact, sales are up in the last couple of years, and in 2015 the sales surpassed youtube music, Spotify and Soundcloud combined sales! When you release a vinyl, the mastering should be done accordingly, the preparation and the guiding rules are a bit different than for the digital formats. Yes, you can send your master CD to the printing house for making the lacquer vinyl, but that's not the best idea. The process of cutting the "lacquer" with the sapphire tip has to meet some special requirements.

There are things you should know about mastering. Mastering will clean a mix, but there are flaws that can’t be removed. There are things you didn't notice in the mix, but you'll notice them at mastering: most of them can be corrected. The mixes can be made brighter or heavier, the stereo width can be changed and the mix can be made to sound tighter and together. If a mix needs to be redone, it should be redone; no mastering can take care of that. It is recommended to send a preliminary mix to the mastering studio and ask the mastering engineer opinion; he can point to some problems that can be fixed in the mix.

Fandango Recording Toronto provides high resolution audio mastering for CD, mp3, vinyl and Mastered for iTunes. The room acoustics are excellent, and the main monitors are Barefoot MicroMain27 (there are three additional sets of speakers and a boombox also, for checking the masters right away). Fandango Recording performs the mastering in a hybrid analog digital manner, which allows us to cover a large range of characters and flavours, from extreme transparency to fine colors and cohesion. 

This is the reason we choose carefully our mastering analog equipment: Thermionic Phoenix Red Mastering Compressor, Millenia NSEQ2 EQ, Chandler TG12345 Curve Bender, API 2500 compressor and 5500 EQ, Neve MBP Portico compressor/limiter, Bricasti M7 and Avalon 747SP, and our mastering plugins: Sonoris Mastering Compressor and EQ, PlParEQ, UAD Manley Massive Passive, Massenburg EQ, Brainworks digital V3 and dynamic EQ, Sonnox EQ, Limiter and De-esser,  UAD Precision Multiband, EQ, Limiter and DeEsser, UAD Ampex ATR 102, Paul Frindle’s Dynamic Spectrum Mapper, DMG Equilibrium, Waves L2 and Multiband, Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro Codec and of course the Apple utilities: Master for iTunes droplet, AURoundTripAAC AU and Audio to Wave Droplet.

The last chapter of “The Musician Guide To Recording” – Mastering - goes into all the aspects of the mastering process, including how to properly prepare the audio material for mastering.

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