Audio Mastering is an essential part of music production, the moment when the original source containing the final mix is transferred to a data storage device (the master). This master is then sent to a pressing plant and is the source from which all vinyl copies will be produced.
Mastering is a subjective process that consists in adding sparkle and shine to the music. It requires specific engineering and audio skills and should not be mistaken with audio mixing. Audio mixing refers to the creational process, the moment when you put multiple layers of audio together; dropping effects, adjusting fader, in a word putting the puzzle together. Mastering comes right after, think of it as an optimization process, making sure for instance that track one doesn't blow out the speakers while track two is barely audible. The mastering studio will add cohesiveness to the recording, taking actions like editing minor flaws, applying noise reduction, adjusting stereo width, adding ambience or adjusting volume to name a few.
When it comes to mastering, you either have the ‘golden touch’ or you don’t. And it is even more true for vinyl mastering. The vinyl format is much more complicated and demanding as it has additional constraints and strengths compared to a CD record. Making a 33 or 45 rpm vinyl record will require additional processing, such as dynamic range reduction for instance, in order to compensate for the limitations of this medium.
For all these reasons, we carefully choose our mastering partners. Remember that you can use your own mastering studio if you already have one, but in case you don’t here’s a list of our partners. Our aim is to work with the best, making sure that we deliver top quality sound to all the diggers and music lovers who care to work with us.
ColorSound Studio is the result of two friends’ mutual passion for music and sound. Florent and David met when they were 9 years old; and after years of producing, playing in a band and even touring together, they decided to found ColorSound in Paris 20 years ago. Their mastering studio is one of the very few mastering studios in Europe to provide real analog mastering with a true analog summing. They process each track in a Class A or an upscale gear, granting a true analog mastering chain.
With over 19,000 tracks and albums mastered since its launch, ColorSound got its first international exposure in 2010 with a 54th Grammy Awards' nomination for mix and mastering works. They also collaborate with a great deal of international artists, including the ones below.
References: Digitalism, Uffie, Mstrkrft, Kitsuné, Phoenix, Kanye West.
After graduating from the SAE institute, Mathieu Berthet bought the VPI studio in which he used to work to start his own mastering studio: he has now been working for more than ten years for an endless list of renowned artists and labels. Mastering Vinyl: MB Mastering is one of the few studios in Europe to be equipped with a Neumann VMS 80 machine that makes vinyl lacquer engraving. All cuttings are made in 24 bits, with specific audio processing for vinyl media. Mastering advice is always given before the project, and listening to live cutting in the studio is possible. Ability to half-speed engraving with an exceptional definition!
References: Ben Klock, Theo Parrish, Chinese Man, Stéphane Pompougnac, Laurent Garnier, Carl Cox, Born Bad Shop, Wax Tailor.
Located in the heart of Paris’ 9th district, Studio Martyrs is Luis Calderon’s will to offer a turnkey solution for musical production. Started in 2014, the studio provides mixing, mastering, production and recording services. As an expert sound engineer, Luis tries to combine both digital and analog technologies to deliver the best possible result for each production. Equalization, Spatialization, compression and limitation are the main treatments applied during the mastering process, with a real emphasis and focus on vinyl mastering.
References : Caravan Palace, Oxmo Puccino, Brendon Moeller, Kitsuné, Sony, Warner.