More details about my Mastering service / by Arttu Silvast

"Mastering is taking your mix to the next level."

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Mastering is polishing. That being said, a final version of a track is very dependent on the mix. This is especially true when it comes to loudness and overall gain. If something is wrong with the mix or if the mix is too squashed with compressors, it is very hard to fix in the mastering stage. 

I think proper mastering forms from the following key factors: 

1) Setting up gain and loudness

I'm not a very big fan of (too) loud audio. In modern music it's very common for gain and loudness to step over the dynamics. However, I fully understand that in today's music business, tracks have to be loud to be competitive. Since most music is being published on digital platforms like Spotify, YouTube, Itunes etc. it is well known those services will balance all audio and loudness to a certain level: for example in Spotify and YouTube it's around -14 LUFS. That is the loudness level I'm using, but, just to be clear, that will not tell if the track is loud or not. Loudness and gain are very dependent on how the mix is made. 

2) Optimizing sonic elements

This stage of mastering is a question taste more than anything else. It is the phase where I set up the amount of bass and high-ends. Usually, both of them also need some balancing. I can also decide if the audio needs some stereo enhancements, saturation or tape emulation. All of the latter is dependent on the reference tracks (hopefully) provided by you. 

3) Scaleability 

In my honest opinion, I think this is the most important phase of mastering. Today, so much music is being listened to on earbuds, laptops and mobile phone speakers so that it is crucial that the tracks elements will be heard clearly on every device. That is also one of the biggest challenges of mastering. Very often the best results are achieved by NOT over-enchanting any frequency ranges, especially the bass. It is also my experience, that a more dynamic track will sound better on a small speaker or a mobile device. 

How does it work? 

Before we get started it is mandatory that I receive your tracks in the most high-quality format: FLAC, WAV or AIFF in the minimum quality of 16-bit and 44100hz. 

In addition, I prefer using a cloud service for the file transfer. I'm familiar with DropboxGoogle DriveOneDrive or iCloud.

If you also applied for my mixing service, you can ignore that latter. 

After this, we can continue with the mixing service, that includes the following steps:  

1) Briefing

This is where we discuss and decide what kind of sound we're aiming for: this can be done over a Skype call or Email or however you prefer to do it. 

2) First commenting round

This is done after I've sent you my first version of your master. Is something too loud or too quiet, is the mix going in the right direction and so on?

3) Second commenting round

This is where I've done the requested fixes, and I will send you a new version to verify that you are satisfied. 

4) The final product

As for the final product, I will send you max three different versions of your master. You can decide for yourself what versions they are, but usually, they are for example instrumental, a radio mix and a "more bass" mix. 

Pricing

My pricing model is pretty simple: if you're going for five tracks, you'll get one track mixed for free. If you want me to master ten tracks, you'll get two tracks mixed for free. After ten tracks, we can discuss for a customised offer.

  • 20 USD for 1 track

  • 80 USD for 5 tracks

  • 160 USD for 10 tracks

I'm using PayPal to invoice my services. You do not need to have or create a new PayPal account for successful transactions. I can provide the ordered service after receiving the payment.

Both my mixing and mastering services have a 100% Money-back Guarantee: If you are not satisfied with the results, I will refund your money, no questions asked. 

Tools

Excluding my monitor speakers, my audio interface and my DA converter, I master only digitally or inside the box so to say. I have an acoustic treated room (pyramid studios) at my home which is currently located in Bangkok Thailand. 

Being a victim of plugin marketing for several years, I've only discovered that it's not that much about the tools you have, but how you make the best of them; most of the digital products that make a difference are EQ's, Compressors and Reverbs. I work mainly with Slate Digital and Waves plugins. 


I got seriously into mastering around 2015. This was a natural move from being a producer and a composer; mastering is a vital part of producing music, especially in large multitrack projects. In 2018 I started an online mastering (and mixing) service to provide mastering to other artists and bands over the internet. 


This is where you can send me tracks that you would like your mix to sound like.
Please add a link to your Soundcloud, YouTube, Bandcamp etc. profile where I can get to know your music better. If you don't have an online profile, you can just leave this blank.
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Here you can tell a bit more about your band or project or send me a personal message.

If you have any additional questions about my services or products, don't hesitate to send me a message to arttu@arttusilvast.com or by using the contact form