We specialise in digital mastering and song enhancement with a highly experienced mastering team.

We work with several labels including Freestyle Records, Acid Jazz Records, Rumour Records, MTV Japan, EMI Music and Rufus Music Publishing. We produce audio master CD’s that comply with strict red book standards and embed ISRC codes and text. PQ codes will be generated for duplication.

Our mastering rates are £35 per song. £48 per song for an attended session at either our Brighton or London studio.

All formats are welcome including Vinyl, 1/4 inch tape, Minidisc, DAT, Audio CD, WAV and AIFF.  We also offer stem mastering and restoration services.
We provide production master CD’s that comply with strict red book standards. ISRC codes will be embedded and PQ codes will be provided for duplication.

What Makes a Professional Mastering Studio?

Clients of ALT Recording Studios in Brighton are always asking for recommendations for mastering studios. With so many mastering studios and mastering engineers ready to take your money, how do you define the best from the rest?

Here are 5 tips on what you should look for to achieve the best result:

1. Experience
The Mastering engineer should have worked for a minimum of 10 years – by then they would have a good idea of what sounds right and wrong within a given mix. They will have worked on many major projects, covering a multitude of different genres, so they’ll know when perform treatment and when to leave it alone. (For example) they might have worked on material from high-end producers, which could mean the work just needed a touch of eq here and there, and some level boost and therefore no hard effort. It’s important that the engineer has experience at all levels of the spectrum so that they can make even the plainest mix more dynamic.

A good mastering engineer can draw on this experience to create the correct sound for the environment it will be played in and the format it will be manufactured to. (MP3, Vinyl, CD or all 3).

2. The Correct Equipment
Good mastering engineers work within a room where they have spent many hours. They will have listened to the speakers in the same position playing a wide range of sounds, whilst manipulating EQ’s, compressors and converters they have grown to trust. They will know how a certain frequency or setup works on a mix, how much to push (and when to not push at all), to achieve the desired result.

In my experience I haven’t found any current plugins that sound as good as the real thing or any that make me want to give up using their analogue equivalents.

For this reason I’m always sceptical of any mastering house that is only using them, – I’d have 1 good analogue eq and compressor against a heap of plugins any day.

3. Feedback
As mastering can have a major effect on the finished sound of a mix it is important to choose an engineer that you feel you can work with on a one to one basis. They understand you, your music and what you are trying to achieve. They should be open to suggestions that get the perfect finish to the track.

A good mastering engineer will give you quality feedback on mix ideas, try out different sounds from various sources and will also embrace new ideas with setup around their knowledge.

They will be willing to listen to mixes before they come to the studio to make sure no time is wasted with mix recalls at a latter date. Therefore helping the smooth running of the project to run to its deadline.

4. Good ears
This doesn’t just mean they look good, but they will have the experience of working with a wide range of sounds and know exactly what to listen for. They will have spent years finely tuning their ears to hear distortion, clicks, hum etc. They will listen to the whole sound – the veneer if you like. Their ears become naturally tuned to know if a sound is bright, boomy, loose or dull and how the track moves and sits within its genre and final environment.

5. Dedication
Finally, you need an engineer that becomes part of the project and gives suggestions and advice (if needed) on the mixes. The engineer should be open to option and ideas will make changes when required and will always listen to your requirements. You don’t need a Mastering engineer that’s just seeing a pay cheque.

Overall they should have the passion, patience and drive to achieve the greatest result possible.