MASTERING

ART MEETS MANUFACTURING

Mastering, in its essence, is a quality control process that bridges the artistic world and the manufacturing world. A mastering engineer combines aesthetics with a knowledge of deliverable formats (such as CD, streaming services, and vinyl, for example). Communication, efficiency, and artistic nuance are perhaps the most important tools a mastering engineer has - besides their own ears!

We deliver digital masters destined for:

Streaming/digital distribution

CD

Cassette

And of course, we also provide vinyl mastering.

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RATES

Single Song:

● $125/Song (Ready for Streaming)

Multiple Songs:

● $85/Song (Ready for Streaming)

$25/Song Add-Ons:

● Alt Mixes (Radio, Instrumental, Clean Versions, etc.)

●  Record Mixes To Tape (Also Known As "Analog Anywhere")

Master Lacquers:

● 12" = $200/Side

● 7"= $125/Side

Reference Lacquers:

● 12" = $150/Side

● 7" = $100/Side

Digital Production Masters:

● Digital Distribution and Streaming Master (5 songs or more): $75

● CD Master (DDP): $75

Vinyl Cutting Masters:

● 12” = $100/side*

● 7”/10” = $50/side*

*FREE if we also cut the master lacquers. Rates vary if mastering from the original source mixes - please contact us for more information.

READY TO TRY IT?

Send us your files!

GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW

For whatever format(s) you are releasing your music on, there are some general guidelines on the information we need before we start working:

Track titles, order of tracks, artist name, and album name

What deliverables (masters for CD duplication, streaming services, etc.) you are planning to release

ISRCs (see more information here)

While we can work with pretty much any sample rate or bit-depth, 24-bit is preferred over 16-bit if possible (native rate, not converted to 24-bit)

When delivering tape, please include alignment tones on the tape

Side breaks if destined for vinyl

If you have instrumental or alternative versions please deliver them with the original mixes if possible. It allows us to process all the songs in the same session. For instrumental versions, we will also deliver a 48kHz/24-bit set appropriate for film/licensing

If you're ready to send us files to begin the mastering process, please do so at this link!

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MORE INFORMATION

When mastering for vinyl, we take into consideration the unique properties of the medium and provide the most accurate transfer to disc from whatever format we are provided with. In a historical context, “mastering” describes the various tweaks needed to provide the highest quality level of deliverable.

If we are lucky enough to master your files before we cut them, this often provides the best transfer. Working with the audio from stage one of the mastering process allows us to be familiar with your music and optimize the audio for the medium. That being said, if you choose to have your work mastered elsewhere we are more than capable of providing an accurate transfer to our lacquer masters (this is a called a “flat cut”). 

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For unattended mastering, we will start with providing you with two “reference” tracks out of all the songs you need mastered. If you have a preference for which two we start with, let us know. We’ll work with those two songs and get them how you like them before working on the rest of the album - we can use them as a rough “guide” for the rest of the tracks.  

For attended mastering, we’ll work through the whole album with you and then you can evaluate the masters in listening environments you are familiar with.

The “full reference” will be an encrypted DDP (Disc Description Protocol, the Redbook CD audio format) player which allows you to see track titles, names, etc. as well as hear spacings and transitions between songs.

When you approve the digital mastering, we’ll provide you with appropriate deliverables for each format. The next step, if needed, will be preparation for vinyl.

Don’t hesitate to provide us with more information about the sound you’re looking for - mastering engineers have to get to know your music intimately in a short period of time, so the more relevant background we get, the better.

THINKING ABOUT A VINYL RELEASE?

Learn more about the process!

MASTERING CLIENTS

MEET OUR TEAM

The mastering engineers “back in the day” were transfer engineers whose main task was to transfer the analog tape used as a recording medium onto the lacquer masters used for vinyl record pressing. While mastering has developed an artistic process all its own, the goal of staying true to the original music while being aware of the benefits/limitations/etc. for various formats still holds accurate.  

Our goal as mastering engineers is to make a collection of songs sound whole, as consistent as possible, across all mediums. This includes dynamic range adjustments, coloration from various analog gear, and plugin emulation (transformers, tubes, etc.), as well as level matching, EQ, and noise removal.

Any adjustments made should enhance, not detract from, the final product. That being said, just like any creative process, input and feedback from the client ultimately determines the direction we take!

Bobbi Giel

Head Mastering Engineer
bobbi@welcometo1979.com 

Bobbi Giel is a mastering engineer based out of Nashville, TN. She made the move to Nashville in October 2017 and spent four years at Georgetown Masters under the direction of Chief Mastering Engineer Andrew Mendelson before joining the team at Welcome to 1979.

Bobbi began her career at University of Hartford’s The Hartt School where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Production and Technology with a concentration in Classical Piano and a minor in Business Administration. Following graduation in 2015 she spent two years working at various recording and post-production studios in New York City including MSR Studios (now Sound on Sound Studios in Montclair, New Jersey), the new Atlantic Studios at Atlantic Records, and LVLY Studios.

In addition to mastering, Bobbi is a member of the Audio Engineering Society and a member of the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy. In 2016 she was also featured on Humans of New York, a popular photo blog and book of street portraits and interviews collected on the streets of New York City.

Josh Sebek

Mastering Engineer
joshsebek@gmail.com 

Josh Sebek is a mastering engineer based out of Nashville, TN. Originally from Canada, he made the move to Nashville in February 2022 from Boston, MA to find a home at Welcome to 1979.

Josh began his career in audio at Berklee College of Music where he graduated summa cum laude majoring in Music Production and Engineering with a minor in Post Production For Film and TV. During his time there he discovered a love for mastering completely by chance and never looked back. For him, mastering encompasses both the artistic and the technical side of audio in perfect harmony.

In addition to mastering, Josh is a devotee of all things analog – from tape machines to vintage gear and beyond. His love for analog led him to a deep interest in the vinyl format at a young age. As a result, he is intent on being involved in the vinyl industry from concept to turntable.