FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I pay for mastering, I can do it myself.
  • A mastering-engineer has a pair of fresh, trained and objective ears. You are too closely involved and so biased
  • A mastering-engineer mastered thousands of songs and has the knowledge, experience and skills.
  • A mastering-studio uses the best dedicated hardware and software and knows how to correctly use it.
  • A mastering-studio uses a calibrated, full range monitoring system in a dedicated room that will bring out the tiniest little detail.
  • A mastering-engineer gives you really usefull feedback on your mix.
  • A mastering-engineer knows how to deal with all technical delivery aspects.
  • Doing mastering yourself is a bit like cutting your own hair. Have a go, try for yourself and see what the result will be.

Sure you can ‘master’ it yourself or use some ‘automated’ mastering service, but it will not be even close to what a professional mastering studio can do.
There is simply no substitute for an experienced, full-time mastering engineer in a dedicated mastering studio!

You only have one chance for a first impression. Make 100% sure that you nail that first impression!

Why choose Da Goose Mastering?

Why choose Da Goose Mastering for your project?

  • Highly experienced Mastering Engineer
  • Proven, real world references
  • Topnotch acoustics and facility
  • Custom-built or modified equipment
  • Fast turnaround times
  • Competitive rates
  • Easy online ordering
  • MFiT certified engineer
  • Proven, constant quality
  • Friendly, professional and relaxed communication
  • Eco-friendly studio running on solar-power
  • Best espresso or cappuccino you ever had!
Someone else can do it cheaper

You very much get what you pay for these days. With the advent of the internet, and the ease of access to plug-ins, there has been a growth in the number of online ‘mastering facilities’. Equipment lists can be deceptive, so check who they have worked with before. Is it anyone you have heard of? Anyone can tweak a track and make it louder with some pluginns on a set of nearfield monitors, but very few artists would hand over their album to an engineer without a decent reputation.

I believe that our prices are very competetive and definitively cheaper than a lot of big-time studio’s.

How do I prepare my music for mastering?

I have some guidelines for preparing your music for mastering. Click on the link below for a PDF file explaining everything.
DGM Preparation guidelines

I want it LOUD!

There is/(was?) a thing called ‘loudness war’. In short it means that artists and labels want to sound as loud as possible to ‘stand out from the rest’. According to label/A&R managers, artists etc, you will sell more music if you make it louder. But please ask yourself, WILL you actually sell more when it’s louder? One pretty good example of a great selling record NOT participating in the loudness war is Daft Punk – RAM.

Loudness ALWAYS compromises sound-quality. Without some dynamics your music will sound flat and lifeless. It may sound loud and impressive at first, but will it still sound good after a few minutes? It might also sound strange at first, but music WITH a bit of dynamics will sound LOUDER than heavily compressed/limited/clipped/squashed music.

Also keep in mind that each song has its own loudness potential. The final loudness of a master is not only determined by the mastering process but is a matter of arrangement, production, recording and mix quality

I know how to make things really LOUD if you still want to, but in the end good sounding music, with the right amount of dynamics will always win. It’s up to you..

Read more about loudness, right here.

I need my masters NOW!

It’s possible to do same day delivery mastering. I will charge € 50,- per track with a maximum of 2 tracks. Please contact me first to discuss the options.

Can I hear some of your work?

I made a spotify playlist of some music we mastered, you might want to check that out to hear some of my work.

Do you also do mixing?

No, i’m a mastering-engineer and so I don’t do mixing. On the other hand, if you need a really good mixing-engineer for your project feel free to contact me. I have some really great mixing-engineers in my direct lines who are willing to help you out with a great mix. After that mix is done, I will take care of that great sounding master.

Can you help me with vinyl?

Vinyl is a medium that should be handled with care. I know all in’s and out’s and so I can make a perfect master for vinyl. Please let me know in advance that the mastering is for vinyl!

Should I treat my mixes differently for vinyl?
In most cases mixes will be fine for a release on vinyl. However, there are some things to keep in mind. First of all, if there are excessive phase differences in the low frequencies, this will be problematic, because the needle could be lifted from the groove and could cause skipping. It’s best to keep all bass frequencies mono. Also keep in mind that excessive high and loud frequencies are not really a good thing for vinyl. Because of this, a cutting-engineer will probably use a high frequency limiter to get rid of these loud peaks in the highs. This could result in a dull/dark sounding vinyl cut. We know when that could happen and we will act on this.

Most of the times a master for CD or digital release is not suitable for vinyl. If you want a dedicated master for vinyl, I will take care of it for a small extra fee. Please let me know in advance if you need a vinyl master as well.

Times and RPM’s
A loud sounding record (for DJíng) on 33RPM can be approximately 13 minutes long and about 10 minutes on 45RPM on a standard 12inch record.

When you are releasing a full length album it matters a bit less how loud it is and so you can get away with a little less loud cut. In this case you can have approximately 20 minutes  per side on 33RPM. This also depends a bit on how the mixes are done. I can give you an idea of how much can be cut on vinyl when we hear your music. So don’t be afraid to contact me about this!

I'm not happy with the result, what now?

In case you are not 100% satisfied with the result, please let me know! It’s no problem to do a re-master. For me it’s extremely important to have satisfied customers and so I will do anything to make sure you are happy with your master. Just let me know what you think needs an improvement like; ‘the high frequencies are a bit too loud’ or ‘the bass-drum should come out a bit more’ and we will fix it until you are happy (fair use policy).

Please inform me within 5 working-days after we have delivered the master.

I also need a master of a radio-edit, what now?

Additional versions like a radio-edit, instrumental etc of the exact same mix will be charged at 15 euro per extra version. These additional versions have to be delivered together with the original version, so that I can master them ‘in the same run’ with the exact same settings. If you deliver the additional versions later, so that I can not do them at the same time as the original version, I will charge 25 euro per extra version. This is because everything (hardware settings, software, opening/saving files) has to be setup again which takes quite some extra time.

Mastering is great, my mix is not, now what?

In case you like the mastering but you would like to change the mix yourself after the mastering, or you found a mistake, no problem. But I have to charge you for that. The reason is that it’s not just a matter of opening the new file, press some buttons and done. All analog settings have to be done again, real-time rendering has to be done again, quality check, saving, uploading etc. And that is only when the ‘settings’ can remain the same as the previous master! It takes quite a lot of extra time and effort which we need to charge to you. To avoid this, check, check, double check your mix before you send it! If you think something in your mix needs to be changed, contact me first so that we can discuss things and maybe give you some tips.

Please inform me within 5 working-days after i have delivered the master.

Can you make a MFiT 'Mastered For iTunes' compliant master?

I am on the official Apple MFiT providers list (as one of the first in the Netherlands actually), so I can deliver a true MFiT compliant master.

MFiT is not a format, but it will get your music in the highest possible quality on iTunes. Your music will become an AAC+ compressed audio-file once converted from the original mastered WAV file. Because of this conversion it’s possible to get digital clipping because of ISP’s (InterSample Peaks). This is something that of course you want to avoid. With the use of dedicated tools we know how to avoid this and we can listen to the actual AAC+ codec in real-time. Uploading to iTunes should be done in at least 24bit 44.1khz.

This is a link to the official apple PDF with all details about MFiT: mastered for itunes.

This is a link to a list of distributors that support MFiT: MFiT Partners

Can you make a DDP image?

Yes I can! Not only is DDP easier and faster to transfer your masters to the CD-plant, but it will also eliminate errors that might sometimes occur with physical PMCD’s. I also have a customized DDP player for customer reference/playback waiting for you.

Can you handle ISRC codes and CD-text?

If your music is going to be sold on iTunes, you need ISRC codes. If your music is being played on the radio, ISRC is an advantage for identification purposes.
The full code consists of the items below, each song will be assigned a unique ISRC:
NL-ABC-18-001-01 (country-record label-year of registration-release-track)

I can also embed ISRC codes to WAV and MP3 files. For more info on ISRC check out:
PDF Handbook ISRC English
PDF Handboek ISRC Nederlands
ISRC Resources English

In case you want a master CD/DDP with CD-text, ISRC codes and UPC/EAN, I kindly ask you to use this excell sheet and sent it before I make the final master.

How do I know what master to use?

I made a small PDF which explains which master to use for which medium. You can download it here.

How can I get my CD-text to work with things like iTunes?

CD-text is different than the tags you will see in iTunes or when ripping a CD. If you want iTunes and similar to show the correct title and track names automatically, you need to submit your CD to the Gracenote or FreeDB database. You can read more about how to do that by following the links below:
Gracenote
FreeDB

Can you do a EBU R128 compliant master?

I know all ins and out concerning the EBU R128 loudness standards so yes, I can make a EBU R128 compliant master.
More info about EBU R128 can be found here

When and how is payment made?

I support Paypal, iDeal, Sofort banking, bank-transfer and cash.

When the mastering is done you will receive an e-invoice with all payment and bank/paypal details. Invoices should be payed stating the invoice-number within 2 weeks after the invoicedate.
In case of singles mastering you will have to pay in advance and only Paypal, iDeal, Bancontact , Creditcard and Sofort payments are accepted through our online ordering system. Foreign customers also have to pay in advance.

All prices are excluding 21% BTW.

Do you keep backups of the files?

I will keep backups of  the WAV files and DDP images on my hard-drives and in the cloud for at least 36 months. So if you happen to loose the files I can deliver them for you again. I will charge a small fee for resending the files depending on the situation. But always keep in mind, Da Goose Mastering is not responsible for lost masters. I also make use of a data security system by Secureme2 so all your data is in safe hands.

At what temperature is the espresso machine set?

Right now the PID controller is set to 101 degrees celsius which is something like 97 degrees at the bottom of the boiler. But of course the temperature depends on the quality of beans, how the grain is and how bitter or sour you want your espresso. We can change the temperature at the push of a button so feel free to ask for a different temperature!