Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I pay for mastering, I can do it myself.
  • You listen to it completely different than an objective, full-time mastering engineer does.
  • 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.
  • 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 Music?

Why choose Da Goose Music 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

Can you make digital produced music sound warm and less digital?

Nowadays a lot of mixing engineers use a computer/DAW based studio. This has a lot of advantages and possibilities but it also has one big drawback, it can sound clean because the ‘warmth’ of analog could be missing. During the mastering-proces the warmth and feel of analog is brought into your music with the best analog gear which results in warm and rich sounding music. Plugins are really good nowadays, yet nothing beats real analog.

I want it LOUD!

There ‘is’ a thing going on called ‘loudness war’. Basically this means that artists and labels want to sound as loud as possible to stand out from the rest. But you have to think about the fact there’s a big difference between sounding loud and sounding good! Loudness ALWAYS compromises dynamics and sound-quality, without 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 a bit strange at first but music WITH dynamics will sound LOUDER than heavily compressed/limited/clipped music in clubs and on the radio.

We know how to make things really LOUD if you want to but in the end good sounding music with dynamics will just sound better than just loud. it’s up to you..

Read more about loudness, right here.

Loudness Normalization

In the past loudness was measured using peak or slightly better, RMS values. But working with peak levels and RMS levels you can’t properly measure tge perceived loudness of music. That is why another system was invented based on K-weighting (LUFS), a pretty clever system based on perceived loudness. This means that the music is analyzed based on how loud it sounds perceived, not on how loud it is on RMS meters.

This changes the way we listen and enjoy our music entirely. It doesn’t matter at all how loud your music is mastered, it will always be played back at the same perceived level/volume.

This means, the end of the loudness war and it’s used everywhere.

Read more about loudness, right here.

I still want it LOUDER!

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.

A simple arrangement with just a few, but well-chosen sounds will always have more loudness potential than a big arrangement with a lot going on simultaneously. We know when your song has reached it’s limit. Pushing things beyond that limit will gradually deteriorate the sound quality causing audible distortion and squashed dynamics.

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?

We made a spotify playlist of some music we mastered, you might want to check that out to get an idea of what is possible.

Do you also do mixing?

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

What formats do you accept?

We prefer WAV/AIFF files in 24 or 32bit format. Even if the files will end up as 16bit, it is still best to deliver as 24 or 32bit files.

Data/Audio CD
Don’t use cheap CDR’s to prevent errors and use a moderate burning speed. Don’t forget to double check to see if the CD is actually working.

Even though we still have a professional DAT machine, DAT is not preferred since the tapes are too sensitive for dropouts and jitter because of differences between DAT machines.

If you are coming to the studio you can of course also bring your USB stick or external harddrive (don’t forget the PSU). Double check if it’s actually working, if the right files are there and bringing a backup is also a good idea.

Can you help me with vinyl?

Vinyl is a medium that should be handled with care. We know all in’s and out’s and so we can make a perfect master for vinyl. Please let us 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. In fact, frequencies below 250hz are not very sensitive for placement in the stereofield anyway, so it doesn’t even make sense. 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, we will take care of it for a small extra fee. Please let us 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. We 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 us about this!

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

In case you are not 100% satisfied with the result, please let us know! It’s no problem to do a re-master. For us it’s extremely important to have satisfied customers and so we will do anything to make sure you are happy with your master. Just let us 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 us 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 we can master them ‘in the same run’ with the exact same settings. If you deliver the additional versions later, so that we can not do them at the same time as the original version, we 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 we 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 to us! If you think something in your mix needs to be changed, contact us first so that we can discuss things and maybe give you some tips.

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

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

We are on the official Apple MFiT providers list, so we 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.

Can you make a DDP image?

Yes we 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. We 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-14-001-01 (country-record label-year of registration-release-track)

We 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, we kindly ask you to use this excell sheet and sent it to us before we make the final master.

How do I know what master to use?

We 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:

We have an official Gracenote partnership so as an extra service, once your CD is done, we can add all info to the Gracenote database without extra charge.

How do I know which master to use?

Depending on the types of masters you asked for and what format you delivered the mixes in, the mastered files will be named something like this. In this case let’s presume the delivered mix was in 24bit 96khz.

01 Songtitle (mastered 10-4) (24bit 96khz master, just like mix)
01 Songtitle (mastered 10-4) 1644 (16bit 44.1khz master)
01 Songtitle (mastered 10-4) MFiT (Mastered For iTunes master in 2496)
01 Songtitle (mastered 10-4) Vinyl (vinyl master in 2496)
01 Songtitle (mastered 10-4) mp3 320kbps (320kbps mp3 from high res master)
01 Songtitle (mastered 10-4) stream (dedicated 1644 master for spotify, iTunes etc.)

Do you know how to work with the standards for loudness?

We know all ins and out concerning loudness standards so yes, we can make a master following the EBU R128 or other loudness standards.
More info about EBU R128 can be found here

When and how is payment made?

We 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 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?

We will keep the original and mastered WAV files and DDP images on our hard-drives and in the cloud for at least 36 months. So if you happen to loose the files we can deliver them for you again. We will charge a small fee for resending the files.

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!