FAQ

MIxing process explained
Generally speaking the Process of mixing goes like that:

You send me your Mixing attempt of your music (if available) together with stems and instructions. Also a reference song in same style may be helpful.
I do my first attempt on the mix, EQing, Compressing etc etc
Then I send the mix back to you to check and to give me a feedback
I sit again and work the mix according to your instructions. Then I send a new mix your way.
Again you listen and give me a 2nd feedback. After 2-3 feedback we usually have a ready mix.

All Mixing is done in Steinberg Nuendo software.

I charge some clients by hourly rate, which is 30 EUR. Other Mixing projects have a fixed price. All depends on the complexity of the song.
Price for mixing,145 EUR, reflects a minimum needed for a decent mix which takes around 5 hours of work according to my experience.
To be able to estimate the price for a specific song I need to know the number of individual tracks in your project and some ideas of what your want to achieve.
EQing, Gating, Panning, Compression and Leveling in the mixing process come as default procedures. If you want extra Reverbs or Delays on specific sounds please let us know.
Also vocal tuning can be done if needed, it will be accounted by time spent.

If you want some extra work on it after that then we discuss it and do more work if needed.

I prefer to get 50% prepayment from new clients until we develop our professional relations.
What is mastering?
Mastering is the final creative step in the recording process. It's about refining the sound to allow the project to realize its full potential, and optimizing the finished product for all possible environments. Our mastering engineer can make all the necessary adjustments to achieve the best possible sound for every project in the widest variety of listening environments.
What should you expect from mastering?
By the time a project gets to the mastering stage, it has already been recorded and mixed. Consequently, any adjustment to one element of the sound will affect other elements as well. For example, an adjustment to the lead vocals may also affect a horn section or guitar. Our mastering engineer spend years perfecting the art of the subtle compromises required to make these adjustments without impairing the overall sound. The end result is greatly improved sound quality and a cohesive finished product, in which each song or section of a song works with the whole to create an optimal listening experience.
In what format should I send my mixes?
24 bit .wav or .aif files on data CD or hard drive (USB or Firewire) are fine, or electronically via Sendspace or Wetransfer to our email info@mastering.lt. Files should be named accordingly with track number, title and mix version (eg: 07_The Song_vocal+1dB). Any extra takes or mixes (vocal up/bass down/solo up, etc) could come in handy, as we can edit sections if you feel the original mix has some shortfalls.

It’s generally best to leave the sample rate at your existing rate (eg: 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz) and ensure there’s no 16 bit dither on your 24 bit master buss. Additionally, with 24 bit resolution there is no need to have peak levels at maximum (0dB full scale). Mixing to peak a few dB below maximum (not simply reducing a maximized/clipped mix by a few dB) is ideal.

Always carefully listen back through your exported mixes prior to the mastering session.
Should I normalize or peak limit my music prior to mastering?
DEFINITELY NOT. Normalizing functions in computer programs actually degenerate the quality of the audio signal. If you feel you need to run a compressor on the mix buss but are unsure, do a version with it but also do another mix without it. Listen to compression switched in and out but compared at equal levels. It’s possible you may slam it too hard, or the attack or release may not be quite right. It’s very difficult to repair that kind of damage to your audio files. (Have you ever tried to repair a fractured pain of glass?) By having versions of your mixes unprocessed, we can avoid such problems. There’s no harm in sending two versions.
Will you give us feedback on our mixes before our mastering session?
Before you even submit your final mixes for mastering, we will listen to your mixes and provide you with our opinions and feedback, hopefully helping you get a better mix before mastering. We provide this service free of charge.
Do you accept examples of other artists to reference?
Absolutely. If there is another album that sounds similar to how you'd like your album to sound after it is mastered, we would definitely like to hear it. This will help us understand your creative direction and sonic preferences.
If you are providing an example, please provide us with the original CDs or with wave file ripped from the original CD. MP3s or CDs made from MP3s will not be helpful, as they do not have very good sound quality.
Should we have instrumental mixes mastered also?
We recommend that you print instrumental mixes of all of your songs with vocals. A lot of our clients have had songs placed in movies, advertisements, and use instrumentals in live performances. We will be happy to master the instrumentals for a small fee if you have them at the session.
How long does it take to master an album?
According to our experience to master a 10-12 tracks album we need 2 working days.
Can you create DDP image for CD manufacturing?
Yes, we can prepare a DDP image for your CD duplication. Price is 40 EUR
Can you master from stems?
Yes we can and do. By bringing in, say, vocals as a separate file to your instrumental or other parts that you feel need special attention, we can do what would otherwise be tried in an M/S scenario, but with better results. Mind you, the session becomes more of a pseudo-mix session and it is more costly. In fact, these types of sessions can cost three times as much as mastering stereo mixes. It’s not something typically recommended but if you have the time and budget feel free to bring in your hard drive and let’s have fun.
What are your payment terms?
Payment is required in full at the completion of all mastering sessions before masters, reference discs or other materials are released, unless otherwise arranged (eg, 50% deposit).

Preferred payment methods: Bank transfer, Paypal (3,4% surcharge), or cash.

If attending the session in person we appreciate you being on time, or, if running late, notifying us by phone. No-shows or late cancellations of less than 48 hrs notice are subject to a late fee of 25% of the quoted amount. All materials including masters and reference discs remain the property of Mastering.lt until payment is received in full.