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Fandango Recording

Mastering

Toronto mastering studio Fandango Recording provides outstanding audio mastering services for your musical projects. Mastering is the last part of the creative process that brings a musical project to its final sonic dimension. Mastering is the process of taking the source, the final mix, to a data storage device, the master, from which all the copies will be produced. Mastering takes care of the final assembly of an album, ensuring that a collection of songs will flow from start to finish, with consistency and impact, in the desired order and with the right amount of space in between songs. Fandango Recording provides mastering for CD, internet formats, vinyl, cassettes, and Masters for iTunes.

Mastering brings forward the best in the mixes; expect mastering to enhance the sound, add more depth and make the songs shine. The better the songs sound, the more records will be sold. Mastering is equally important for playing songs on the radio, on a CD, on streaming, for vinyl, for promotion and for the new formats that gained so much popularity as a result of the internet and mobile devices explosion. The mastering engineer is, if you want, your and your customers' best friend. He needs to ensure the listener loves the sound, and, in return, the listener will appreciate the artist and buys their music.

I read somewhere that Mark Twain said: “A man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client”. That is the reason you want somebody with an objective set of ears to do the mastering, because one thing is clear: there is no middle way here, at mastering you either make it or break it! There is nothing else after this process.

A good final mix speaks for itself, but this is definitely not good enough. The competition in the
music business is tough and you shouldn’t make any compromise when it comes to the quality of your song. Even a demo for promotion needs mastering. There is always a tendency to save money, but in this case it can be costly and it can compromise your chances. A/R people, agents and producers who are doing the screening of hundreds of tapes are getting tired too, and you don’t want them to concentrate to hear your music instead of listening to it; they simply won’t do it. So, unless your demo is for promotion in clubs, I advise you to master your songs and have that in mind when you plan your budget.

Things to know about mastering...

There are things you should know about mastering. Mastering will clean a mix, but there are flaws that can’t be removed. There are things you didn't notice in the mix, but you'll notice them at mastering: most of them can be corrected. The mixes can be made brighter or heavier, the stereo width can be changed and the mix can be made to sound tighter and together.

If a mix needs to be redone, it should be redone; sometimes there are problems no mastering can take care of them. That's why it is recommended to send a preliminary mix to the mastering studio and ask for the mastering engineer's opinion; he can point to problems that can be and should be fixed in the mix.

How many masters do I need...

A single master these days may not be good enough; there are different rules and recommendations for the audio masters for streaming, versus the masters for LP (vinyls). A CD master can be used for vinyl, but a separate master will sound definitely better, as each medium has its own particularities. It seems that finally the days when the loudness race was "the thing" are going away, and practices and rules to ensure a better sound are more used by the steaming services. I would advise to go and read some details about mastering on the FAQ section, then call or email us with any questions you may have.

How we do it...

Fandango Recording performs the mastering in a hybrid analog-digital manner, which allows us to cover a large range of characters and flavours, from extreme transparency to fine colours and cohesion.

When you trust us for mastering, you have to know that the room acoustics are exceptional, with a +/- 3dB vs the Bruel&Kjaer ideal frequency response curve; the main monitors are
mastering monitors Barefoot MicroMain27, however, there are four additional sets of speakers and a boombox also, for checking the masters right away.

Fandango Recording performs the mastering in a hybrid analog/digital manner using high-end and esoteric units like Thermionic Phoenix Red Mastering Compressor, Millenia NSEQ2 EQ, Chandler TG12345 Curve Bender, API 2500 compressor and 5500 EQ, Neve MBP Portico compressor/limiter, Bricasti M7 and Avalon 747SP. Our mastering plugins are the best possible used in the business: Acoustica Acqua - Magenta, Azure, Water, Amber, Ivory, Aquamarine, White, Ultramarine, Sonoris Mastering Compressor and EQ, PLParEQ, UAD Manley Massive Passive, Massenburg EQ, Brainworks digital V3 and dynamic EQ, Sonnox dynamic EQ, Limiter and De-esser, UAD Precision Multiband, EQ, Limiter and DeEsser, UAD Ampex ATR 102, Paul Frindle’s Dynamic Spectrum Mapper, DMG Equilibrium and Limitless, Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro Codec and of course the Apple utilities: Master for iTunes droplet, AURoundTripAAC AU and Audio to Wave Droplet.

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