Mastering online

Online music mastering for all kinds of styles and budgets

Online song mastering

Mastering, whether online or offline, is the most important process after mixing, and it is essential in any music production, since it makes the difference between a professional product and an amateur one.

A good mastering engineer, will perform as a notary, a final quality control on the mix, and will solve possible technical issues, if any, will make the dynamics, equalization, balance and image adjustments that it deems necessary, and finally, will apply limitation to achieve that the song sounds good and is commercially competitive both on CD and on other streaming platforms.

Answer your questions about mastering online

What is and what is not mastering?

Mastering is the final process in any audio production, which although historically is more associated with records, today it is also applied in film, short and documentary soundtracks.

This stage is essential to surgically polish the audio, and make it sound the best possible, and is optimized for its manufacture in formats such as CD or DVD, and for its distribution in streaming on platforms such as: YouTube, iTunes, Tidal or Spotify.

In the case of an EP or album, mastering is even more essential if possible, since the engineer, in addition to getting the best out of each song, will be responsible for unifying the sound and general volume of the album, so that the listener does not notice jumps or abrupt changes of volume or equalization between the different tracks.

Differences between our mastering studio and other recording and mixing studios in Barcelona

What differentiates us as a mastering studio

  1. Our studio has specialized mastering hardware, such as the famous Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor, considered the best mastering compressor on the market, and others such as the SSL 9000 or API 2500, true industry standards. Also equalizers such as the GML 8200, the iconic equalizer created by George Massenbourg or the Crane Song HEDD 192 AD / DA converter, one of the best analog / digital converters out there.
  2. We apply the limitation in several smooth steps with hardware limiters (BetterMaker Mastering Limiter), and within the digital environment with TC 6000 and the best mastering plugins, which allows us to adapt to any musical style, from electronic music to orchestral, through Pop, Rock, Urban, House, Reggaeton, Rap, etc…
  3. Our engineers are certified by Apple to do “Mastering for iTunes”, as well as do other special mastering for Spotify, Youtube or Tidal.
  4. Currently we master at 24bits / 96Khz, but we can master at the frequency you need depending on the platforms where you are going to use the audio.
  5. Mastering can only fix certain things, it is not the miracle of Lourdes! But we will never master any material, if it is not of sufficient quality, without first informing the client, and that he can solve it with his engineer.

What we can and cannot do in a mastering

We can’t fix a mix with unbalanced instruments (*).
Nor is it a mix with severe EQ or noise issues (*).
It is impossible to fix tempo problems between instruments (*).
It is not possible to tune the voice of the soloist or soloists (*).
Nor does it apply effects, beyond reverb if a song needs it (*).
We do not manufacture CDs, mastering only polishes the audio, it does not manufacture them (**).
We will bring out the full potential of each song, and we will give you the right balance of bass, mids and treble.
We will master each song according to its style. Rock does not sound like Urban music, and each style needs different tools and types of sound.
Your songs will sound fuller, and at the same volume as the commercial songs you listen on the radio or on your CDs.
All the songs on your EP or Album will sound coherent, at the same volume, and with the same equalization, even if they are of different styles or played with different combinations of instruments. That’s what mastering exists for!

(*) If your tracks have any of these issues, we’ll let you know before mastering so you can fix them with your mixing engineer. You can also consult our online mixing services.

(**) If you need to make cds, get in touch with us and we will talk about the different options for making discs, and even how to publish them on your own.

Professional mastering rates

Indicative prices based on 3-4 minute tracks

Individual

from

59€ /Tema


  • 1 track
  • Basic Digital Mastering
  • Full Analog Mastering (+€50)
  • Format 24bits / 44.1 – 96Khz
  • Online same day delivery
  • Professional quality

EP

from

236€ /Tema


  • 4 tracks
  • Basic Digital Mastering
  • Full Analog Mastering (+160€)
  • Format 24bits / 44.1 – 96Khz
  • Online same day delivery
  • DDP o CD Factory (+100€)

Album

from

590€ /Tema


  • 10 tracks
  • Basic Digital Mastering
  • Full Analog Mastering (+409€)
  • Format 24bits / 44.1 – 96Khz
  • Online delivery in 24 hours
  • DDP o CD Factory (+100€)
Any questions?

FAQ’s

Answers to the most common doubts our clients have.

Differences between basic digital and full analog mastering?

Basic digital mastering is done only with digital plug-ins in the DAW. In this type of mastering, only the balance, the general equalization, the image are corrected and compression and limitation are applied to each track. This type of mastering can be online or offline.

The full Analog mastering is performed both with digital plugins in the DAW, and with analog equipment, essential in many musical styles. In this type of mastering, not only basic things are corrected, such as compression, eq, image and balance, but each track is analyzed in full, and more surgical improvements are made in each of its parts, which help them work better.

How and in what format do I have to send the mixes for mastering?
You can send us the mixes on a hard drive, or upload them on an FTP that you give us access to, or through a link to a cloud application such as Wetransfer, Dropbox, or whatever you use.
Send us the mixes in uncompressed formats such as WAV, AIFF, FLAC or ALAC, with a bit depth between 16bits – 24bits, and a sampling frequency between 44.1khz – 96Khz.
Export the mixes in the same resolution as the project in your DAW, and don’t upsample to send it to us for mastering. We will already do that conversion for you if necessary.
Your final volume should be between -20 and -15 LUFS, with a maximum peak at -6 dBFS.
Avoid Fades (In or Out), and eliminate compression and limitation that you may have on your master buss.
Tracks must have no clips or audio distortions, or they will be rejected.
Send us a pre-master to show us how you would like your mix to finally sound, or some other reference to other songs in your same style that you like how they sound.

How is the payment made, methods and conditions?
Depending on the number of songs to be mastered, we will ask you for an amount in advance to reserve the studio.
Payment must be made through Paypal or by bank transfer before starting the mastering.
You can cancel the work up to 24 hours before the day set for the mastering, communicating it by email, telephone, or through the contact form on the web. We will make the refund effective in the same payment method in which you have made it.

What if my mixes are not of sufficient quality?

Before starting to make the mastering we review and listen to all the received mixes. If we understand that we cannot achieve our quality standard with such material, we will tell you before we begin so that you can fix it. If you can’t or don’t want to, and finally decide not to master with us, we’ll give you your money back.

Does Koala studios do free mastering tests?

No, we do not do free trials. We understand that before entrusting a job to someone you have to be sure who you hire. But that’s what our previous works, are for, which you can consult as a reference to know how your mixes can sound if you master with us.

What’s the difference between mastering at Koala Studios or at services like LANDR?

It’s amazing how artificial intelligence can process and improve audio right now. They really do great, but robots aren’t human, and their algorithms are still far from our ears when it comes to audio.

Even using our basic mastering service with only plugins, you will be able to notice the vast difference that still separates us from artificial intelligence. Although who knows? maybe in a few years the engineers will stop mixing, and instead there will be robots with AI that mixes in minutes.

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