Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the Frequently Asked Questions. If this FAQ doesn't answer your questions, please let me know and I will gladly answer that question for you.

Why choose Da Goose Mastering?
  • Over 20 years of experience.
  • Full-time mastering engineer
  • Proven work and always expanding client list.
  • Dedicated mastering studio.
  • Mastering-grade B&W monitoring in acoustically perfectioned room
  • The best selection of dedicated mastering hardware and software
  • Ecofriendly studio running on solarpower since 2012
  • The best espresso, cappucino or coffee you ever had! 🙂
  • listen for yourself

"Mastering is the final step before your music is released to the world. I take that very seriously."

How do I prepare my music for mastering?
 
  • Mixed down stereo Wav or AIF files in 24bit or higher. No mp3 or other lossy format.
  • Make filenames as short as possible without becoming confusing. 01 Yellow sugar v2.3.wav
  • Your mixes should have a decent level without exceeding 0 dBfs (digital clipping)
  • Don’t use limiters on your master-bus. If you use it to make things louder, remove it!
  • Make sure your starts and ends are OK, so no missing attack or reverbtail
  • Quality check: after bouncing, always listen to the complete track from beginning till end!

I made a dedicated page with way more info on how to prepare your music for mastering, check it out here.

Please read this information carefully and please always double check your mixes by actual listening to it before sending it out.

What is the turnaround time

This depends on a few things. First off all, an album with 15 tracks for cd, vinyl and download will obviously take way longer then just a single track. Second of all, it depends on how busy my schedule is. But useually, a single or EP with a few tracks can be done within 48 hours.

It’s also possible to have same day delivery mastering at a small extra fee. Please contact me first if same day delivery mastering can be done!

Is it possible to attend a mastering-session?

I’m sorry to say that it’s not possible to attend a mastering-session any more. I will explain why I stopped doing attended sessions. I have synesthesia, which means I feel, see, taste, experience music and sound, not just by ear. I make use of this synesthesia during mastering and because of that, the experience drives me in a certain direction to get to the point where things ‘fall into place’. When someone attends the mastering session, I will be distracted and the synesthesia experience will be a lot less. This means I need to listen to it more ‘technically’ and way less by experiencing it, which makes it harder for me to get things in the direction that I want it to. Simply said, it will NOT make your master any better when attending the session.

For albums it’s sometimes a good idea to come to the studio, but mostly for final tweaks, listen to the final masters together or for making the sequence/transistions of the album.

Can you do stem mastering?

With stem mastering individual audio tracks (stems) are grouped together for independent control and sound processing. Sometimes stem mastering can be a lifesaver,  when for instance there are problems with the vocals and for some reason, it can not be fixed in the mix. On the other hand, if your mix is good or just need a few small tweaks, it’s not necessary to work withs stems. It will not make your master better. I will let you know then with feedback on what to change in the mix. The maximum amount of stems I will work with is 5.

Most of the times stem-mastering is not needed and will not make your master better. 

Can I listen to some of your work?

Sure! Go ahead and listen to the music in this Spotify playlist. This is a small selection of music that I mastered, but it will give you a good idea. I don’t believe in before/after examples myself because the master will probably be louder then the rough mix and so it will not give you the real picture.

How much does it cost?
For some reason  I get this question quite often. You can check the mastering prices on the .. well... prices page 🙂
How and when do I pay?

Payments should be done upfront.

I prefer the use of the online order system for regular mastering. That way you can place the actual order and take care of the payment right away using various payment options like paypal, iDeal, creditcard, sofort and many other. In case of an album or specific wishes that will not fit the online order system, please provide me with all name, adress, vat details etc. You will receive an agreed upon invoice and after the payment is take care of I will start mastering.

Can you do a free test-mastering?

I'm sorry, but I don't do any free test-mastering. I will explain why I decided to stop doing that quite some time ago.

With a test-master, it will be a one shot master without any revisions or adjustments. With a regular mastering I will do revisions untill you are 100% happy with the result. Also when we first start working together, it's sometimes searching for the right sound/feel. I might decide to do 2 versions of a first master to start with. To me a test-master feels like 'a lucky shot'. I believe in long-term collaboration. 

Besides that, I think, and hope that my portfolio will speak for itself. You can even listen to a random selection of some music I mastered in this Spotify playlist.

If you want an album mastered, but you are not 100% sure if i'm the right person for your project, you can always decide to let me work on one track for the regular 1 track fee. We will settle prices for the rest of the album.

I don’t like the master, what now?

It could happen that for some reason the master does not sound as you expected. This could be a different vision on the music or you just want it to sound differently. Don’t worry, I will fix that! For me it’s important that you love the master, so please let me know and I will take care of it free of charge (fair use policy). Please provide me with as much info as possible and within 14 days after the initial masters.

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

It could happen that in some kind of way you missed out on something in the mix and of course you now hear that back in the master. You are responsible for the mix you deliver and you should always double check your mixes by actual listening to it before sending it out. Because of the analog mastering, it’s not just a matter of open the new file, click bounce and done. Everything has to be set up again (hardware doesn’t have a save button) and needs to be re-recorded, saved, quality checked etcetera. And that is when the same settings can be used again, a new mix will probably also need some adjustments. All in all, pretty time consuming.

Depending on the situation I will charge extra for that. Please contact me and we will discuss the solution.

ISRC, UPC/EAN

I  get quite a lot of questions about ISRC codes and UPC/EAN codes. To make things more clear I made a dedicated page with info on how to get codes and how to use them. You can find the info right here.

I want it LOUD!

Even though more and more people realize that squashing music is not the way to go, every now and then I have to explain the consequences of overly loud masters. That is why I decided to make a dedicated page about loudness in music.  I hope you find it useful.

I need Vinyl ready masters

As a vinyl freak (I collect vinyl and turntables for over 35 years) I know my way around vinyl. Even though I don’t cut vinyl masters/lacquers myself, I know exactly how the whole process works and I know how to make masters that will translate great on vinyl.

Vinyl is a delicate medium and not all masters are suitable for cutting/pressing to vinyl. Masters with limiting and/or clipping will not work great for vinyl. Also masters with a lot of sibbilance or out of phase low frequencies will be problematic or even impossible to cut. I can make dedicated masters that will work great for vinyl cutting, but I need to know in advance that you will also release on vinyl so that I can make those ‘vinyl ready’ masters.

Testpressing
Vinyl is a delicate and 'living' medium and you can never 100% predict how it will translate to vinyl. It's a combination of the masters, who is the cutting-engineer, what lathe does he/she use, how was the plating done, how is the pressing, quality of the vinyl, a lot of factors count. That's why I always advice on having a test-pressing to avoid unpleasent surprises. Besides that, it's always fun to have a test-pressing and have that first magical moment on hearing your music played back from vinyl.

Not sure if your turntable setup is correct for judging a test-pressing? Send me a copy and I will take the time to do that for you on a calibrated turntable with various industry standard cartridges.

Maximum running-time
There is a maximum of audio which can be cut to vinyl and even though they are just rough numbers, they will give you some guidelines to keep in mind.

12 inch @ 33RPM: Optimal 16 to 20 minutes, max 25 minutes
12 inch @ 45RPM: Optimal 6 to 12 minutes, max 15 minutes

I will also make one long hi-res WAV file per side so that all transistions will be exactly like you want them to be once pressed to vinyl.

 

I need official Apple Digital Masters

Da Goose Mastering is a certified Apple Digital Masters provider (formerly know as Mastered For iTunes) so please ask me if you need Apple Digital Masters. ADM masters are free of charge when provided stand-alone, I charge a small extra fee when provided next to regular masters.  Read more about Apple Digital Masters here.

I lost my masters, please help!

All masters that I do are backed-up in various ways. It’s backed-up to a raid5 NAS system which is synced once a day to a second NAS with RAID in a different location. Next to that, once a day everything will be pushed into the cloud on a EU based cloudserver. Once a year I make backups to 2 seperate external HDD drives which are stored in a safe place. Never trust one backup system.

I get quite a lot requests to upload masters again because people don’t backup and loose their files.. Even though I’m not, I feel responsible for that and I don’t charge it but in exchange, I want people to donate money to The Ocean Cleanup or another good course.

Da Goose Mastering is an approved ADM studio

Approved Apple Digital Masters provider

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