Mastering is the refined technique, where the finer elements of raw sound recordings and deficiencies from the mixing process are corrected. It is also applied to tracks to make them a sufficient volume and minimise individual differences, for instance when they are released for retail as an album, EP or single.
The music industry is currently in a recession, and many smaller underground electronic labels try to make ends meet by cutting costs, which is understandable, especially with the vast majority of larger mastering studios charging hundreds of dollars, euro’s or pounds for sometimes poor quality masters. This unfortunately has resulted in an absence of in-house mastering with 90% of labels, which in turn means that there is a huge difference in sound quality between labels & artists.
Rob Small is a well-respected figure within the dance music community, with years of experience under his belt. As a dj and producer, he has toured all over the world alongside the best in the industry, and has produced and remixed over 70 successful releases of his own, not to mention countless material for others. He currently masters for some of the finest House & Techno labels in the world, such as Jamie Anderson’s ‘Artform’ label (UK), Monique Musique (CAN), Tom Budden’s ‘ALiVE Recordings’ (UK), Elevation Recordings (IRE), 3am Recordings, Ricky Ryan’s ‘Sick Watona’ label (ESP), Strom Recordings (NL), Blockhead (USA), Modern Playground (NL), Variante Music (DE), and literally hundreds more respected labels and artists. His masters go on to be played by the biggest names in the scene, at the biggest festivals and clubs that the world has to offer.
Here at Rob Small Mastering, we are currently focusing on the costs and expenses that digital record labels have at the moment. We are trying to be as competitive as possible with our prices and fee’s without compromising quality, thus making it more affordable for smaller artists and labels to achieve a professional sound and industry standard quality that works within a tight budget.
We run an affordable analog & digital mastering solution that caters primarily for electronic music. We use a combination of high-end analog mastering equipment with the highest quality software to achieve a clean, warm analog sound that most studios would charge in excess of £40 per track for. We concentrate on stereo width, definition, sound character, mixing, and bringing out the finer elements in a mix, rather than just making your records sound unnecessarily loud and over compressed - like most mastering engineers do at the moment.
Past & present clients
Livio & Roby
Under The Shade:
Social Disco Club
Other various artists include:
O&A (Jamie Anderson & Louis Osbourne)
Him Self Her
Pig & Dan
Stereo Master - single track £15.00
*You deliver the song as one mixed down audio track.
Stereo Master - 4 to 12 tracks = £10.00 per track
*You deliver between 4 to 12 tracks and we offer a discount of 33% on the mastering. Perfect for Large EP's or albums.
Vinyl Master - 1 track £25.00
*We prepare the mastering for vinyl pressing by eliminating harmful frequencies that effect the vinyl cutting and treat the low end & phase correction.
Vinyl Master - 4 tracks £80.00
*An overall discount of 22% on your vinyl mastering. Great for double sided EP's.
DJ set correction & mastering - £50.00
*You deliver your recorded DJ set and we do the rest.
Stem Master £50.00
*You deliver the song as 8 or less individual audio tracks, usually a separate track for each instrument.
Analog Mixdown + Master: single track £125.00
*You deliver the song completely in individual audio tracks, usually a separate track for each instrument/drum sound. We will mix your track down with our outboard analog equipment and use group compression & mixing.
MP3 Conversion - £1 per track
*We convert the master to MP3 for you.
Soundcloud/Widget Player Preview - £2.50 per track
*We create a small, 3-minute preview of your master that fades in & fades out so you can use it on your social networking sites without the fear of someone ripping it and stealing it for their own usage. This service is a must for most established artists and labels.
*We do not add VAT to our fees – even better for you!!
In order for us to get the best master possible, we require just a few simple things from you:
• All tracks to be delivered in WAV or AIF format, with a sample rate of 44.1Khz or higher, and a bit depth of 16, or 24 (24 preferred). NO DITHERING.
• Important: premasters are to be sent without any compression, eq, or limiting plugs on the master channel prior to exporting/bouncing the track from your DAW. Please leave at least -3dB of headroom volume on your master channel when you export/bounce down your premaster. Heavy limiting will result in less headroom for mastering. Peaks cut off by limiting can never be restored in the mastering process thus affecting output quality greatly.
• Please make sure that you’re completely 100% happy with your mixdown before you send your track to be mastered. If your kicks are too loud, or your hats are too high, then the mastering will enhance this. PLEASE make sure your mixdowns are done to the best of your ability and that you’re satisfied before sending as we still require payment if you’re not happy with the mixdown or you hear something in the mix that you don’t like post mastering.
- Full Auralex Acoustically Treated Studio
- Pro Tools HD
- Ableton Live
- Logic Pro 9
- Sonnox Mastering & Restoration Suite
- Brainworx Mastering Suite
- NI Komplete Bundle
- SPL Mastering Suite
- Abbey Road Mastering Suite
- Izotope Mastering & Restoration Suite
- Waves Mastering Collection
- SSL X-Logic Master Compressor
- SSL Duende
- TL Audio 5021 Analog Tube Compressor
- T.C Electronics Triple-C Outboard Multiband Compressor Unit
- Lexicon MPX 200 Effects Unit
- Precise K-System Metering
- Various Korg/Roland/Lexicon Outboard Gear
- Behringer Composer MDX 2000
- Alesis 3630 Compressor (The Legendary Unit Used By Daft Punk)
- CME Bitstream 3X
- Focal CMS 65 Professional Near Field Monitors
- Focal CMS Sub
- RME Fireface 800
- Tascam M-2600 32 Channel Mixing Desk
- KRK Rokit 8 G2’s
- Dynaudio Acoustics BM5A’s
- Mackie Big Knob
- Pioneer HDJ 2000’s
- Highly Skilled Mastering Engineer
Rob Small Mastering’s tracks