Schematic Sound Mastering

Schematic Sound is a professional audio mastering studio operated by Dan Dubois in Toronto, Canada. Dedicated to the highest  quality possible, Schematic Sound is equipped with high-end analogue and digital equipment designed specifically for mastering.

 

Clients receive the benefit of a personal touch to every project. You know exactly who is working on your music, and if you have any questions you can ask Dan directly.


Schematic Sound is an Apple Mastered for iTunes and Native Instruments STEMS authorized mastering studio.

ANALOGUE


Dangerous Music
Solid State Logic
Prism Sound Maselec
SPL

DIGITAL


FabFilter

Waves

Kazrog
HOFA

MONITORING


Focal
Coleman Audio
Lynx
ISO Acoustics

Mix vs. Master examples:

Click "Play" and then click either "Mix" or "Master" to select which version to listen to (default is Mix). If no sound plays, try refreshing the page.

 

Mixes have been roughly level matched with the masters in order to better compare differences apart from loudness.

House

Chromak - Collide

Drum & Bass

Polaris - The Light In Your Eyes

Rock

Silent Army - Translucent

Rock

All Hands on Jane - Whiskey In The Winter

Mastering Stream #1

The first Mastering Live Stream on Twitch was a big success!
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Schematic Sound Mastering

New website is live!

Keep an eye out for info and articles here.
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Mixing vs. Mastering

Though often compared, and confused, with mixing, mastering is a specialized process that requires different tools and a different approach to processing and listening by the engineer.

While mixing, the engineer will have access to each individual instrument and relatively drastic changes can be made without affecting other elements in the mix. Once all of the instruments have had their level and tone adjusted relative to each other and are happily existing together, it can be rendered to a stereo mix or pre-master.

Schematic Sound Mastering

While mastering, the engineer has access only to that final stereo mix meaning that any change, big or small, will affect every instrument in the mix in some way. Instead of single instruments, the engineer is working with frequencies and dynamics of an entire composition. For this reason mastering is generally very small and subtle adjustments, designed not to alter the overall composition of the mix but to correct acoustic and monitoring anomalies present in the entire mix.

Due to it being a corrective process, it is extremely important that mastering is done by a different engineer than who mixed it (as well as in a different room, with different monitors). This will make sure the acoustics are properly compensated for, and that the track will translate well to any environment.

What file-type should I upload?

An uncompressed stereo format such as .wav or .aiff

What sample-rate and bit-depth should I use?

Use whichever sample-rate and bit-depth settings you’ve used through out your project. For example, if you recorded and mixed at 44.1 kHz/16-bit then send that. Similarly if you mixed at 96 kHz/24-bit then that’s what you should send.

 

Please note that to get the best results from a Mastered for iTunes certified release, it’s recommended to use 24-bit and minimum 44.1 kHz sample-rate (higher preferred) right from the start in the recording stage, as well as throughout the mixing stage.

How much headroom should I leave?

As long as the output is not being clipped or limited, you’re good to go. A good rule of thumb to achieve that is aim for peaks no higher than -3dBFS.

I’ve used effects on the master channel, is that ok?

Yes and no.

 

If you have used some compression for effect (not just for volume) then leave it on. If you have done any EQ or effects for volume (limiting/clipping) please remove these before rendering and uploading.

What is Mastered for iTunes?

Mastered for iTunes is a set of guidelines put forth by Apple, allowing authorized mastering studios to create high-resolution masters designed to remain as close as possible to the original source quality after being compressed for sale in the iTunes store.

 

To recieve a valid Mastered for iTunes master, the mix must be submitted at a minimum of 44.1 kHz sample-rate and 24-bit. Higher sample-rates are preferred if the track was recorded and mixed at higher sample rates, however the 24-bit (as opposed to 16-bit) aspect is most important.

 

For more in-depth information visit the Apple website: http://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/.

What is a DDP?

A DDP ‘image’ is essentially a virtual copy of a CD master, allowing a full album master to be transferred digitally and without any potential data loss writing to CD prior to duplication. It contains all of the CD Text information, as well as ISRC codes.

 

All Schematic Sound DDP masters include a custom player for both Windows and Mac computers, allowing you to audition your master without needing to burn a CD first.

What are ISRC codes?

From the ISRC website:

 

“ISRC enables recordings to be uniquely and permanently identified. ISRC helps to avoid ambiguity and simplifies the management of rights when recordings are used across different formats, distribution channels or products. The ISRC for a recording remains a fixed point of reference when the recording is used across different services, across borders, or under different licensing deals.”

 

ISRCs are easy to register and, best of all, free. For more information and to register, visit http://isrc.ifpi.org/en/.

Can I hear a sample of your work?

There are a few examples on the main page, however because it’s not your song it can be difficult to make a fair comparison and your song may benefit from mastering in an entirely different way.

 

If you'd like a more accurate representation of my work and what it will do for you, I can master your track and provide you with a preview of it free of charge.

How long does it take?

Typical turnaround is 24 to 48 hours. In the event that a master is anticipated to take longer than 48 hours you will be informed ahead of time.

Can you make revisions?

Absolutely. I’m only human, and I'll be the first to admit I don’t always get it right on the first try. If you’re not 100% happy with your master and would like a small change, or even for it to be taken in an entirely different direction, I am happy to make the changes at no extra cost.

 

The only exception is if a different mix is required for those revisions. If a new mix is submitted, then a remaster fee of $60 CAD applies.

How do I pay?

Invoices are send by e-mail via PayPal. Payment can be made by credit card, even without a PayPal account, or directly from a bank account (this requires a PayPal account).

XYZ Studios will do it for less!

I’m not the cheapest option available, nor am I the most expensive. I’m able to keep my rates lower than many of the large mastering studios because I do everything myself but I do not, and will not, compromise on quality.

 

I consider quality to be worth paying for, however if cost is the most important factor then I encourage you to use the best option available to you in that regard.

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