1. What file format do you prefer?
Either .wav or .aif files are acceptable. I generally insist on 24 bit files, but if 16 bit is all that is available, then I can work with that. 44.1 KHz is the standard sample rate but 88.2khz or 96khz is better, but I can work with rates up to 192khz.
2. What if I live in a different city?
I often work remotely with clients, and always set up and ftp account so that we can swap files and you can be an integral part of the process. I often do this with clients who live in the same city because it’s still easier to swap files this way.
3. How can I transfer files to you?
I usually setup every client with an FTP account. File Transfer Protocol (ftp) is a reliable method of transferring large files online. Every client is given their own unique account on my server to upload + access their tracks as I’m working on their project. In order to login, you’ll need to download a program. There are several free ones available.
4. Can we sit in on the mastering session?
I prefer to work sporadically on projects because it allows me to keep my ears fresh. When working this way, the bands listen to the tracks remotely, and are charged a project rate. They will listen to the first track I master, and then submit revisions upon hearing the final mastered record.
However, if you prefer to sit in on a session, this can be arranged at an hourly rate vs. a per-project rate.
5. What are the advantages of a per-project rate vs. an hourly rate?
Charging a flat fee allows both the band and the engineer to work without the pressure of the clock. No project is complete until both parties are satisfied with the results. This is a win-win situation because bands will never sign off on a project until they are completely satisfied and the engineer is given the time to do it correctly, without being rushed.
6. If this is the case, then why do you offer an hourly rate?
The hourly rate is the traditional model for mastering houses, and some bands prefer to work this way, so I am willing to accommodate your specific needs.
7. What are your per-project vs. hourly rates?
I generally charge $550 – $750 for LP for unscheduled mastering projects. It costs less for an EP. There is no fixed rate for mastering because each project has different requirements. I also offer attended sessions at a flate rate of $85 per hour. Please contact me at info (at) spleenlessmastering (dot) com for more information.
8. How long does it usually take for you to master a record?
This often depends on how quickly a band submits revisions for their record. Generally, a record takes 10 to 14 days to complete, but rush projects can be completed in 1-2 days.
9. What are ISRC Codes?
ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code. The ISRC is a unique international identifier for the songs (tracks) on your album and functions as a digital “fingerprint” for each track. You should register for an ISRC Code for your songs. Unlike a Universal Product Code (UPC), the ISRC is tied to the track and not the carrier of the track (CD, cassette, etc). The ISRC is usually inserted onto the CD master during the CD mastering session. For more detailed information go to the ISRC website.
10. Do you work with digital or analog equipment?
I use the benefits of both analog and digital to be able to get most of each track. But in the end it’s all about what sounds the best, not whether it’s digital or analog… my equipement list is here.