Having all details of your project handled with a personalized approach by a single experienced industry professional is an advantage not easily conveyed to first time artists. The bottom line is that we truly care how your project turns out and will go to extreme lengths to make sure you get the superior results you expect and deserve… guaranteed!
Most professional mastering systems generally process their bits internally using no deeper than 24-bit (fixed) or 32-bit (float) math, leaving no digital headroom for complicated processing and EQ. Our systems go beyond the norm and use 48-bit (fixed) calculations. This level of precision allows more processing to take place with less damage to your delicate masters. Sure, you could work with less precision, but your expectations must be lowered accordingly. Ardenwood offers this sonic precision at a bargain when compared with the best world class facilities.
Additionally, all processors at Ardenwood Sound & DVD produce 24-bit output words whenever possible. If we apply digital signal processing (DSP) to your tape, we endeavor to keep your tape in the 24-bit domain until the final CD-R master. When properly applied, 24-bit processes maintain a degree of warmth and space that is hard to believe. The end result is exceptional sounding, ear-friendly recordings!
Last but not least is something discussed elsewhere on this page. The experience of the mastering engineer is THE most important ingredient in making your decision. Read on in the following What to look for in a Mastering Engineer section for information on our chief engineers qualifications.
What to look for in a Mastering Engineer
The mastering engineer must have a musical as well as technical background, good ears, an excellent sense of pitch, sophisticated digital processing tools and the knowledge to use them correctly. He is sensitive to the needs of the producer and the artist and treats each project or CD with individual attention. He must also understand what will happen to the CD when it hits the radio, car or home stereo system. Just because the engineer who recorded your music did a good job, does not mean he can master it equally as well.
The engineer should be willing to explain what it is he will do in the mastering process.
There are many mastering studios that claim they have some magic technology that is not available anywhere else. Although it would be nice if there was some black magic box that would make your music sound incredible, this is simply not true. The quality of mastering is determined by only two things: the quality of the mastering studio and the experience and expertise of the mastering engineer.
Founded in 1997 by producer/engineer Mark Calice, a Grammy-nominated industry veteran with over 25 years of audio and video experience, Ardenwood Sound & DVD leverages Marks extensive background to transform your music into the best it can sound… satisfaction guaranteed (without additional charges)!
What media types do you accept?
Currently, we can accept various forms of music, video and data on disc, tape and cartridge formats. To see the complete list of media types and audio/video formats we accept, [click here].
Lets sum up
Mastering is a creative process, both the last step in the making of an album and the first step in the manufacturing process. Its purpose is to maximize the musicality inherent in your mix. Once that has been done to the artists, labels and/or mastering engineers satisfaction, we take off our creative hats, put on our manufacturing hats, and use our knowledge, skill and craft to make the best low-BLER transfer possible for CD or cassette manufacturing.
Mastering finishes your mix in terms of its sonic quality and balance. Part of that is simple assembly, leveling, and turning a group of songs into an album. Part of it is more subtle. The question we ask is: Can this mix be improved at all in terms of excitement, clarity, unity, emotion or whatever?
Mastering should bring things together and provide the final focus for the project. It should maintain the integrity of what the artist has done, while striving to make sure every song sounds its best and attempt to make the entire album sound unified. For example, track one may be a little brighter and have more low-end than track two, making the second track sound weak in comparison. The mastering engineers task is to even everything out so it flows better.