Source: Online Mastering
The KJAMM Way
- We discuss how you hear your mixes, what’s possible and find references
- We agree a fixed fee
- We draft and review until you’re happy to sign-off
Fixed Fee, High Quality Masters – Check & Change
Your bill won’t increase. The fee we agree includes whatever you need e.g. CD standard 4416 Broadcast wavs, 4424 Mastered for iTunes, 9624 Hi-Def, CDR master, DDP etc. High quality 320 kb/s mp3s are included free. It’s possible to price this way because lots of drafts are rare. Usually with regular clients, it takes 1 or 2 drafts. If we need more, I’ll absorb the extra cost. Also with fixed fee online mastering you can tweak the mix and we rerun the master. It’s by far the best solution to a buried vocal, or a hi-hat that would slice scalps if we got the right air around everything else. Just allow plenty of time. Your masters need space to breathe while you make sure. Remember, I won’t charge for work you don’t like and don’t use. Standard etiquette.
The best place to check your masters is systems you know well. It’s pointless showboating with great sounding monitors, only for it to sound pants when you drop it later in a club. I’ve been there… as the artist… back at a big Soho mastering house in the 90s. Impressive looking kit but no referencing .. he must have golden ears right? Cognitive dissonance sent me on a Confucian path of mystic hearing enlightenment. Luckily years later the journey of a thousand miles stopped off at a joint in Notts, where I stumbled into the comedy Kung-Fu Panda mirror :
Shheeeet – That big mastering house guy was a blagger …or he didn’t care!
Lesson learnt, I then remastered it well.
Caveat Emptor – Spend Your Money Wisely
So yes, sorry… there’s no magic secret. Mastering takes ability, discipline, years of experience .. and actually giving a s**t. Oh and you will need some decent kit and monitors. Also, maybe you ought to think twice about paying someone to master until they can really mix. It’s not a stand-alone skill, it’s 360 immersion that counts. And good luck with the automated services. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be really good at mastering when we figure out the stochastic algorithms for the meaning of life.
Nah duckeh. Dem Qbase computah da shiz, but dem Slartibartfast mice ting dunnit alredeh
Knew the 3 years of AI PhD research would come in one day.
Experience Gets Great Results – Gear Choice Is Only The Start
You won’t find a kit list for KJAMM. I don’t carry endorsements. Any kit praised here will be down to hard experience. Excellent equipment is crucial, but in a post-digital maze of amazing emulations and dross DSP, gear choice and workflow is my IP. What gets consistent results in this highly technical area is sheer experience. It’s a privilege to step into the world of your mix. It takes empathy and an impressionistic ability to relate that musical space to frequency, dynamics and harmonic envelopes. Remember, music doesn’t take our breath because it was once 48 bit fixed or 32 bit float. So let’s leave the teflon coated transit-series anoraks on the peg for the après-ski. This is art. Science just gives us tools. It’s what you do with them that helps electrify senses or soothe souls…