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Safe&sound Audio Mastering

Experienced mastering engineer Barry Gardner presents SafeandSound Mastering, an analogue audio mastering service. I use the finest analogue audio mastering equipment. I am ready to improve, enhance and optimize your music for ideal translation across music systems, streaming services and online distribution websites. I provide professional high fidelity mastering using high end professional equipment. 1T £30.00 | 4T EP £112.00 | 10-12 Track Album £230.00

Allow me to exceed your expectations.

Why choose me ?

Firstly, an enduring audio mastering client relationship has value. Therefore there is great merit in working with an audio mastering engineer as part of your sonic production team. Just some of the benefits that come with working with myself as a partnership on your music, in conclusion :

  • 23 years experience and truly mastering grade room and equipment.
  • Free mix appraisal pre-mastering if requested.
  • Specific advice based on intended purposes.
  • Consistency of sound for future releases.
  • Maximize your sonic potential.
  • Quality control of your music releases.
  • Experience, service and high end results at an affordable price.
  • Advice and therefore mix improvements if required.

Audio mastering rates no tax added (Mix appraisal inclusive when requested):

  1. Track £30.00
  2. Tracks £60.00
  3. Tracks £90.00
  4. Tracks £112.00
  5. Full album £230.00 (10-12 Tracks)

Videos explaining audio mastering and touring the studio facilities (unscripted):

As the sole audio mastering engineer I can master your music to .wav files (suitable for all loss-y compressed formats : MP3/AAC/Ogg Vorbis), Red Book CD-R and provide DDPi files (with MD5 check sum) and provide a convenient client DDP player. In addition 24 bit pre-masters, quality controlled and ready for presentation to vinyl lathe cutting engineers.

Audio mastering information in short:

Dedicated to audio mastering for 13 years.

All music mastered by Barry Gardner (no assistants or junior engineers) objective, mastering specific listening you can trust.

23 years full time professional audio engineering experience.

High end analogue and digital mastering equipment (as shown on site) Manley, PMC IB1S, Summit, Crane Song (Solaris Quantum DAC – arguably the worlds best) Digital tools from DMG Audio, UAD, Weiss, Oeksound, Tone Projects, Acustica, Official Sontec 432D9D, PIA, Nugen, Leapwing, NewFangled, Kazrog, Slate Digital, DDMF, Pulsar audio, Arturia and many others.

Highly experienced mastering engineer, authentic credits and client list. (see sidebar) 13 years solely mastering. I use precise mastering grade monitoring and room. Dedicated equipment and approach. Not just near fields and as a “bolt on” service to mixing.

Clear, detailed communication and caring customer service.

Full range, large format professional mastering reference grade monitoring (PMC IB1S) High resolution, super defined and flat to 25Hz – 36kgs each, custom stands – concrete slabs – neoprene isolated.

Audio mastering in detail:

Audio mastering is a specialist form of audio engineering which uses very carefully selected tools to adjust music tracks in sympathy to genre. Optimize the technical (translation) results, musicality, intended purposes and client goals. It requires a unique way of listening and responding to music which is often considered as mysterious by many. It is true that audio mastering is a blend of both artistic and technical skill. However, it is often thought to be esoteric and shrouded in mystery and secrecy.

My own explanation of audio mastering is that it is a synergy of numerous factors. These include long term professional audio engineering and listening experience. Objectivity of fresh and well trained ears is often under estimated. Along with an accurate, familiar and high resolution monitoring system and room. (DAC/amplification/loudspeakers/acoustics) In addition, high end analogue equipment, precise software tools and ultimately results that are greater than merely the sum of parts.

The tools and skill of audio mastering:

Once you have a foundation of unrelenting quality built into the systems of audio mastering a knowledgeable mastering engineer can respond to what is revealed in a music mix. Through exceptional monitoring. The engineer can apply the primary functions of the equipment such as equalization or dynamic adjustments. To enhance and correct perceived inadequacies.

In order to be able to do this reliably, consistently and with confidence the monitoring systems must be the best available. No compromise digital to analogue conversion, power amplification and loudspeakers in a customized and specially treated room. Ideally, as it has been in this room for 12 years the set up should not be changed so the engineer can have an absolute reference listening to thousands of music releases.


In addition, high end analogue equipment has secondary characters that are over and above the designed purposes of mere equalization and compression. These secondary characteristics relate to the euphony, excitation from valve circuits, stereo width enhancement, generation of harmonics, warmth, depth and density of the sound.

At SafeandSound Mastering the equipment is carefully chosen to impart these desirable characters which are not currently possible to emulate digitally with 100pct success. It is this chain of processing which adds improved sonic presentation over and above digital audio mastering alone.

Audio Mastering – over and above sonic presentation:

As well as the sonic aspects of mastering there is the leveling, spacing, fades and sub code data entry. Leveling of tracks during mastering is very important, therefore it could be the tracks need to remain at the same perceived volumes or need to be nuanced depending on a tracks musical density, arrangement or instrumental composition. (i.e. full band vs acoustic)

Musically sympathetic spacing on a multi-track release such as an EP or Album is very important. For example the correct spacing allows pause for reflection or the ability to enhance the musical communication that a multi song release intends. Again, fades can also have a bearing on musical effect and intent.

Sub code information can be embedded within release medium during mastering. For example this includes ISRC codes, track names, artist names. Broadcast .wav files and MP3 files can have ISRC codes inserted in specific fields (as can be the case for CD mastering) to ensure that the track has a unique identifying code.

Mastering – Clients goals and all important quality control:

Whilst tonal translation to reproduction systems remains a consistent goal a clients project goals may differ. This can be dependent on musical genre, demo purposes, commissioning rounds, library music, release for sale, use in video or film. Or if the music is destined for release and must sit with high perceived volume releases. Therefore I can take client input into account. On the other hand, I can work on my own steam.

Above all mastering is a bespoke service and a good mastering engineer will intimately understand this. Therefore I understand the need for clear communications and as such each project that passes through the studio will be treated as a unique entity. For example, in many instances 1 master will suit multiple purposes and in some instances multiple versions may best suit different goals.

Mastering includes meticulous checking of the audio for defects before it is released. Every track that is delivered is listened to by myself using high end Beyerdynamic headphones and an audiophile grade headphone amplifier.