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Perceived volume, creativity and new challenges for music producers

Perceived volume, creativity and new challenges for music producers   In 2024 volume normalization is the norm for Spotify, iTunes and YouTube (when “Sound Check” or equivalents are on) so one could be forgiven for imagining that mastering perceived volume is no longer a consideration. This article is a collection of technical, creative and future […]

Human mastering

Human mastering Welcome to human mastering by Barry Gardner, serious proposition analogue and ear selected digital mastering at an incredible price. No expensive and annoying subscriptions here. 1T £30.00 | 4T EP £112.00 | Album £230.00 No Tax to add. Automated services miss extremely important aspects of what human mastering actually is. I want to […]

How to mix vocals

How to mix vocals (and record) Please share this page on audio forums and social media far and wide as it contains clear and direct professional information. If you follow this information you will be well on your way to make vocals sound stunning in any music mix. Every few weeks I see a new […]

Music library mastering, sync music mastering and record label mastering

Reduced price record label mastering, sync music mastering and music library mastering making your music industry operation more profitable without sonic compromises. Fast facts: 22 years pro audio engineering experience – 12 years dedicated to mastering audio – 3 years training from BBC studio manager – 7 years as head engineer in UK’s largest audio […]

Expensive mastering may not be the best mastering

My rates are low at Safe&Sound Mastering, it is not expensive mastering, currently £30.00 for a single track and £230.00 for an album. I know you can pay €100+ for a single track as an example of expensive mastering and that is not even the Top 10 tier. Price perception is an interesting aspect relating […]

How to make a louder mix

Making a louder mix is a hot topic. I am aware that some music producers still want their music masters to be loud. This is still a reasonable request especially in the harder dance music genres. Such as D&B, Psy breaks, Dubstep, EDM, Dubstep derivatives, Trap and Psy trance. House, techno, trance, ambient, electronic synth […]

Automated Mastering

Musicians would have to have lived in a cave to not have seen the automated mastering bandwagon of recent years. Known as automated mastering. It is almost impossible to investigate mastering services and not come across these type of mastering services. As a sound engineer I have 23 years of professional audio engineering experience and […]

Mastering for streaming

Mastering for streaming services, article Updated for March 2020 : I thought it was a good time to put pen to paper so to speak and write a blog entry about mastering for streaming music in 2022 amongst other musings. Mastering for streaming covers services such as Spotify, Youtube, Soundcloud and Apple Music (iTunes with […]

Audio related PC upgrades

Audio related PC upgrades This blog entry is a little different from those I would normally post up that would have a direct relationship to recording, mixing or mastering. This one is going to be about computer replacement and hardware/software upgrades. I have commenced some computer upgrades in the studio and office and it is […]

Making loud music mixes

This is an article about loudness, making louder mixes and mixes that will go louder in mastering. Whilst volume normalization systems (which balance out the differences in volume between tracks) are being introduced across music media platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, and Youtube perceived volume continues to be a very common topic of discussion. I […]

Volume normalization and perceived volume in mastering

Volume normalization is a digital media outlets way of trying to minimize the volume differences between millions of audio uploads. Each media outlet (streaming service, digital music platform and in some cases media players) uses their own slightly different standard to manipulate volumes upwards or downwards in order to even out the difference for consumers. […]

Choosing production sound sources

Being a mastering engineer means I hear a lot of music, sometimes I can identify sound sources (or a collection/interaction of sources) that have sonic problems which cannot be resolved in the mix without complete replacement. As such I have understood the need for an entry which provides clear advice for consideration when choosing  sound […]

Mastering for radio

This topic will cover mastering for radio broadcasts and ask what a “radio ready” master is ? Mastering for radio may mean specific tweaks on the end results that may not strictly be appropriate for other purposes. The goal of mastering is to provide a master which translates well. This goal has become more complex […]

Elysia XFilter review

Elysia XFilter rack review in context of audio mastering Equalization is very important in mastering music, as such I have added another high end equalizer to the rack, extending tonal control possibilities. I present to you the Elysia XFilter rack. Elysia is a German audio electronics and software developer most well known for their high […]

Audio mastering explained

Audio mastering – a comprehensive explanation  Audio mastering is often misunderstood, however as a mastering engineer I can explain what mastering is and why it is important. First I shall start by explaining the goals of audio mastering which typically works with a stereo interleaved audio mix down file. (ideally of at least 24 bit […]

Mixing a music track

Mixing a music track is not an easy task for a beginner there are multiple concepts to understand and this article will broadly explain what will be required to produce a competent mix down. We will focus on the use of a digital audio workstation  (A sequencer such as Pro Tools, Fruity Loops, Cubase, Logic, […]

Best mastering

So you are looking for the best mastering (or best mastering plug in) For advice on choosing the best mastering read on and for the best mastering plug ins read this: This entry is for people who are unsure of exactly what factors to look for when choosing a mastering studio. There are a […]