“Perfect! It’s a record.”submit
Mastering for musicians on a budget.
Backthird Audio is a professional tracking and mixing studio. So what happens when your recording is done and it’s time for post-production?
You’ve got two choices. You can take your project to a dedicated mastering studio, get top-of-the-line results – and pay $500-800 for your album. Or you can let us master your music during studio downtime for less than half that cost. Send us your unmastered mixes and submit payment over the web; we’ll send them back mastered. Sound big and spend little. You don’t even have to live in the Chicago area.
Our mastering rates:
- EP Rate: 1-5 songs – $35/song
- Album Rate: 6 songs or more – $25/song
- Free trial: Send us your first song and we’ll send you a sample of our mastered version. If you don’t like it, you don’t pay.
Here are some samples of our mastering work.
The first half was how the original track sounded when sent to us by our clients, the last half is how the track sounded after mastering.
What is mastering?
Ever seen a wall without paint? It’s a jumble of screw heads, drywall, mud and tape. All the pieces are there, and it stands up fine – but it looks like a bunch of pieces instead of one consistent whole.
When we master, we paint that wall. We make your song sound like one consistent whole – and we match its sound to any other songs that will be on the same CD. Without mastering, the music just sounds raw and unfinished.
The specific steps in mastering include adjusting level and frequency balance, compressing for volume control and processing for warmth and clarity. The specifics depend on what you send us to work with – but the end result is usually louder, crisper and more pleasing to the ear.
How do I master at Backthird Audio?
Upload your tracks, preferably as stereo .wav or .aiff files in the highest resolution available. We prefer 24bit/48k or 16bit/44.1k. Please avoid sending mp3's if possible as they are compressed with lower quality sound and your music deserves better! You’ll be asked to pay online by credit card. We’ll master your music and send you a link to download the final, high-quality files within 10-14 days.
Want a free sample? Use our trial form to submit a single track at no upfront charge. We’ll master it and put a sample on the Web for you to listen to. If you’re happy with the result, you can pay for the track and we’ll send you the high-quality file – or you can submit additional songs for us to master.
Why would I master at a recording studio instead of a mastering studio?
Our recording and mixing services are for serious projects that need professional sound. Our mastering services are for low-budget projects that still need to sound polished. Our engineers master during studio downtime, which keeps the cost low.
- You do not need mastering if: Your recording is a “work track” – something to play for friends, family and the people you make music with but not to be shared with the public or pitched professionally.
- You should master at Backthird Audio if: You intend to play your music for other professionals, license it for commercials and independent film or sell it to the public. You do not expect to sell more than 1,000 CDs or make more than $5,000 in licensing fees.
- You should master at a dedicated mastering studio if: Your music will be licensed for a major motion picture, national ad campaign or mass-distributed DVD, or you expect to sell more than 1,000 CDs. The money you will make justifies the additional investment.
It’s often best to have more than one engineer work on your project. If you record with Backthird Audio, we can master your tracks here with a different engineer or refer you to a dedicated mastering studio, depending on your project’s needs.submit