Frequently Asked Questions
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To book a project, all you'd need to do is make a payment with either Paypal, credit card, debit card or a pre-paid credit card. After payment is made, the site will walk you through how to export and upload your files. Once your project is complete, I'll email you a link to the mastered WAV files. If you need me to make any revisions, just let me know. (About 95% of my mastering projects get approved on the first master though!)
When you book a project on through this website, you'll be asked what software you use to mix, and the site will display specific instructions for your recording software on how to prepare your mixes for mastering.
Generally though, the best files to send to mastering are .WAV files, peaking below -3 db, with minimal compression or limiting plugins on the master fader track.
Mixing is the process of adjusting the individual tracks/individual instruments in a mix, and audio mastering typically only deals with the stereo output of a mix. Music mastering comes after mixing and is the last creative musical process before releasing a song or album. A good mastering engineer can also make a collection of songs feel like an album, glueing them all together.
I am an Apple certified mastering engineer, and can make "Mastered For iTunes" compatible masters as well. I always follow Apple's MFiT's guidelines, even if a project isn't going to be released as "Mastered For iTunes," and I don't charge extra for this. To get a price quote on mastering, click here.
I offer mixing services from a team of amazing mix engineers. I oversee the mixing and then master the completed mixes myself once final mixes have been approved. For a free mixing and mastering price quote and for more info, check out the mixing services section of the site.
Yes I do! Mastering for vinyl is very different than mastering for digital though. For the best audio quality, ideally I should master two completely different versions. I usually do digital first masters, and then to do a brand new batch of masters that are optimized for vinyl. The vinyl masters are compressed much less, and have their bass EQ set to avoid any possibility of the needle jumping out of the groove. If you'd like to have me master two versions of your project, all you'd need to do is book two separate mastering projects, one for digital, and then another one for vinyl. I can master either the digital or the vinyl versions first, and then once approved, master the second version as well.
Yes, IF your mixing is reasonably well done. Music mastering is the final "polish" or "sheen" on a mix, but it's not a substitute for good mixing. That being said, I've worked on many CD's that have had less than stellar mixes that have turned out sounding amazing after leaving my mastering studio.
Great question! I don't post a gear list, and here's why:
I strive to operate my business with the highest level of integrity, and getting into a "gear-list war" with a the many mastering engineers who post fake gear lists isn't a battle worth fighting. If you'd like to hear what I can do for your music, please send me a song for a free mastering sample. You can't fake great music mastering, and I find doing a free mastering sample for people demonstrates the amazing quality and awesome results that I offer better than anything else. If you're curious to learn more about why I don't post my gear list, check out my interview on the "Working Class Audio Podcast."
I'm ok with lyrics that may be offensive to some people. However, I'm not okay with lyrics that promote hatred, intolerance, discrimination, or violence towards an individual or group. If your project contains lyrics that might border on that, email me and we can discuss it.
In the extremely unlikely event that you feel your masters doesn't sound amazing, I will make free mastering revisions until you're happy with my work. The only catch is that revisions must be requested within 30 days of masters being delivered. If you're ever unsatisfied with my work, please let me know, and I'll bend over backwards to make it right. (About 95% of my projects get approved on the first master though!) My goal is to keep your business for life, and I pride myself on having the best customer service in the mastering studio industry.
If you have revision requests after the 30 day window for free revisions, I charge a flat rate of $10 per mastering revision.
Yes I can, but 99% of the time, embedding is actually done by the company that sends your music to online stores and streaming platforms. Typically, I recommend using Tunecore.com or CDBaby.com for this. Both of these sites provide free ISRC codes as well.
Zipping your audio files doesn't effect their audio quality, and it makes uploading big files for online music mastering much easier. I'd recommend using ".zip" formats rather than ".rar" though.
- To create a .zip file in Mac:
Press "Command" and click each of files to select which files to zip.
- Press "Control" and click on the selected files. Choose "Create Archive" or "Compress Files".
- This creates a new file, called Archive.zip. This is the compressed file.
- Rename the Archive.zip file and upload it to me.
To create a .zip file in Windows:
- Locate your files.
- Ctrl-click on each file to select all of them.
- Right-click and choose Send To > Compressed (Zipped) folder.
- Rename the .zip file and upload it to me.
I often get hired by people who have sent a single song out for a free mastering samples from various online mastering studios. After hearing the free mastering samples from various studios, a huge percentage of people end up hiring me because of my superior audio quality, amazing customer service, and reasonable prices. I believe that if you hear what I can do for your music, there's a really good chance that you'll hire me and keep coming back for more.
As a policy, I will NEVER share, send, or let anyone listen to your music during the mastering process. Until you've given me written permission, your music is top secret. As you can see from the tons of reviews from people who work with me, I take running my business very seriously because it's the way I put food on the table for my family. I'd never risk my reputation or my business by sharing someone's music without their permission.
Currently, no, but we do occasionally open up mixing classes. If you're interested, email me and I'll let you know when our next mixing class opens up.
For mastering, any song under 5 minutes would count as one song. If a song is between 5 & 10 minutes long, I'd charge it as 2 songs. Between 10 & 15 minutes long would be 3 songs, etc. If a song is very short, I still count it as a single song.
If you have a longer song you'd like mastered, just select the appropriate number of songs on my mastering prices page.
No problem! All you'd need to do is book a "Re-mastering" project in your login. Re-mastering is 50% off if I can use the mastering settings of the original song.
Once I've started work on a song, if you need to make a last minute change, just let me know ASAP. I charge $25 for this, as I need to completely re-evaluate each new file for mastering.
- Log in and click "My Stuff" on the upper right hand corner.
- Select "My Account".
- Click "edit your password and account details".
You can change any detail you'd like for your login profile on that page.For your privacy, we'll need to keep all of our emails about your project limited to to the same email account that you have as your login.
When you go to upload files after booking a mastering project, the site will ask a few questions about "gapless" songs, and will try to convince you not have any gapless transitions on your album. The reason for this is that even in this day and age, gapless records usually don't end up playing as gapless most of the time on streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc. Typically, you'll hear an audible click, or gap between songs on those services when streaming. Going gapless is an artistic decision, so ultimately it's up to you!
If you decide that you'd still like gapless transitions, the site will walk you through sending the proper files.
Mastering Engineer Chris GrahamBefore I became a full time audio mastering engineer, I was an audio engineer, music producer and musician. Like other audio engineers, I occasionally was put in the uncomfortable position of having to master my own mixes due to an artist's budget problems. Mastering anything you've also mixed is a nightmare, but I quickly grew fascinated with the process and began acquiring specialized audio mastering equipment and software and working hard to hone my skills. I started mastering every unmastered album I could get my hands on, and after showing my producer friends the results I was achieving, I was soon being asked to master albums all the time. Eventually, more and more people began asking me to master their projects, and I grew to really look forward to the reactions I would get after sending them my work. I soon realized that I enjoyed mastering music for other people more than I had ever enjoyed producing, engineering or even playing my own music professionally. As the projects kept coming in, I decided in 2008 to devote all my efforts to providing music mastering services, and stopped accepting work as an mix engineer or producer. I had my mastering studio built, and the choice felt right in my heart. I couldn't be more pleased with where that decision has taken me. Few things give me more satisfaction than the feedback I receive from people about how excited they are that their recordings are finally "coming to life." I still occasionally find the time to get out on the road and play my own music, but I prefer to stay home with my wife & our three kids and master music for a living. Mastering is a blast and I love meeting and working with the incredible people from all over the globe that come to me for their mastering services. My family and I live just north of Columbus, Ohio. My wife and I love Jesus, hanging out with our kids, guitars, books, and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. If you'd like to get to know me before booking a project, the best way to reach me is by phone or email. Please don't hesitate to reach out! 😊
Best Reviews In The IndustryGoogle "Chris Graham Mastering reviews" and you'll see that my customer satisfaction is #1. Before you hire a mastering engineer, research their reviews. You won't find anyone with better reviews than me.
Music Mastering Services
When looking for a mastering engineer, the best thing to do is to send a song to a few different mastering studios to see who one can make your music sound the best. Hiring a stranger to master your music can be scary, but getting a sample from a few different mastering engineers before hiring them makes it a lot easier to find a someone you can trust. I’m sure you’ll find that my audio quality is amazing, and that my customer service is second to none.
Free Mastering Sample
To get a free mastering sample, send me a song and I’ll master two different samples of your song for free. Typically, I’ll master one louder, more compressed sample, and another less compressed and more open sounding sample. If you like how the samples sound, you’ll be able to purchase and download the full masters instantly, or hire me for your next project and get free mixing advice before final mastering.
Video Mix Consultations
If you’d like mixing advice before mastering, book a project and I’ll start by walking you through how to get your mixes sounding great. This can lead to huge improvements in audio quality because the better a mix sounds before mastering, the better it will sound after mastering. In addition to the video mix consultation, monthly video mixing classes and mixing services are also available from my team of mixing engineers.
Free Mastering Sample
Thanks for your interest in working with me! Create an account to upload a song, and I’ll master a sample for free and email you a link once I’m done mastering it. If I hear any issues in your mix while I’m mastering, I’ll email you to let you know.
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