With over 30 years of experience mixing and mastering music, Jeff is pleased to help young artists, producers, and engineers perfect their recordings at the final stage.

In addition to traditional 2-track mastering, we are happy to offer stem mastering, encouraging clients who may be seeking total flexibility all the way through the mastering process to provide stems for recombination at our studio. Doing so includes the option to sum those stems in either the analog or digital domain, as well as make any last minute balance changes while sitting in a acoustically accurate environment. Jeff also brings his extensive experience as an educator to the table. With this process he can offer advice to up-and-coming mixers in a practical and applicable way while taking their projects to the next level.

Stem mastering: $150/hour, minimum charge $150/track, NO additional charge for attending

Unattended, traditional full mix mastering: $100/track

Mastered for iTunes is an additional $30/track

*Desert Fish Mastering is an Apple approved “Mastered for iTunes” provider.*

Mastering FAQ

What is mastering and why should I do it?

Mastering is the final step prior to manufacturing and distributing your music to the general public. It is the last stage of audio manipulation wherein the songs are made sonically consistent and competitive for today’s music market. Tools used in mastering can include hi resolution equalization, compression, and limiting to achieve the desired results and polish your mixes to market ready standards.

How should I deliver my track(s) to Desert Fish Mastering?

Files should be delivered in their highest available resolution without any up-sampling or other manipulation. Files can be delivered in person or online.

What is stem mastering, and what stems should I provide to achieve the best possible results?

Stem mastering combines the workflow and end result of mastering with the added flexibility of having elements of the mix available for precise manipulation during the mastering session. For example, being able to manipulate the low end of the kick drum(s) directly can be much more effective than only having the ability to manipulate the low end of the entire mix, the same goes for other key elements, such as vocals. In many cases, the mastering studio will be the most accurate acoustic environment the music will be played in, and this flexibility at that stage can be exploited to achieve fantastic results on an already compelling mix.

Which stems to provide depends heavily on the material and style of the recordings. Common stems are all drums, all bass instruments, all keyboard instruments, background vocals, lead vocals, and effects. Many songs may have more or less stems, and varying elements. Things to consider might be any elements for which you or your mixer have any doubts. Having them on separate stems lets you get them to sit perfectly within the mix, as a carefully designed, acoustically accurate room paired with experienced ears has the ability to reveal the correct course of action to take.

Stems should be printed as stereo(or surround) files in such a fashion that when played together, they sum to the exact same result as the 2-track(or surround) mix.

What is “Mastered for iTunes”?

Mastered for iTunes is a delivery specification used by Apple to ensure the highest quality digital encoding of your material when it’s sold from their online store. The tools and processes used are an effort to guaranty that the quality of your final masters are maintained when subjected to the digital encoding procedures used in the iTunes store.

Further details regarding “Mastered for iTunes” can be found at:

http://images.apple.com/ca/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/docs/mastered_for_itunes.pdf