AS A CREATIVE STUDIO COLLABORATION, mastering is a communication process as well as a technical one: the best results are achieved when we know the goals and the comparative or aesthetic context of your project. The mastering process is expedited when you work with your engineer before your session to discuss the creative goals, the technical details and incoming format, and the planned destination formats for the master.
Airshow is also an audio resource outside of your actual session. Your mastering engineer can help evaluate mixes-in-progress prior to a mastering session or assist in quality checking manufactured product such as vinyl test pressings.
We encourage an open dialog throughout a project to ensure we meet or exceed your expectations.
What You Provide
Often, mastering projects are scheduled on a tight deadline. To avoid delays or additional shipping costs, please review these notes to be sure all of your project elements are complete. You may download and fill out our Mastering Information Sheet to submit project details to your mastering engineer.
Media: Airshow can work with virtually any media, analog or digital. Analog tape machines (¼”, ½”, or 1”) as well as digital workstations capable of any resolution are available. Please specify the delivery format when scheduling your project.
Material is easily transferred electronically to and from Airshow using our server. The Mastering Information Sheet shows all the information we will need from you during the course of working together on your project. You’ll see we need a log with titles and timings, as well as production, editing, and sequencing instructions; project title, artist, catalog number, and your contact information. If your masters should include ISRC and/or UPC codes, or CD Text, please furnish those as well. If you are creating an enhanced CD with audio and data, please call. If you are releasing some or all of the recording on vinyl, please call.
Point of Reference: Providing a point of reference for your mastering engineer can illuminate your goals for the project. Your thoughts about the mixes and what you hope for from the master are welcome.
Aesthetic: If there are recordings that you consider the aesthetic peer of your project, share them with us. If we know what we’re aiming for, we’ll get there more efficiently.
Aural: If your reference listening environment is a boombox, your personal headphones, your favorite nearfields, or your car stereo, you’re invited to bring it to your session. If it’s another listening room, listen to your reference copy in that setting before you consider the mastering complete.
What We Provide
Each project will need a Master Parts Package tailored to the release format(s) appropriate to your project. This includes a reference copy (a CD or FTP uploaded files), a quality-checked master (PMCD, DDP, audio data disc, etc.), and a safety copy and project archive kept at Airshow.
Please review the reference. We wait for final approval before preparing the master. If revisions are required, they are billed at the engineer’s hourly rate. Once you have approved the mastering, please anticipate a day for us to make the master and quality check it before shipping. Do not open and play a master.
Please note: electronic-only releases, or masters delivered to the plant electronically, still need a parts package as they require the same attention to detail as a CD project.
We have written about the master parts order and what masters you may need for your professional archive and your immediate release plans. Ordering multiple parts before we have archived your project will save engineer time and corresponding charges. Please take the time to discuss your release plans with your mastering engineer or your Airshow studio manager.