Mastering for Digital Formats and CD

Mike Marsh Mastering prides itself as a world renowned digital mastering studio second to none. Using the purest analogue and digital signal paths coupled with some of the worlds’ best quality A-D and D-A converters you can be rest assured that we will take your project to the next level of sonic excellence.

 

Mike Marsh has been mastering for digital formats since they became popular in the 1980s. Initially for Compact Disc and DVD Audio and now for the ever-increasing digital download format.

 

Initially, the digital formats were considered secondary to the dominant vinyl format at the time. Things have changed dramatically, and although vinyl still has a niche market, and is experiencing something of a comeback, carrying music digitally has now become the norm.

 

Through the natural progression of digital audio, the way mastering takes place for the digital formats has also changed since its early inception. The main difference is the volume at which we are all working at and that which the listener has come to expect.

 

The loudness issue and the so called volume wars are something you could write an encyclopaedia about, but the truth is we are now faced with a situation that is going to be very difficult to reverse.

 

Here, at Mike Marsh Mastering, we will treat your music with respect and the sensitivity it deserves. Of course, we will be striving to continue mastering music in the way people demand to listen but that does not mean your product should suffer.


Many producers, engineers and avid music listeners ask Mike how on earth he manages to achieve such a full, loud, dynamic and punchy sound, contemporary with today’s listening demands without over squashing and brick-wall-compressing the material.

 

Mike’s answer will be that whilst working he continues to apply the basic fundamentals of audio and sound engineering:

“You can engineer something to sound loud without squashing it to bits. It's all about presenting the right frequencies at the right pressure – actually something that should initially be taking place during recording and mixing but so often isn’t!”

 

Whether you're looking to have tracks mastered by a full-blown rock band, an electronic dance music outfit, a jazz band or a string quartet, Mike Marsh Mastering will find the right level for you.


Factory ready Compact Disc masters can be supplied with ISRC Codes and UPC/EAN Codes embedded in either the RED BOOK CDR PMCD Format or in DDPi Format.

 

Check with the manufacturer of your choice to find out which is their preferred method of Compact Disc Master for production and manufacture.

 

We also offer the addition of CD TEXT data to be included in your factory-ready master for production. It must be stressed that you double check the spelling of everything you submit to us for CD TEXT and that all track titles, including any punctation are correct, as mistakes cannot be rectified once a master has left Mike Marsh Mastering for production.

 

Mike Marsh Mastering recommends that you listen to a first-generation audio CDR or verified audio data files before committing to a compact disc or factory production run.

 

If you're manufacturing physical product, such as CD / DVD, you should verify that you're happy with the sound of your mastered product and that there are no drop-outs or digital glitches. You should also pay attention to issues like gaps between tracks and any edits or fadeouts that were required. Also check the Start ID Points to verify that no intros are clipped. Be sure that, in the case of cross-fades, where the music is continuous through the End ID of one track through the Start ID of the next track that the ID point is satisfactory but be aware that different CD Players read the track ID point information slightly differently.

 

Please be sure to check the paperwork we supply with your reference CDR in order to verify that submitted track titles and ISRC codes have been entered correctly.

 

Mike Marsh Mastering cannot be held responsible for any sonic or technical issues once a CD Master has been approved and has left the studio for despatch to a client or for production at the factory