CD Mastering Services at Vestman Mastering

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  Mastering  Q&A

Q) Is there a difference between Vestman Mastering and Bernie Grundman Mastering?

There are differences and similarities! We both have different but similar backgrounds, experience, equipment... we definitely have different monitors... and a different rate. There are similarities and differences in our methods too. You may find that we're like the hot new kid on the block - perhaps more aggressive in some areas, perhaps just as conservative in others.

Key advantage: Our lower rate allows us to do more creative things that you might bypass in another studio.... such as HD Separation Mastering - the ultimate mastering solution. Here's why it sounds better.

Is it a technical difference or reputation difference?

Both. The real question is "Is there a sonic difference?" While every project is unique and every engineer has their own approach, you'll find our results are competitive or better than anyone anywhere.  We beat other studios in "shoot-outs" quite often (including the multi Grammy-filled ones)!

While talent is the main ingredient in any studio, the right gear definitely helps. We both use 24 bit high-end converters, discrete-style electronics, we both have over 30 years of experience, broad musical tastes, and we both know how our monitor systems translate into the real world. Those similarities are key.

You could ask the question "Is there a difference between Bernie Grundman Mastering and Marcussen Mastering (or any other great mastering house)?" and the answer would be the same. There would be differences and similarities. If the talent, the background, the experience, and the monitor knowledge is about equal, the result will be equal in quality - with differences and similarities in taste and style.  It's all about references and preferences. 

Record companies ask the same questions you've asked (and they ask it all the time). To answer these questions, they simply have one or two or three places master the same project (it helps that they can afford it). Then they simply pick the one they like the best.

Would you be less involved with us, or more, creatively speaking?

In some cases, the more expensive mastering engineers won't go to the creative detail we will. Plus other engineers won't sit with you through the entire session. They'll listen to your songs, mark down the eq settings, and then pass your job onto an assistant who may or may not assemble your tracks with you present. Sometimes other mastering engineers will send you back to remix because they can't help you more using traditional mastering.  Most of the time, we really will not send you home with a "do it over" slip because the Separations format allows us to work wonders on your project.  If you don't have the time for a possible remix, we seriously recommend taking a little extra time to make Separations, and then you're covered.

Will you master just one song so we can get an idea of your sound?

We can do a no-obligation demo for you (Click here to upload files and send us your info) or we can just go ahead and master one song. It's important to note that every song in an album will have an influence on the other songs.  A "sweet spot" develops as we're mastering more songs, and so one song may give you a good picture, but possibly not the entire picture.  Very often the commercial CD you hear from record label artists have been mastered and revised several times before being considered "done." We are similar in that your goals and the actual mixes themselves will "meet" at a point during the mastering process. 

Here is a Sonic Solutions "Edit Decision List" originally published on this site in 1998. This is from Juice Newton's "American Girl" CD mastering session. HD Separation Mastering is far far  more potent than this example, but we've left it up on line just for the fun of seeing some creative work from our past.

John Vestman Mastering audio edits example

Warner Brothers Web Concert Series - Sting
WB Concert Series
Sting, Chili Peppers
Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills
Fly Miracle Project
Chaka Khan - Fly Miracle Project
Chaka Khan
Fly Miracle Project
Baby Face
Baby Face
Fly Miracle Project
Brazil's A cappella BR6
Brazil's BR6
Arthur Adams
Arthur Adams
Blues legend

See client response about CD's we've mastered

Info about compression
Info about cutting a hot cd
Before-after waveform display

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