Mastering

declared sound mastering suite

My studio has a comfortable lounge (with thousands of reference vinyl, CDs and cassettes), a mastering suite and a dedicated live-room. The studio was designed and hand built from scratch over six months in an industrial mill in Leeds city centre, making use of a 14ft beautiful black oak church ceiling. The mastering suite has been meticulously designed to offer the best clinical monitoring environment, built around a stunning pair of Dunlavy speakers considered as some of the very best ever produced. Customised electrics have been professionally designed and installed for minimal interference and clean lines. The studio was built with a variety of acoustic treatments such as high density plasterboard, over 25 ton of insulation, earthwool, a three-tier floating floor, glassfibre and foam panels, acoustic rubber sheets, acoustic caulk, expanding foam, green glue.

My mastering hardware and software packages are of professional industry standard, making use of 2″ analogue tape, high spec mastering outboard, unique customised equipment and brands such as Alice, Allen & Heath, API, Drawmer, Dunlavy, Focal, Focusrite, Genelec, HH MOS-FET, Hypex NCore, Manley Labs, Mosses & Mitchell, Neve, Rogers, Sennheiser, Soundcraft, Sound Performance Labs, Tannoy, Tascam, Yamaha.

Please contact dom@declaredsound.com if you’d like to discuss your project.

Mastering Options

  • Compact Disc — DDP image (in the unlikely possibility of a pressing plant not accepting DDP, a master CDR will be provided)
  • Cassette — 16-bit/44.1k WAV files
  • Digital – 32-bit/48k WAV files as standard
    • iTunes (standard), Spotify, other online stores & distributers — 16-bit/44.1k WAV files with specially compensated headroom to avoid compression clipping by the service providers
    • Bandcamp and SoundCloud — 24-bit/44.1k WAV files with specially compensated headroom to avoid compression clipping by the service providers
  • Vinyl – DDP image or CDR from 32-bit/48k WAV
  • Music Licensing — 16-bit/48k WAV files and 320kbps MP3 for reference
  • 320kbps MP3 from 32-bit/48k WAV
  • Metadata and ISRC Codes where applicable

I specialise in full dynamic range – making the most of all those sweet curves without over compression. That said, I’m totally aware of the current trends for volume, and I’ve spent years perfecting the art of keeping the dynamic range and bringing the volume up to a level that competes with the highly compressed sausages of modern music. I’m also adept in achieving that elusive live sound that many modern electronic musicians crave. Chances are I’ll have a good idea of what you want by listening to your mix, but talk to me about the sound you’re after… I’ve been involved with rock, punk, disco, prog, techno, avant-garde experimentalism, hardcore, grindcore, East African dance music, gabba, jazz, noise, revolutionary rave folk music from countries run by dictators, you name it… I’ll know what you mean and be able to accommodate.

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Mastering – What do you get?

You’ll get a quote, £25 per track is standard, covering masters as required for digital, cassette, and CD. There is an additional fee of £50 for a vinyl master. When the quote is agreed, you’ll get an experienced, knowledgeable and passionate ear putting the finishing touches to your music in a professional custom built mastering studio. You’ll have the opportunity to suggest amendments to the draft master, and when approved you’ll receive the final mastered tracks in all the various formats required, along with an invoice with 30 days to pay.

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Recording, Mixing & Production

I also offer recording, mixing from stems and production services. This can include recording in the live-room, mixing of your tracks from stems, to more full-on production work such as taking your instrument stems and processing the sounds through analogue outboard hardware (vacuum tube EQ’s and amplifiers, re-recording sounds with ribbon and tube microphones, processing with filters, distortion, reverb, etc). Please feel free to email dom@declaredsound.com to discuss your project. So that you have an idea of what I can do, here’s an EP by Ache, a new band I recorded live in the studio recently:

Sound Design Services

As a musician, I also offer bespoke sound design for commercial applications such as video, adverts, indents, branding, social media campaigns, in-store installations, etc. Naturally, this service will very much vary depending on your individual needs and budgets. There’s more on my 20 years in music in the about section. Please contact dom@declaredsound.com for further information.

Recent Credits

Take a listen to music that I’ve mastered or recorded and produced here.

About

More about me here.

Terms and Conditions

Read my terms and conditions here.