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OT--Looking for a Deal on Mastering


Doug Robinson

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Hi, all--

 

My friend and one of the finest guitarists in Mexico, Ken Basman, passed away unexpectedly in June. It was a huge loss on every level. My friends and I are working to keep his wonderful studio going, with his oldest son at the helm.

 

He and I had what you would call chemistry. Together we performed many times, doing duets where we improvised simultaneously (with me mostly on acoustic piano, organ on 2 tracks). For those of you who have tried this, you know that it can often turn into a trainwreck but not for DuoTunes, the name of our little project.

 

We had been working on a CD for some time, and had 7 tracks completed at the time of his death. Luckily I had been casually--a little TOO casually--archiving our live shows, mostly recorded by audience members. This gives the upcoming CD a well-rounded perspective about what he was capable of as a player and also what we did together, even though there are some clicks and pops and the occasional audience member whispering next to the camera (my favorite moment is towards the beginning or What Is This Thing Called Love? is you hear a woman whisper "Excuse me" and a second later you hear an obviously perturbed guy respond "Seriously?")

 

ANYWAYthe tracks are as good sounding as I can get them--several were mp3s, burned onto a CDR, the masters having disappeared a while back. I'm ok with that--it's a historical document and we aren't going to be adding to the library so let's use what we have. The music is really something.

 

I say all this to sayI need to master this 12 song compilation so I can burn CDs to give to his friends and family and to send out tony friends at JAZZIZ and other magazines to get reviews. It's too big of a burden on me financially right now to go the normal route--I've had projects mastered by high-priced cats and have loved the results but I can't do that right now.

 

Does anyone know of a ME with a big heart and some time on his or her hands who might be open to doing a discounted job? if so, please give me a name and contact info. Many thanks.

 

And please believe me--I feel strongly that people who are worth it should get paid. This is just me trying to make an unhappy situation come out a little less horrible.

 

If you'd like to sample the album, just go to dougrobinson.com and select the 'Ken Basman/Doug Robinson" page. I've got 8 unmastered tracks there with full length previews.

Doug Robinson

www.dougrobinson.com

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While it may not give you the results of "the best of the best" mastering engineers, I've had good luck using the online algorithm-based services from LANDR ($39 for a month, as many mastered tracks as you want) and Mastering Box (about $20 for a month of unlimited mastering). LANDR has tended to work better for me for acoustic/gentle stuff, MB has tended to work better for the high intensity rockers. Each also allows you to vary the parameters a bit, so you can experiement further. For $59, you can master all 12 tracks through both systems and choose what you like better for each one. LANDR has low/medium/high intensity options, it chooses what it thinks will be best for the track, but you can override. I never much liked it on high for my own stuff, but medium was often good. MB has a varying slider, where again it chooses a default that you can override. Sometimes I liked the default, sometimes I got better results bringing it down to its minimum setting to create something less compressed sounding. In the end, between the two of them, I was generally able to get very close to what I had gotten from a very good mastering engineer, and sometimes even something I liked better.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I just happened to get this in my email...

 

Mercury Mastering has a Black Friday special... 50% off on mastering an album, so that's $300 instead of $600

 

Use the code blackfriday

 

The offer will only be good on Friday, Nov 25

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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HI Doug!

 

We've been using Tom Dimuzio at Gench Mastering for years, and we are very happy with how friendly, flexible, professional, and quick he is. And of course, that wouldn't matter so much of his mastering didn't sound fantastic. But it does. Very very musical. It's being done by a musician who "gets" what you are trying to do, and doesn't crush the dynamics and makes really good audio/EQ decisions. After trying several different mastering engineers, we feel he is the best combination of being affordable and being really talented and musical.

 

http://www.gench.com/mastering

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