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Crazy Daisy Productions
Mastering

MASTERING FAQs


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Phone: (541) 517-1458   Email: info@crazymastering.com

Frequently Asked Questions about Mastering

How much does Crazy Daisy Mastering cost?

Rates for our most common audio mastering services are provided on our main mastering page. Details on all our mastering service options are provided on our mastering service options page. If you have an audio mastering need that is not covered by the options and rates described, please contact us and we will help you determine the best rate for your specific project.

Do I need to provide the mix session?

No. For CD mastering you just provide the final stereo mixdown of the track or song, preferably in .wav or .aiff audio file format. This is the master output used for mastering. Providing your mix session is only necessary if we are doing mixing work for you in addition to audio mastering.

How do I know if my mixes are ready for audio mastering?

We have several options and resources available to assist you with determining the preparedness of your mixes. We offer a free audio mastering sample so you can hear what your track will sound like after mastering. As a part of this service, we will notify you of any major mix issues or other technical issues we notice so they can be addressed, if desired, prior to submitting your material for a full service mastering. We also offer three levels of optional services that can be added to your audio mastering service, if you would like extra help.
  1. Mix Analysis. If you want to have a mix engineer review your mixes and provide technical feedback so you can refine your mixes yourself, if necessary, before mastering we offer a Mix Analysis service for only $5 per track when added to any audio mastering service.
  2. Vocal and Instrumental Separation Mastering. If you have a track that includes vocals and instrumentation and are fairly happy overall with your mixes, but would like to give the mastering engineer a little more flexibility to adjust EQ and levels of the vocals versus the instrumentation we offer Vocal and Instrumental Separation Mastering for only $10 per track when added to any audio mastering service.
  3. Touch-up Mixing. If you feel like your mix is 90 - 95% the way you want it to be, but you'd like to give it to another mix engineer to touch-up the mix with any final tweaks to help optimize it for best possible mastering results we offer Touch-up Mixing services for only $20 per track when added to any mastering service.
Between the free mastering sample and these three levels of additional assistance we've got you covered no matter what your situation or level of expertise.

How do I order Crazy Daisy Mastering for my CD?

Simply fill out our online mastering order form and upload your tracks to us through our website. You can make your payment for mastering services online after filling out the order form and uploading your tracks. Instructions for ordering by mail are provided on our printable mail-in mastering order form.

Since I won't be there in-person, what assurances do I have that I will be satisfied with the results?

A VERY GOOD QUESTION!! Our job, first and foremost, is to make sure you are satisfied with the quality of your mastered CD. There are many ways in which we help to ensure this. If you request it, we provide you with electronic versions of the mastered versions of your tracks to audition as soon as they are ready - we upload mastered versions of your tracks to our web server and email you a link to them so you can download them and check them out without having to wait for a CD to arrive in the mail. If you feel anything could be adjusted to make it closer to the sound you want to achieve, just let us know and we will make adjustments as necessary. We will not charge extra to give you the sound you want. After all, that's what you paid for and that's what we aim to achieve. This process allows for any tweaks that may need to be made in audio mastering to get it just right for you so that when you receive your Master CD you'll know it's exactly how you want it. We also have a clearly written Service Guarantee at the bottom of our online mastering order form that states we will make changes if necessary to get your sound right for you.

Of course, it's quite likely you're going to be very happy with the first mastered version as our success rate has proven. Check out some of our mastering samples from past clients or get a free sample from your own song and you'll see that we know our business. Also, we strive to maintain good, timely, professional communication with our clients and with anyone wishing to speak with us. If you have a question or concern, please call or email any time. If we're unavailable, leave a message and we WILL get back to you as soon as we possibly can. We have found that the more communication we have with our clients, the better we are able to meet or exceed their expectations so we WANT to talk to you! PH: (541) 517-1458 EMAIL: info@crazymastering.com.

How can Crazy Daisy Mastering provide so many features and adjustments for such a low cost?

Because we employ an intelligent computer algorithm to accomplish some of the basic mastering tasks, much less human operator time is required. Lower overhead costs means lower cost to you. And the best part is you get high-quality, professional sound for your album by combining fabulous state-of-the-art technology PLUS the invaluable skill of an experienced mastering engineer. Feel free to compare us to other CD mastering facilities. You'll find that no one can supply the level of service for your tracks that Crazy Daisy Mastering provides for anywhere near the price that we offer.

Can I request special features such as cross-fades, "hidden" tracks, etc?

Yes! And most of these requests can be done at no additional charge, but be sure to inquire at info@crazymastering.com first to double-check with us. This will allow us to confirm and clarify your special requests, too.

What if I need my project rushed?

We offer a rush service option for an additional fee. We even have a 24-hour urgent option where we ship out your fully mastered CD less than 24 hours after we receive it! For more details, check out our mastering service options page.

Do you do audio mastering using separated parts?

Some audio mastering facilities do mastering by utilizing a separation of basic elements of your mix. Since these elements must still be mixed together at some point, technically-speaking doing this kind of work is actually a post-production mixing process followed by a mastering process and, as such, costs more as more time is involved.

When you order mastering services from Crazy Daisy Productions you're ordering true mastering work, meaning work is done on the final stereo mixdown. That is what constitutes actual audio mastering work. Most of the time our clients have mixes that have been done well enough that mastering work is all they need to get fantastic sounding tracks.

However, we also recognize there are times when you know your mix could use a little extra help before it goes through the final audio mastering process. To help in these situations we offer both Vocal and Instrumental Separation Mixing and Touch-up Mixing that can be combined with your mastering service to help you obtain the best possible results for your tracks. More details are available on our Mastering Service Options page.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept personal or business checks, cashier's checks, money orders, and major credit cards Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express through our secure online purchase system. We also offer full album standard service audio mastering payment via PayPal through our website or you can request to pay for any service using PayPal and we will send you a PayPal invoice for the appropriate amount. If you choose to pay by personal or business check, please note we must wait a minimum of 3 days for the funds to clear the bank. Therefore, we do not accept personal or business checks on rush or 24-hour urgent orders.

Can I get a 'volume discount' if I submit several albums at once?

YES!! You get a discount on each full album submitted at the same time as one paid at full price. This is very useful if you plan to have both a full version and a performance or instrumental version of your album mastered at the same time or if you have a double album. See our Mastering Service Options page for more details.

What constitutes an "album" for the $349 mastering cost?

Basically, whatever you can fit on a typical audio CD - up to 80 minutes worth of audio material, including pauses between tracks, and up to a maximum of 20 tracks (additional charges apply for more than 20 tracks). Check around: You'll find this is quite an exceptional deal considering the level of service your songs receive.

What media formats can I submit for audio mastering?

For digital file upload we strongly recommend stereo .wav or .aiff files. We can also extract your songs from CDs, DVDs, USB Flash Drives, DATs, or analog cassettes. (There may be an additional fee for transferring from non-digital media, so be sure to inquire first to verify your project.) You provide your best 2-channel (stereo) mixes in either analog or digital formats and we return your original media and a Gold Reference CD master ready for duplication/replication or archiving.

How do I prepare my audio tracks for CD mastering?

For CD mastering services, assemble your best 2-channel stereo mixes as digital audio files or on CD (or other media - see previous question). If you are creating a music CD please include the songs in the correct playback order. Be sure that there is no clipping in your tracks (distortions due to levels surpassing the maximum limit of your recording system). If you're unsure, set the master output volume levels between -3dB and -6dB in your final stereo mixdown. See instructions for preparing your audio tracks for CD Audio Mastering for more help. If you're uploading your tracks you can send us .wav or .aiff digital files. If you wish to mail in your tracks you can send the audio material to us as a standard Audio CD (such as you would play in any CD player) or as a data CD or DVD containing WAVE or AIFF files at 16, 24, or 32 bit depth and 44.1kHz, 48kHz, or 96kHz sample rate.

Are there any audio samples available?

Yes. Click here to hear audio sample clips of songs before and after mastering by Crazy Daisy Mastering. We're always looking for more sample clips to add and regularly update the page with samples voluntarily released by some of our mastering clients.

If I'm not happy with the sound of my mix, can I submit it for Crazy Daisy Mastering and expect it to still come out sounding good?

No! Sorry, but we must be brutally honest about this. There are many steps in the chain to making a really great sounding album. First, of course, you need good songs. Second, you need them performed or created by good musicians or producers. The equipment used and the studio they are recorded in must be high quality and the engineer must be experienced and knowledgeable for best results. Finally, the mixdown must be your best stereo mix. If you submit a great mixdown to Crazy Daisy Mastering, you will be happy with the improvements to the volume levels, dynamics, fullness, punchiness, and other sweetening effects that Crazy Daisy Mastering provides. If you are not happy with your mixdown, there is a good chance you won't like it after it has been mastered either. Please be sure that you have seen to it that every step of your song creation process has been completed to the best of your ability. Then you can be confident that the final mastered album will truly be the best it can be. Feel free to ask us about our full Audio Mixing and Touch-up Mixing options to assist you, though. You may be surprised at how economical it can be to get those final mixing touches applied to your songs and help you attain the sound you want.

Do I need to ask for my songs to be mastered in a special way to make them radio ready?

No. The Crazy Daisy Mastering system includes processes that set the volume level and dynamic range appropriate for radio play, as well as television and film soundtrack scores, and other media play.

Can I have a single song mastered?

Yes! Although it is a much better value to have an entire album mastered, we do offer Single Track Mastering for those who only have one or a few tracks to master. We charge $30 per song (maximum 5 min. in length), plus a $20 per project CD and shipping fee, if you only want to have one or just a few songs mastered. Since it's only $349 to have an entire CD mastered, people usually choose the Full Album Mastering option if they have 12 or more tracks to master at one time as it becomes more economical that way. If you're thinking about having a single song mastered just to see how it would sound, consider our free mastering sample option. Email us an .mp3 or .wma file version of one of your songs, use an internet transfer site (such as yousendit.com) to send us a .wav or .aiff file, or upload your track to us right through our website and we will send you a sample mastered clip from your song to hear how it sounds after mastering by Crazy Daisy Mastering.

What are ISRC codes and do I need them?

Answer from the usisrc.org web page: The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, independent of the format on which it appears (CD, audio file, etc) or the rights holders involved. Only one ISRC should be issued to a track, and an ISRC can never represent more than one unique recording. ISRCs are widely used in digital commerce by download sites and collecting societies. An ISRC can also be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments.

If you plan to have your material distributed digitally (ITunes, Rhapsody, etc.) then an ISRC code is required. Also, if you plan to have your physical CDs distributed internationally we highly recommend it. For others it may not be necessary.

Crazy Daisy Productions duplication services, in common practice with many major national disc replication/duplication plants, includes digital distribution options for you as part of the duplication package, providing you with ISRC codes for the digital versions of your tracks that are submitted for online digital download sales. Therefore you may not need to obtain ISRC codes prior to mastering. However, if you are choosing duplication of physical CDs only (not using digital distribution options), then generally speaking ISRC codes are not included. Therefore, if you want ISRC codes added to the physical CD tracks you should obtain the codes prior to mastering.

Crazy Daisy Productions does not provide ISRC codes to add to tracks on your physical Master CDs, they must be obtained from the usisrc.org web page. If you have ISRC codes that you would like added to your Master CD tracks send them to us along with your materials for mastering and we will encode them for you both at the track level and as part of the CD header data on your master CD so that the information will stay with the tracks on the CD and along with any tracks extracted digitally from the CD. The track log sheet we provide along with your Audio Master CD will verify the ISRC codes included for each track, so be sure to send a copy of that to your duplication plant as well so they will have record of the codes. If you purchase one of our mastering + duplication CD Pak packages and you do not already have ISRC codes then we will arrange with CD Baby to provide those codes for the digital distribution versions of your tracks.

Do I have to add printed credit in my CD artwork listing Crazy Daisy Mastering as the Mastering Facility?

We don't require that you do this, but it is considered good professional practice to do so. And of course, we appreciate it when you do. We suggest that you use this simple entry:

   Mastered by Crazy Daisy Mastering
   www.crazymastering.com


Crazy Daisy Mastering comes with a level of professional quality service that is unmatched. They were prompt in answering all my questions, and a pleasure to deal with.

-Marissa Manzino
Crazy Daisy Productions
info@crazymastering.com
541-517-1458
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