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MSB Mastering caters for physical releases as well as online.

 

MSB Mastering caters for physical releases whether they're on CD, vinyl, USB sticks, or even cassette!

It's important your metadata and credits appear in players, whether embedded on physical media or in iTunes or Windows Media Player. Your credits matter to us.

We're happy to quote for duplication and replication for regular jewel cases, digipaks or promotional copies. Get in touch.

 

Publishing your music on the internet:

1 - Why are there different services?

2 - File formats

3 - The War is Over  

 

Mastering

1 - Why are there different services?

Just as Netflix, Sky & the BBC's iPlayer offer different services, so do online shops and streaming sites. Some allow the listener to buy tracks whereas others stream tracks they have access to, but never own. Where you place your music is up to you, but our aim is that no matter where you choose to place it, it'll sound as good as it can.

Streaming is coming of age. "What HiFi", in its April 2014 issue covered 11 quality streaming services. While it recommended Spotify overall, the market will decide which services will emerge as the go-to music providers of the future. It's important to note that many of these service providers vary the quality of the stream depending on the device or connection, so supplying the supplier with the best files possible will really pay dividends.

Bloom FM, Deezer, Google All Access, Napster, Pure Connect, Quobuz, Rara, Rdio, Sony Music Unlimited, Spotify, Xbox Music Pass & Last FM are among these suppliers streaming music, while iTunes, Bandcamp, ADK Records are among those selling.

 

In short, we'd advice you to look at online reviews of services before deciding. Offerings are changing all the time, so we'll not make a recommendation here.

 

2 - File Formats

 

Every site is different

iTunes and other sites you may want your music on each have their particular file size limits, accepted file formats and some of them convert your files to their own chosen format without even telling you. That means that if you submit a low quality MP3 file, by the time the music is downloaded or streamed, the listener gets a thin, narrow, garbled-sounding track.

 

Can't I just upload any files to a site?

Of course you can, but have you ever accidentally converted an MP3 into an MP3? It sounds awful. If you want your listeners and fans to enjoy your music as you intend, it's critical to upload the correct file formats.

 

Tell us what you need

When adding items to the shopping cart on the rates page, please select the websites that you intend to upload your files to. We'll send you a tailored set of files for each site so you can upload the optimal file type immediately.

 

3 - The War is Over

 

The Loudness War

You may have heard of the loudness war. If you haven't you'll certainly be aware of it. If you've ever owned CDs you'll have noticed that not all CDs (or MP3's) are the same volume. The main reason for this is complex but in essence, many mastering engineers (but mostly due to pressure from artists & record labels) have been fighting it out to get their CDs louder than everyone else. If you really want to look into the details, see the links at the bottom of the page.

 

The Reason That It's Over

Simply put, sites like Spotify and iTunes Radio have (due to the ridiculous differences in volumes of different tracks on their sites) introduced volume normalisation. Tracks that were crushed in the mastering process to make them loud are now being turned down compared to all the other releases out there from previous decades or tracks that were not made loud. iTunes uses its proprietary volume normalisation algorithm called Sound Check, but there are other options out there, one of which was created in 2001 called ReplayGain.

 

About iTunes Radio (and why louder confers no advantage, not even a perceived one)

"Sound Check is on by default in iTunes Radio and cannot be turned off. However, currently, song files which are on the computer or the iDevice are not loudness-regulated by default, so consumers and musicians who listen to iTunes Radio will quickly discover that Radio sounds more consistent than their playlists, that they don’t have to turn their volume controls up and down when listening to Radio. iTunes Radio also reveals that overcompressed songs sound worse, and not louder than their competition. Therefore, it is imperative for producers and engineers to educate clients to turn on Sound Check so they can hear what their songs will sound like on Radio, and for better listening. “Magazines, newspapers and other media outlets should encourage their readers to turn on Sound Check to make their devices conform with iTunes Radio, all it takes is a little educating and self-discovery.” - Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in New York City, Oct 2013

 

Optimal Mastering

As a result of volume normalisation on the web (and on some consumer playback systems) mastering has returned to its best purpose: To make your music sound as good as possible on as many different playback systems as possible. This will likely involve compression and limiting, making your masters louder than your mixes, but the non-sense of crushing music just to make it loud on Spotify or other services is as pointless as drying yourself before going for a swim. In recent times, Both Elbow and Daft Punk, whose best-selling 2013 album "Random Access Memories"  have been praised for their sound. Read more on Wikipedia.

 

 

 

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