MCA

Audio Mastering

MCA is owned and operated by prolific mastering engineer Jase Backhouse. Jase has almost 20 years experience in Audio Mastering and has produced product for some of New Zealand's greatest recording artists.

What is Mastering?

Mastering is often a fairly misunderstood process, especially in more recent times with such strong emphasis placed upon its importance. It has however, always been an important process. In the days of disc cutting (making vinyl records), in order to get the best results, the Mastering Engineer had to be familiar with the operation of the cutting lathe as well as the limitations imposed by the vinyl medium.

In todays digital age, traditional mastering values remain the same. It's the final opportunity to hear your master on an accurate set of monitor speakers. To make any final enhancements to the dynamics and, if necessary, process the sound to get the best possible result from the medium to which it is being recorded. This ensures that it stands up competitively against other product.

Can Anyone Master?

Many underestimate what it takes to make an excellent sounding recording. Learning to engineer and master music well is like becoming the master of an instrument. Natural talent and thousands of hours of practice under the guidance of an expert is what makes the difference. A skilled mastering engineer can make a good recording sound excellent, and possibly turn a great one into a legend.

Jason has close to 20 years full time experience in this field, many under the guidance and critical ear of late great Eldred Stebbing. Eldred took many artists to the top of the charts in both New Zealand and Australia and continued to run one of the most successful recording facilities in the country to date.

Mastering at MCA

Mastering at MCA is carried out in our main studio control room. Using our tried and true processing chain means we can produce (and reproduce) excellent results very accurately.

We accept files in the main stereo mix formats of wav and aiff. Preferably your files should be at 24 bit, we still can work from your 16 bit masters also. Sample rate should be 44.1kHz or 48kHz, we accept files up to 96Khz, please ensure all your supplied files are at the same rate. It's also important that your mix has several db of headroom below digital zero, and avoid any heavy compression/limiting on your overall stereo mix.
Taking all of this into account when supplying your files allows us to achieve the best results from your mixes.

Monitoring

Our primary monitors are Altec Lansing 604-G's ( 15" Duplex ). The Altec Duplex is arguably the most famous speaker driver ever made, and set the standard for critical monitoring applications for decades.
Through the 1950's, and into the 1970's, the 604 was used by more recording and broadcast studios than all other monitor systems combined.
Our secondary monitors are JBL 4412-A's.

Rates

Our standard mastering rate is $120/hr + GST (unattended session rate). Ballpark figure for mastering an album is 5-8 hours depending on track lengths and consistency of mixes, etc.
Because our studio is used for a number of other audio services, turnaround on mastering is usually 1-2 days for a single, 2-3 days for an album.
Contact us now to discuss mastering your mixes!