Mastering and Re-mastering

Our mastering service has now expanded to include video projects. This includes our full range of audio services, such as restoration (noise removal, dialog enhancement, etc.), a full line of Foley effects, music scoring and enhancement, audio replacement and much more!

Mastering involves many facets, but generally it is the process of preparing a group of songs into a finished product, such as a commercial CD. These days, singles dominate the market and need to sound "mastered". What does this mean?

It seems that the main thing in mastering is to make the song as loud as possible, such that it won't appear weak when heard in playlists featuring pieces by other artist. There is a fine line here, as there becomes a point where important dynamics can by lost, which actually cause a song to lose, rather than gain impact. At more radical settings, audio files can be "damaged" to the point where unpleasant distortion occurs. There is much controversy surrounding these practices, which I will not get into here. Song-Haven Studios has among the best mastering tools available and we can get the perceived loudness to acceptable levels without sacrificing dynamics or audio quality.

Other procedures involve adding EQ (equalization). This is mostly for the purpose of having your songs sound good on as many different speaker systems as possible. This can be a rather tricky task, but we have much experience with this and know exactly what to do!

Adding compression can be the first step to making the music louder, but also can add more dramatic "punch" and excitement to your mixes. Certain compressors do this particular task better than others, and the settings need to be exactly right, otherwise you can squash the life out of the mixes! We have the right tools and expertise to do this right!

Other aspects of mastering include trimming the starts and ends of songs, and if a fadeout is needed, that it be done precisely. Also done is balancing the levels from song to song on an album, as well as creating the gaps between songs, which can be a crossfade if desired, and along with that, making sure the IDs (the starting point of a song as played on a CD player) are where they should be.

Finally, there are the "sub-codes" and "CD text". Sub-codes are "hidden" files on the disc which can be scanned. These would include your bar code number, your IRSC codes for each song, and your album's catalog number. "CD text" is the text which will appear on modern CD players, which are able to display such text, and may include album title, artist name, song-writers and other info you might wish to include. Also possible are individual song titles and credits. Understand that "CD text" pertains only to the CD itself. It has nothing to do with text which may (or may not) be part of music as used on computers.

Re-mastering is often done when the original individual tracks are no longer available for re-mixing, but the artist or company wishes to improve the sound of what was once considered finished product, often as part of a re-release. All of the tools and procedures we have available for both mastering and audio restoration as described on this page are available at Song-Haven to vastly improve older products! Plus, I have something harder to come by than mere gear, and that is "Golden Ears".


Audio Restoration and Digital Archiving

tapes and records Obsolete media, such as cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes* and vinyl records can be cleaned up and digitally archived to the media of your choice (CD, DVD, iPod, MP3, most video formats, etc.). The results are of possibly better fidelity than the originals! We have also added these restoration services, along with complete pro audio services for video media as well.

Analog audio tapes and vinyl records:

Repair and restore digital audio files:

Seamless editing of all types:


Do you have mixes that you wish sounded a whole lot better, but you no longer have access to the individual tracks? We can take your mixes (from many kinds of media) and make them sound a whole lot better! The procedures are the same as for audio restoration, in addition to mastering techniques.

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