The mastering sector is in the middle of a paradigm shift. Until recently, everything had to sound as loud as possible in order to outdo the competition. However, this was not in the sense of the mastering engineer nor in the interest of consumers. A few years ago a point was reached where some people didn’t want to take it anymore. Customers like those 16.000 Metallica fans who signed a petition for remastering the Album Death Magnetic, because the sound was unbearable. Audio engineers who thought about how a new loudness standard could look like to bring maximum listening pleasure.
Even though the pumping effect of extrem set limiters and compressors sounds great on some music, especially dance and electronic music styles, I am glad that with the EBU recommendation R128 a very reasonable standard for broadcast mastering has been found. I really hope this standard will also apply on the internet like streaming services for example and also in the music industry. A good piece of music should be outstanding by its quality and not by its loudness. If the same conditions of loudness apply to everyone the focus will be again on quality. I’m always focusing on quality but I can also master very loud if that’s really the thing you want.
I master every order compliant with the EBU recommendation R128 as well as to a load version if wished. For an offer, further agreements or special requests you can contact me.
I started later learning mastering than mixing. Even my first multitrack recording with Cubase VST were simply recorded as a sum on MiniDisc. But as I wanted to record my first promotional CDs in 2000, I found out about how important a good mastering would be because the songs had a very different loudness and overall sound at first. I learned very early to use multiband compressors even though some audio engineers told me that these are unnecessary and difficult to control. But my experience showed me something different. I may not be necessary but it is very reasonable because you are able to make subtile but important changes a simple compressor can’t provide. Yes it is complicated and you need experience and time to learn, but it is fully worth the effort.