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Mister's Mastering House:
News and Updates


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This page provides short articles with the going's on at Mister's Mastering House. Find out what projects I've worked on, special offers, as well as new topics posted.

If you want to get in touch directly, contact me here.


Anthony Liccese - "Players of Time"
Dynamics Restored!

"Players of Time" is a great new track from Anthony Liccese and The HarmonyGuy Company that I worked on May 2016.


One of the other things I liked about this project is that Anthony chose to go with more dynamic headroom for the master than what I'm typically asked to do.

Check out the 'teaser' video:




You can also buy the track here at CD Baby. Find out more about the HarmonyGuy Company.

Melanie Peterson - "Anywhere from Here"

I recently mastered Melanie Peterson's album "Anywhere from Here".

March 16, 2016 saw the official Toronto CD release party at the Piston.

Melanie and her band celebrated the release performing all the songs from the album before an enthusiastic packed house. The audience demanded three encores before letting Melanie finish off the evening with some general socializing!

To buy the album and find out more about Melanie, go to her website here.

Mark Martyre - "Bluebird"

This week marks the release of Mark Martyre's new album "Bluebird".

This is the fourth album I've mastered for Mark and, as always, was a great pleasure to work on. The CD Release Party saw Mark backed by The Bad Apples at The Piston in Toronto....

You can purchase the album here. More info about Mark can be found right here.

Jeff Alan Greenway

Just recently completed the mastering of Jeff Alan Greenway's latest single "I Need".

Previously, Jeff's Christmas single received the final touch at Mister's Masters. You can check out all of Jeff's music by clicking here.

Talk to Phil - "Of All The Stars"

In June 2015 I mastered an EP for Talk to Phil (Great band name BTW!). They've created a cool video for one of their songs titled "Of All The Stars":



You can check out the other songs from the EP by clicking here.

Mastering Rates for 2016: Update

Great news: same prices.

Even greater news: more delivery formats!

Check it out by clicking here.

2015 in Review

In this post I wanted to share some highlights from last year's roster of clients that came through...

The first is the debut album "Lightswitch" from Opus Eyes. Think Electronica with a message.


Next, an album a long time in the making (for the band) named Ridgewalker. Sean McCammon is the writer and one of the performers.


It's always exciting to work with artists halfway round the world. 2015 was no exception. Sher Gopaul is a gospel artist from South Africa with a debut album titled "Grace 'n' Mercy".


Finally - yes, another Christmas has come and gone (the next one's just eleven months away!), this was a Seasonal song with an important message. From Social Potion: "This Christmas I'm Giving You Love".

You can also see a great little making-of video about the single by clicking here.

And now it's back to mastering more music!

Tim Toishi - "Make You Mine"

I recently completed the latest EP for Tim Toishi titled “Make You Mine”. It’s also the title of the new video from that release:


You can purchase the EP on iTunes here.

Love the Brian Wilson-like falsetto near the end!

CD Release - Ento “Music Is My Therapy"

I really love all the projects I get to work on.

However, some that stand out more than others. They stay in my memory longer for whatever magical reasons....

The CD release party I’m going to this week is just one of those projects.

Ento Ento "Music Is My Therapy"

It’s the debut album for "Ento" - a singer-songwriter from France, who also plays guitar and ukulele. One of his songs “Sunny Day in Toronto” is an ode to fulfilling his lifelong dream to live, work and play in Toronto. It’s already a local favorite.

Although residing now in Montreal, Ento's returning to the city he loves most to celebrate the release of “Music Is My Therapy”, the title of his new album. Angela Saini will be on hand as his featured guest.

The songs on the album are honest, real and passionate. Their arrangements span a variety of settings from solo acoustic to full band. Harrison Fine is the producer. He's also in the list of nominations for best producer of the year held by 'Now' magazine. I master many of his projects and this one was a pleasure and honor to be a part of.

Find out why!

For those of you in Toronto this Thursday July 25, come join us at C’est What on Front Street, to help celebrate this release!!

EntoEnto

AES Toronto - July 2013: The Art Of The Mix

This past week the Toronto chapter of the Audio Engineering Society held its season-end meeting and social. In particular, this was a very special day-long event we called: The Art of The Mix!

"Toronto AES: July 2013 - The Art Of The Mix. Clockwise from top left: Daryl Hurs; Mark Makoway; Dan Weston; Shahab Mobasher."

The premise was simple: record a band, and have three or four mix engineers create their own mix and then present their workflow and thought process to the audience.

Our departing chair, Rob DiVito helped organize the logistics. Here are his own words as posted on the meeting bulletin:


    “...My thought for this event was to give each of these mix engineers the same set of tracks and let them sculpt their sound from the same raw materials. Then have a meeting where they could break down their creative and technical process. The event would highlight the specific skills involved in bridging the world of art and science where artistic vision is translated through a technical medium.

    I enlisted the help of Daryl Hurs at INDIEWEEK to source the deserving talent and Joe Dunphy of Revolution Recording to provide the winning band the best possible recording experience (no) money could buy! Needless to say, this event would not be possible without the support of both INDIEWEEK and Revolution Recording as well as all of our talented mix engineers.”


The mix engineers that participated in this event were: Mark Makoway; Shahab Mobasher; and Dan Weston. The band recorded was ‘Leading Armies’ from the UK.

My full report of the meeting can be read by clicking here.

Update: New and Unique - Robert Long

Over the past ten years I’ve had the privilege of working on a wide variety of projects ranging from Rap and Hip-Hop to Classical, Rock to Jazz and everything in between, including many Singer Songwriter albums.

But back in early 2013, I had the chance to work on something that was completely new and unique for me: Music for Ballet Classes!

Robert Long: Ballet Class Music - Etudes Vol. 3

Composed for piano by Robert Long, the pieces are written in a Classical style. The recording and production took place at Charles Di Raimondo’s Studio CD Productions. Although intended as functional pieces they stand on their own as far as simply listening goes.

You can find more about Mr. Long here.

To listen to samples and buy the CD, click here.

Recent Project: Donald Brown

I thought I'd share a recent project I've worked on. These are two new releases by singer-songwriter Donald Brown entitled "Seeds of War" and "Tear Me From The Moment". 

Seeds of War is a powerful anti-war statement along the lines of - but more eloquent than -  Dylan's "Masters of War". 

Production work is by Beau Lukes of the Eclipse Project.

Click the links above to hear them in their entirety.

WaveLab 8: Coming Soon To A Mastering Studio Near You

Steinberg's just announced WaveLab 8 to be released at the beginning of May. This is a release I'm looking forward to very much. With the growing pains of WL7 pretty much over, the latest updates can confidently address current changes in the industry, most notably the new broadcast loudness regulations and the ever-growing need for metadata in a digital world.

On this post I wanted to highlight the new features that interest me the most and what I feel be the most useful to me and the services I offer my clients.

Below are some screenshots of some of the new and updated loudness tools in WaveLab 8. With the new loudness regulations beginning to be enforced, I'm hoping for an end to the loudness wars and getting back to music we can connect to, with sane dynamic levels...

Here's one to show the Loudness Units measurement:

Wavelab 8 EBU128 Loudness Metering


WaveLab 8 has updated loudness distribution graphs that will be helpful for managing dynamics. Of course these meters are still tools. Ears always come first...

WaveLab 8 Loudness Distribution Graph


Finally, with digital delivery ultimately becoming the norm in 2013 and beyond, having metadata embedded in all types of file formats is extremely important. This includes .wav and .aiff files, not just mp3's. Metadata includes standard things like song titles and artist names, as well things as album track number, producer, engineer, mastering engineer(!), ISRC Codes, bar codes, etc. Even pictures can now be embedded in the file in WaveLab 8!

WaveLab 8 Metadata Window


This short video tour highlights some of these and other new features in WaveLab 8:


As noted in the video, also included are two new plugins: The Tube Compressor and Brickwall Limiter. Ever more choices!!...

Season's Greetings and George Massenburg: Part 2

Before we close with the holiday season for the 2012 year, I wanted to get this up.

I had promised to report back on the Toronto AES meeting hosted by George Massenburg. Well here it is!

Held at Toronto’s Noble Street Studios, George focused his talk on high resolution audio and its impact on the future of professional audio production.

Probably the most important comment that came from George happened when someone asked the million dollar question:

“How do we know people want high resolution files?"

George responded that:

    ..."postage-stamp audio" does less to convey what's important in music, which is: music identifies who we are in a culture; listening to music we make a connection, as young listeners, that grows more mature as we grow out of adolescence, and we start to have a sense of what music is and how it identifies our culture.

    What we've done with mp3-type distribution is "squeezed the detail out of it" so that we don't have the "lace and filigree" that we had that we know worked - "we've taken something essential away - we've got to get it back...this (96/24) is the way we're gonna connect with the world".


To read about the whole evening read my full report by clicking here.

And with that I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I look forward to many more projects with you in the New Year!

Mark Martyre: “Down, Record”

During September (2012), one of the projects I worked on was Mark Martyre’s new release “Down, Record”.

Mark is a singer-songwriter who performs regularly in Toronto and Southern Ontario. He’s been on the scene for about ten years. His previous releases include two studio albums “Fading from the City” (2010), and “Montague Street” (2009). He’s also released a CD box set of live performances from 2011.

I first heard Mark perform in the summer of 2011 and I’ve been fascinated with his music ever since. I made a point of catching his show whenever I could. We’d chat occasionally when there was time, and found we had similar tastes in music.

It was really an honor when Mark asked me to master his latest album - which is getting some great reviews.

To find out more about Mark and tour dates, visit www.markmartyre.com.

George Massenburg Visits Toronto's AES

The Toronto AES (Audio Engineering Society) kicks off its new season with George Massenburg hosting a lecture at Toronto's newly opened Noble Street Studios. It all happens this Tuesday (September 25th) at 7 PM.

Mr. Massenburg "will discuss his views on how the transformation from "Disruptive Innovation" to "Sustaining Innovation / Sustaining Technology" opens up opportunities for musicians and music producers to find an audience for higher quality recorded music."

I heard George speak last year, in 2011, at Toronto's annual PAL/MIAC show. There, he talked the declining quality of audio aka .mp3's, among other topics.

Guests are welcome to attend though this promises to be a full house. I'm planning a follow-up post to this event, so stay tuned!!

Keeping (Very) Busy

It’s been a happily busy month again at Mister's Mastering House with several album projects on the go and in the works. More on those in a later post!

But all that pleasure has been keeping me behind with updating old pages and adding new ones on this site.

However I have found some time to update a 'historical' page.

Ozone 5 screenshot with EQ

'Ozone 4' transformed into 'Ozone 5' and 'Ozone 5 Advanced' late 2011. And while I haven’t yet written my (favorable) thoughts on the new Ozone yet, I have been using it successfully on a number of projects. Here’s one in particular.

But, historically, Ozone 4 was a game changer.

Why?

Because it introduced Mid Side Mastering techniques into its procedures. And it offered me the chance to streamline my workflow considerably.

Mid Side Mastering is one of my specialties. I’ve spent many hours researching, testing and listening to discover its infinite possibilities as an option in the mastering process.

Whether it gets used on every project is another matter entirely. "Only what’s needed when it’s needed"!

If you’re ever unsure what your needs are, I’m always willing and happy to help you out.

Ozone 5 metering

The CD Is Still Alive And Well

From my vantage point artists, young and old, are still having CD masters made. I've been to many an Album release party - both my clients and otherwise - where the plastic is still for sale and being bought.

And while digital delivery is surely taking over, it's also assisting in a way in the creation of PMCD's. By utilizing the DDP format here at Mister's Mastering House, I can bypass the creation of a physical master and simply upload the format files to its intended recipient.

Case in point: I was recently hired to create a new master for "Garth Hudson Presents Chest Fever: A Canadian Celebration Of The Band" (Vol. One).

Like the Lily C - "Reaching For Sunlight" album, I simply provided the final format delivery masters.

With the Garth Hudson project, new codes and full CD Text information were entered. Then, after final approval of the PQ track sheet, the DDP files were uploaded to the replication plant from my studio.

Sometimes, clients come in after switching replication plants needing a physical Red Book CD Master. This is because their new plant does not work from DDP files.

Fortunately, converting the DDP format files into an exact CD master image complete with PQ tracking sheet is an easy matter here.

Either way, whatever final delivery format is desired, Mister's Mastering House can accommodate you!

“Colin Eatock: Chamber Music”

Colin Eatock has recently released his debut CD of original chamber music. Mr. Eatock is a composer, music critic, author, editor and teacher who has lived and worked in Toronto for the last 25 years.

Back in January 2012, I had the great pleasure of working with Colin - and - being introduced to his music at the same time.

The album was engineered primarily by Tim Minthorn (who also performs on some of the pieces), Michael Whitla, and Ed Marshall (esteemed engineer formerly with the CBC).

Colin Eatock: Chamber Music

I had the opportunity to put the new advanced iZotope Ozone 5 Mastering Suite through its paces. I can understand why many classical engineers I’ve spoken with rave about this software. Working with high art music requires the utmost in transparency to subtly achieve the delicate balances needed when working on this type of project. Needless to say Ozone 5 Advanced passed with flying colors.

You can hear some of the results for yourself: the CD is released on the Canadian Music Centre’s Centrediscs label (CMCCD 17812).

And you can read more about Colin Eatock and his work by clicking here and here.

Mastering Compression

The topic of audio compression - or dynamic compression - can get quite complex for such a simple concept.

So in the course of migrating pages to the new look and feel of this site, I’ve decided to expand on the original compression page by discussing some advanced compression concepts on a new page.

And still there's more I’d like to conver!

So there is a possibility of a 3rd page soon.

In the mean time, enjoy this one - and give me your feedback!

Cheers!!

July 15 2012: Working On My Studio Tan!

Summer is always a busy place at Mister’s!

Two return clients this month:

    I’ve also begun mastering the second album for DTI aka. Dream Trance Invasion.

Finally, a new restoration project for the Jazz Oracle label has been started which I'm really excited about! More info to come in a later post...

Mister’s Mastering House Upgrades

The computer system at Mister’s Masters has recently been upgraded.

An immense wave of gratitude is extended to my good friend and colleague, and fellow AES member Jim Philogene, owner and engineer of Toronto’s recording studio Edit Productions.

Jim designed and built the system to my specs, and then tweaked it to perfection.

The new installation provides Mister’s Mastering House clients with additional processing power via UAD’s Manley Massive Passive EQ and Fatso Jr. emulations, among other goodies!

Thanks again, Jim!!

Lily C - "Reaching For Sunlight"

Lily C’s new album "Reaching For Sunlight" is being released next month June 3rd.

Lily C: Reaching For Sunlight

After choosing her final masters, Lily came to Mister’s Mastering House to have her production master CD created.

Lily and I edited the CD Text to her liking. We next added her ISRC and UPC codes (yes, we do ALL that!). These were embedded in the final replication master. Lily very happily walked away with an audio CD master, DDP files, and track sheet.

If you’re in the Toronto area, please join Lily to celebrate the release of her new CD, June 3rd, at the Drake Underground at 1150 Queen St. West. 7 PM.

Don Belo: New Single

Don Belo, Hip Hop Artist, returned recently to have his new single "Drop It Like A Yo Yo" mastered.

His debut album "Revelation" was mastered at Mister's Mastering House in the summer of 2010.

You can follow him on Facebook.

The MIAC Show: May 13-14, 2012

This weekend I'll be attending the annual MIAC trade show. This is an event I always look forward to attending, as I have for the last three years.

MIAC stands for: "Music Industries Association of Canada".

It's a not-for-profit trade association created to represent the interests of suppliers of music gear, printed music and related products. Each year, manufacturers and publishers showcase new products about to be introduced in the following year. In addition, many seminars are held during its two-day run on a variety of topics.

In 2010, as part of the Toronto chapter of the AES, I assisted fellow member Frank Lockwood of Lockwood ARS archiving a two-day panel event discussing the e-studio (home studio) phenomenon.

"Shake" The Eclipse Project

I've begun work with Beau who is one of the core members of The Eclipse Project. They're a Toronto collective of artists and musicians creating works in the Electronica vein.

"Shake", the first of many tracks, was mastered here recently. Have a listen...Click Here!.

Update: You'll find several more songs I've mastered by scrolling down the page.

Toronto AES Meeting for April

This Tuesday (April 24th 2012) I'll be attending the monthly section meeting of the Toronto chapter of the Audio Engineering Society, of which I've been a member for 19 years and counting. (I'm also currently on the Executive Committee as Recording Secretary, if you're interested!)

This month, Richard Hess is hosting the meeting and his topic will be "Audio Tape Recovery and Restoration".

Guests are ALWAYS welcome to attend these meetings. So if you're in and around the Toronto area, come on over and join us!

New Projects In The Works

Recently met with Joe Bartok who heads up the coolbabies organization. He confirmed that Volumes 2 and 3 of the coolbabies music collection are close to completion and will be mastered at Mister's Mastering House in the coming months.

Last year three additional songs were added to Volume One and were mastered here. Here's a video for one of those songs "Honeydew":



You can hear why this was my favourite of the three!

Compilation Project

In addition to the usual assortment of singles, we are currently mastering a compilation CD for the Brampton Folk Club to celebrate their 15th anniversary.

Amanda Davids

Late in February of 2012, I had the pleasure of attending the release party for Amanda Davids' debut CD "Distinguishable inDifference".

Amanda is an extremely talented and gifted artist who's music combines elements of Jazz, Hip Hop and Funk. She and her band wowed the full house, playing extended and alternate arrangements of the songs.

Check out this video from the show:



Back in March 2011, I began mastering the songs on the album as they progressed until its completion in January of this year. It was an intense and very rewarding project.

Ian Reid "Lucky Devil"

January saw the completion of mastering Ian Reid's 3rd album "Lucky Devil". This is the second album of Ian's mastered by Mister's Mastering House.

Back in the summer of 2008, Ian's second album "Tiger School" was mastered here as well.

Meghan Morrison

At the end of September 2011, after finishing the mastering of her new album, the release party for Meghan Morrison's new CD - "[Lark] We Are All Born Naked" - showcased both new and older songs, with her full band, at a packed house in Toronto's Velvet Underground.

I was also interviewed by Meghan for her blog on the topic of mastering - something I know a bit about!!



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