Welcome to tone freq mastering
TONE FREQ Mastering is located in Studio B at TONE FREQ Recording Studios in San Jose, California. Engineer Steven Glaze has over 20 years of recording, mixing, and mastering experience. The studio has been custom built for mastering and features Focal speakers, benchmark digital converters, and all-analog mastering gear by Rupert Neve, Dangerous Music, Sontec, Manley, and more.
My main focus is helping you achieve your artistic vision – to make your music sounds its best while maintaining a very high level of quality and attention to detail.
What is Mastering?Mastering can be considered the last step of the creative process and the first step of the manufacturing process. Once your songs are mixed, your mastering engineer will process each song by adding EQ and compression as needed and adjusting the volume of each song to match industry standards. Your mastering engineer will then prepare each song individually, and the album as a whole, for manufacturing or digital release. Such preparation includes song sequencing and spacing, creating a CD Master and DDP files for your duplicator, and preparing files for digital distribution.
Why is Mastering important?Mastering will give your songs the final polish that is hard to achieve with mixing alone. Your mastering engineer will be able to make adjustments to the overall sound of your mix, often fixing problems that weren't apparent in the mixing room. It's like having someone “proofread” your mix. By doing this with each song, you can ensure that each song not only sounds great on its own, but sounds good within the album as a whole; songs should flow together without any noticeable volume or tonal changes.
My engineer says that mastering is included with the mix, why should I use a separate mastering engineer?I often find that when mastering is "included" with the mix, the engineer is just making the song loud. Your music will almost always sound better by sending it to a dedicated mastering engineer. The mastering engineer will be able to hear and correct problems that the mix engineer may miss due to room nodes and speaker/equipment limitations.
Why not use an online mastering service like LANDR?Sure, you can. You can also eat fast food instead of a great home-cooked meal! Online services have their place, but they are simply applying a preset mastering plugin to your music. For a release that reflects you as a unique artist, you need a mastering engineer to listen to your music and make creative and technical decisions with you, not a computer that simply analyzes the waveform.
Can I send you MP'3s to master?
No. MP3's are a lossy format, and are not suitable for mastering. MP3's are made by compressing the audio to make the file size smaller. In order to do this, much of the audio data is discarded. MP3's can never sound as good as lossless formats such as WAV and AIFF files.
When preparing your mixes for mastering, I recommend that you remove any EQ, compression, and other processing from your master bus, unless it is essential for the sound of your mix. Please keep in mind that the more you process the song, the less control we have during the mastering process. If you have any questions, please contact me so we can discuss the project.
Be sure to keep peak audio levels between -3db and -6db. It's better to submit a song that is quiet rather than one that is loud and clipping. Never use a “brick wall” limiter on your mixes.
Lossy file formats such as MP3s should never be used when submitting an audio file for mastering. Interlaced WAV and AIFF files are preferred. Submit your files in the resolution at which the song was recorded. For example, if the session was recorded at 24-bit/44.1k, upsampling to 96k will not increase the quality of the mix. Consequentially, sending mixes rendered at 16-bit/44.1k when the session was recorded at 24-bit/96k will reduce the quality of the final master.
Submitting reference songsSending previously mastered songs, or songs that have a similar style and sound to which you are trying to achieve, is an excellent way to give me an idea of what you're looking for. This is especially helpful if we need to match the sound of previously mastered songs that will be released with the new ones.
Location & Hours
Tone Freq Mastering is located at Tone Freq Recording Studios in San Jose. We are in the historic American Can Company building. Old and rustic, with tons of charm. Parking available in the courtyard, when you arrive call Steve for entry.
TONE FREQ MASTERING
San Jose CA 95112
10am - 8pm
~BY APPOINTMENT ONLY~