Category Archives: Mastering

Announcing: A. Hammer Annex

Good news, everyone! 

A. Hammer Mastering is expanding! Introducing, A. Hammer Annex for Voice-overs and more! 

When we brought A. Hammer Mastering to its current location at Secret Studios in 2003, it was our hope to include the world of voice-overs in our services–recording and editing VO’s using internal and outside talent, narration, ADR work, and more. However, the reality was the Mastering studio environment (Gary’s primary focus for almost 40 years), didn’t lend itself properly for that kind of work to be done in a professional manner. Since that is the only way we work, that part of the business was put aside.

But NOW, in the room right next door, we are taking the opportunity to build out A. Hammer Annex–a new facility with a proper vocal booth whose focus will be voice-overs, overdubs, ADR, podcasts, and video and audio editing. In concert with the Mastering suite next door, A. Hammer Annex will provide first-class quality sound for your commercial, film, game, podcast, multimedia and Internet audio projects. 

And of course, A. Hammer Mastering will continue its highly rated menu of mastering services in its current location. 40 Years of Ears- A Musical Approach to a Technical Art!  

The A. Hammer Annex will open in April of 2021- please stay tuned! 

(for further info, please email A. Hammer Annex)

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5 Ways To A Better Master

  1. Come into the mastering session with an idea of how you would like your project presented- song order, segues, crossfades, any extra editing that may be needed.
  2. Come to the mastering session with your original masters, and do the final sequencing in the mastering room. Digital glitches and other errors can be introduced during copying, and the time it takes to sequence in the mastering room is minimal compared to the time it takes to find the source of pops, ticks or other glitches. (It’s also a good idea to bring some alternate mixes- vocals up/ down, etc.)
  3. Leave your mastering engineer some room to work. That means not “pre-mastering” your mixes before your engineer sees them. Best results are obtained from 24-bit or higher files whose peaks are -4 to -6 db below 0dbfs. Your mixes should not be compressed, limited, or EQ’d on the stereo mix buss, and do not “normalize” or dither. (If you feel your mixes need these “fixes” before they leave your studio, you are probably not through mixing yet.)
    If you have been listening to your mixes with some degree of mixbuss compression that you are fond of, please bring both versions of your mixes- with and without the processing- to your session, and we can decide together the best approach for final mastering.
  4. The best sources for digital mastering are, in order of preference:
    • 24-bit (or higher) digital audio files, at the sampling rate and bit depth of your original session. These can be supplied via internet transfer through this site or other services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, WeTransfer or other file transfer service,  a hard drive or flash drive, or on a DATA CD or DVD (Audio CDs present their own set of issues, and are not really a “preferred” source).
    • 16-bit data files.
    • DAT tape.
    • Audio CDs.
    • Other sources (including analog tape) can be accommodated by special arrangement.
  5. Most importantly: Before finishing your project, DO call for a free consultation! A little planning can be a tremendous help in achieving the final result that you want for your project.
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