Our Process varies a little bit on every project, but this is the typical series of steps. The outline below focuses on unattended sessions. The series of events are similar with attended sessions except the approval process is more compressed because of your presence.
Contact Alex for a price quote and scheduling.
Before your session date, be sure Alex has ALL your mix files, track list (in order), payment, contact info, and any comments. Please see our submission page for details.
On or before your session date, Joe will listen to your files to be sure they play properly and to get a feel for your music. He will contact you to discuss the project if necessary.
If you send a single, we will return to you an efile and a receipt. Your project is now complete.
If you send an album, Joe will master one song first and send it to you via efile for comment. This is to ensure that you and he are on the same page creatively. When that one song is worked out, the entire album will be mastered with that one song as a guide. This may take 1 or 2 days depending on the length of the album.
When the mastering session is complete, you will be sent a Reference CD or a DDP internet player to listen to (your choice). Listen on different systems and in different environments if possible. Please listen to the actual CD we send--do NOT rip it into a computer for listening purposes for that may alter the files. What you are listening for: that the songs are in the proper order and are the proper versions, if pauses are comfortable, and the sonics. Please also review all text to be sure it is spelled and punctuated properly. Take as much time as you like with this step.
The album at this point should be ready for approval, but if you do have tweaks, now is the time to wrap them up. Another Ref will be sent to you if necessary.
The album must be completely approved before the Master can be made. This takes an additional half day of studio time which will be scheduled upon Ref approval. Please specify whether you want PMCD or DDP.
If you wish to have your songs coded with ISRCs on your Production Master, please apply for them or provide them to us at this time. Please visit usisrc.org for more information on the use of ISRCs and their application. Note: ISRCs are not necessary to make a Master. Their use is at your discretion.
Joe puts the album name and song names in the text fields of the Master, but if you wish for them to pop up when played on the computer, you must register your songs with Gracenote.
A PMCD Production Master can be shipped either directly to you or to your manufacturing plant. A DDP Master can be shipped or electronically uploaded to your plant. For DDP uploads, please provide us with their upload information. For a Discmakers upload, we need your Customer Account number (beginning with CT) and your Sales Order/Quotation ID (beginning with QT). Your project is now complete.
Ref / Reference CD: A rough draft of your album with all mastering done but no factory coding. It may be played in any regular player. It can also be used for small/informal production runs. We also offer the Ref on an internet player if you wish for the convenience of that delivery.
Master / Production Master: A Master is the finished audio files that have been specially coded and carefully QC'd by the mastering engineer.
The most common format is DDP (Disc Description Protocol). It is data only and can be on a disc or computer uploaded directly to your plant. We recommend this format directly uploaded when possible because it is more efficient and goof-proof.
Another format is PMCD (Pre Master Compact Disc) which is on a physical disc. It is NOT to be played for listening because it may damage the data on it. It had been the industry standard for many years, but is now being replaced with the DDP industry-wide.
Both options are professional quality. Please contact your replication company to determine which is accepted and preferred.
ISRC: "International Standard Recording Code" is like a numerical bar code for each of your songs which is applied to the Production Master. The code allows the tracking of ownership, downloads, and plays for royalty purposes. For more information, please visit usisrc.org.