My name is Henry Smithson, and I care about your music! I'm proud of the work I do and the relationship I have with my clients. My aim is to give your tracks Maximum Emotional Impact, and my policy is to always over-deliver, and to get the best results I can, regardless of how long it takes me. And guess what - you don't pay till you're happy!
I'm confident that I can get the best out of your music, so I'm offering this Free Mastering Trial. Get in touch if you've got a project ready to go, then you can send me one of your tracks and I'll master it - no obligation, no charge. Email me or phone - click on CONTACT for details.
I've gained vast experience of all sorts of music from over 23 years of CD mastering work, and also a longer history of bin-loop mastering for cassette duplication, including household name chart hits. So I've heard a huge amount of music in just about every genre you can think of, and under critical listening conditions. Because of this, I know what a good mix sounds like - which puts me in a unique position to help you get the best out of your studio mixes.
...is what I aim for. First I use my experience to listen to a client's mixes until I've formulated an overview of how the tracks could potentially sound. Then I focus in on the detail of the processing required in order to achieve it.
I've always approached audio mastering from the musical viewpoint, so I notice things about dynamics, the ebb and flow of a track, and how it's affected by the relationships of the different sections of a track to each other, as well as the more technical issues of EQ balance and level.
I don't agree with maximum loudness being the main aim of mastering. Loudness is important, but so are balance and clarity. To me it's all about enhancing what's already there to achieve Maximum Emotional Impact. You can have LOUD if you want it, but the new algorithms built into the major streaming platforms mean that restricting the dynamic range too much can actually make your music sound worse! Find out the latest on Music Loudness HERE.
Home and budget studios are great for recording, but dubious monitoring and dodgy acoustics can mean that if you've never heard your music in an accurate listening environment, then you may not know how your mixes really sound. But here, in addition to the acoustic tuning - bass traps, acoustic tiles and corner absorbers, the studio is equipped with the amazing TACT room correction system, giving me a time-aligned flat frequency monitoring environment in which to make accurate sonic decisions. Here's the techy stuff...
- Neumann KH310A active 3-way speakers, renowned for their astonishing sound quality and performance.
- DAWs: SADiE 24/96 and Magix Samplitude & Sequoia via RME 192K interface. Plug-ins: SADiE & Magix native, UAD, Steven Slate, Voxengo & Waves. Dynameter loudness meter.
- Analog outboard - Ted Fletcher P9 cmastering EQ, and P38 'Edward The Compressor.
But don't forget - it's about ears, not just equipment! So let's not get too hung up on the gear - because Mastering is much more to do with the knowledge and expertise of the person using the gear.
- Audio Restoration - DeNoise, Dehiss, Declip, DeClick, Decrackle for audio cleanup.
- Editing.- Radio edits, assembly of music or voiceover recordings from multiple takes.
- Transfers - Professional transfers from older digital or analog formats.
- ISRC Coding - I can add ISRC codes and / or CD Text to existing masters if required.
Thanks for reading so far. While you're here, you can have a listen to some Music tracks that I've Mastered, read some Testimonials from delighted clients, look at my Gallery of CD covers from some of the hundreds of albums I've mastered, and find out about getting CDs made. Hope to hear from you soon - and don't forget the FREE Mastering Trial offer! Cheers,
Some tracks from some of the albums, EPs and singles I've mastered. Here's Player 1 - currently 53 tracks on high-quality 320 Kb MP3, covering a variety of musical genres. More to come as and when - hope you like them.
There are more tracks in Player 2. Click the link below to open both players in a new browser window or tab, so that you can listen at the same time as browsing in this window/tab.
Unmastered v Mastered example track.
Starts with Unmastered, but keep your volume down, as the Mastered portions kick in louder!
Some of the recent mastering projects...
“Hi Henry, thanks for the work you've put into this - it really is sounding great!”
“Henry, we've got the CDs, they look great and we are very pleased with them . Thank you for all your help.”
"I have worked with Henry on a range of my albums, probably around ten, for the past fourteen years. His mastering work has been exceptional on all of these and he has achieved excellent results on whatever I have thrown at him – complex productions, acoustic, instrumentals; rock, roots and ballads; studio and live performances! His positive approach and excellent sound engineering skills have always brought out the best from my mix-downs and I consider myself fortunate to have such backup on my recording projects – it has made all the difference."
“Henry Smithson has both the ears and equipment to bring your mixes to life and make them sound great on any sound system: be it audiophile quality, basic computer speakers or "ear buds". He made such a wonderful job of mastering my album, "The Mayor of Toytown is Dead", I wouldn't hesitate in recommending him to anyone.”
“The first time we ever got our tracks mastered we realised it was the best thing we could ever do to get a professional finished sound. Henry has just been the finest set of ears we could hope for and we’ve been taking our stuff to him since 2005. He’s fast, efficient and friendly. If you’ve never done it, just find the money to get your tracks mastered and go and see Henry. Do a few extra gigs, sell your Granny’s silver if need be. It’s not expensive and it’s worth every penny”
Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons
“Brilliant mastering and great service. Would recommend for sure."
Single track - £40
Up to 4 tracks - £30 per track
Up to 7 tracks - £25 per track
Up to 10 tracks - £22 per track
Over 10 tracks - £20 per track
These seem to cover most cases. But if your tracks are 10-minute mini-epics the price may vary!
Call me or email to discuss your project. I'll be able to give you an estimate there and then. After I've received your tracks and evaluated them I'll give you a proper quote and that's what you'll pay.
Red Book CD Master Disc - suitable for Duplication or Replication* - £15
(inc. postage by 1st class Recorded Delivery)
DDP Master Files - for Replication* - £25
(inc. listening copy on audio CD for approval, posted by 1st class Recorded Delivery)
THESE PRICES INCLUDE ADDING CD TEXT AND/OR ISRC CODES - AND NO VAT!
*Many CD Pressing plants now insist on Audio Masters delivered electronically as DDP files -
check with your Manufacturer.
Bank Transfer (preferred) • PayPal • Credit/Debit Card via PayPal • Cash/Cheque (by arrangement)
ANY CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS VIA PAYPAL ARE SUBJECT TO A SURCHARGE BASED ON THE
PAYPAL PERCENTAGE APPLYING AT THE TIME.
The CD is not dead! There's still money to be made selling physical product, especially if you're a gigging band or artist. So why not let me quote for your CD manufacturing. I've got huge experience in the pressing and duplication of CD and DVD discs and the various packaging options available. And if you're looking for help with the packaging design, I'm equally knowledgeable in the issues involved in the preparation of artwork and the printing of the packaging, and skilled in the use of Adobe software to design and produce artwork that looks good and is compatible with the print processes.
- Reliable service and competitive pricing are the hallmarks of my CD and DVD Replication service.
- Guaranteed quality pressing, full-colour litho on-disc print and a choice of all the common packaging formats.
- Call me for free expert help and advice in any aspect of optical disc manufacturing - even if you're just thinking about it!
- Send me your photos, pictures, logos and text, and I'll put the whole thing together for you, from start to finish, with creativity and expertise.
- Or if you've already got artwork done, but lack the experience and software to create print-ready files, I can do the tricky work of checking it, applying it to the right templates, and creating the press-ready files needed for print.