Digital Domain specializes in making the best-sounding audio masters on earth! All of our prices are in U.S. Dollars (USD)
Mastering with our chief engineer, Bob Katz, is $200/hour. Our mastering rates are very reasonable and geared to helping independent studios and labels achieve an incredible-quality master. Mastering an album can take as little as 3 hours and as much time as you and we think is necessary to get the quality of Master you are looking for. There is a natural point of diminishing returns, and for the vast majority of CDs we master, that is an average of 5-6 hours. Bob always keeps in close touch with you during the mastering, making sure you know what's happening, always discussing with you a given sonic approach to your music before proceeding with the time. After the hourly-based mastering is done, the next step is to produce a reference or master, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours time, but is done at a flat rate. Bob "turns off the clock". Bob makes a reference CD for a flat rate of $25, a courtesy rate prior to the making of the master. You listen to the reference CD, and we can make any changes you may desire for the final master. Or, at no charge we can send a special DDP reference file over our FTP at no charge to you, which you can download and use to proof titles, artist, etc. and to cut your own reference CD. When it is time to make a master for replication, the CDR (or DDP) master is made, proofed and error checked at a flat rate (see below). Bob sets up all the processing gear, listens carefully while making the master, and prepares a PQ code list. The master is guaranteed, it is auditioned and error-tested. It will be replaced with no questions asked if the CD plant finds a problem with the mechanical media. (To date, with thousands of CD masters, there have been no problems, but it's nice to know we stand behind our work). A. File Format Recommendations and Your Mixing Practices If you are mixing digitally (in the box) in a modern DAW which is 32-bit float native, please send 32-bit float stereo wavs at the sample rate of your session. Example: Pro Tools 11. Always mix to 32-bit float format! If you are using outboard digital or analog gear (e.g. a digital reverb), you need to dither each of your outputs going to that gear to 24 bits! If that outboard gear has a dither menu, be sure to set its output to 24 bit dithered. Logic Pro X currently does not have the ability to save as 32-bit float files. It may pay to put a 24-bit dithering process on the mix bus prior to capture. This may produce a result that's subtly wider, warmer and deeper than truncating the mix bus to 24 bits. The same goes for older versions of Pro Tools (e.g. Pro Tools LE) that are 32-bit float... put a dithering plugin on the mix bus. Pro Tools 10 HD: If you are mixing natively with the native mixing engine, then mix to 32 bit float format and send us 32-bit float wavs. If you are using the older HD mix engine with the core and accel cards, then you should use the dithered mixer. You'll be glad you did! Write for instructions. Pro Tools 9 HD: If you are mixing with the HD Core and Accel cards and the 48 bit digital mixer, be sure to replace the default non-dithered mixer with the dithered mixer. You'll be glad you did! Write for instructions. Other DAWs: Save your mixes as 32-bit float stereo in the sample rate of the session. For example: If your session is 48 kHz, then bounce/capture your mix to 48 kHz/32-bit float stereo files. Bob's book "iTunes Music" discusses how to do all of the above, step-by-step. If you'd like to learn more about the advanced theory behind these choices, we recommend Bob's book "Mastering Audio."