Alain Paul Mastering

Full stereo mastering: 60€ per track

  • Free upgrade to stem mastering if the engineer requests stems
  • Includes revisions until M3
  • Includes additional versions of the same track
  • Includes vinyl files

Basic stereo mastering: 40€ per track

  • Includes only M1. Trust the engineer to nail it first time
  • Includes additional versions of the same track

Stem mastering 90€ per track

  • with up to 8 stems of your choice
  • Includes revisions until M3
  • Includes additional versions of the same track
  • Includes vinyl files

Upgrades

  • Each revision past included amount: 10€ per track
  • Vinyl files when not included: 5€ per track
  • Additional stems: 10€ per stem
  • DDP: 60€ per disk

See scope of service for conditions

Email: alain at alain paul de

The minimum order for new customers is 3 tracks for the first order.

Subsequent orders are free of this minimum.

The first order must be paid in advance.

The turnaround time for any project is currently “around one week” excluding mix critique considerations and revisions.

If you require a project to be mastered very quickly because of some kind of genuine urgency, every effort will be made to accommodate this

New customers should first introduce themselves via email.

Regular clients are free to enjoy the streamlined order process which consists of simply sending mixes via wetransfer without additional communication. The masters will be sent back to you when ready, or mix feedback given, and the order will be added to your account to be invoiced later.

When using this approach, a follow up email should be sent if no download confirmation email from wetransfer is received within 48 hours of upload.

The base price for all services is in euros however GBP and USD can also be quoted and paid.

All other currencies should be paid by Wise. PayPal is accepted but not preferred because of high fees

Unless you specifically state otherwise, the electronic transmission of audio files constitutes the legally binding placing of an order

All files are to be sent using wetransfer.com

All audio files should have a 44.1kHz or higher sampling rate

24bit files are preferred. 32bit and especially 64bit files are unnecessary however they will be accepted

Bounce your tracks without a limiter on the master bus and turn the master fader down so that the highest peak in the song does not clip

If the waveform looks squared off, regardless of it’s size, you likely have a limiter or distortion plugin on the master bus, please remove this.

If your waveform looks very small you probably have bounced using an excessive amount of headroom and should re-bounce with the level turned up a bit more. You do not need a huge amount of headroom, just make sure it does not clip.

As a core part of the service, mixes which are not perfect will be given a mix critique and specific instructions to improve the mix. Bad mixes are always initially rejected unless specifically instructed to use the files as-is (for example if the original session can no longer be opened).

Please be cooperative of any mix suggestions or stem requests as it is likely a superior result will be possible with such changes.

A good mastering engineer is agnostic to the artistic value of the music. No compositional or aesthetic advice or feedback related to musical taste will ever be given which does not purely concern itself with the technical sound quality of the mastering process. Questions such as “do you think my tracks are good?” or “do you think the A1 is the best track on the EP or should I switch the B1 with the A1?” are examples of questions which a mastering engineer does not have an opinion on. By contrast, a question such as “do you think the kick drum sits in the mix OK or do you think working with a stem would get a better result?” is totally legitimate.

Delivery of masters and revisions

The cost of mastering services offered represents the delivery a master; specifically the administration work and studio time required, listening to mixes, potentially providing mix critique or other advice and producing and delivering one master inline with the best expert judgement of the engineer. It does not cover any subsequent revisions unless they are purchased either as part of a package or individually. Under normal circumstances, either all revision requests will be honoured or a full refund of the amount paid for the affected song will be made. Circumstances which shall be considered to fall outside the scope of normal include those in which the client:

  • requests a number of revisions deemed excessive by the engineer
  • requests further revisions after the masters have already been approved
  • requests revisions at some substantially later date after the engineer assumed the project had been concluded
  • requests changes which are deemed by the engineer to be disproportionately time consuming, outside the scope of normal mastering, excessively vague/cryptic or excessively convoluted. Examples to illustrate these varying kinds of unreasonable requests respectively include "cut the master up into 30 different loops", "put some ride cymbals in after the drop", "make it sound more blue" and revision request emails with a word count of over 1000.

In the case that a request is deemed to fall outside of normal circumstances, the engineer may attempt to honour the request anyway on a discretionary basis, but there otherwise exists no lasting obligation to continue working together once the initial master (m1) has been delivered, or a refund has been given, even if the client offers to pay the going rate for subsequent revisions. If for some reason the initial master is unable to be delivered within a timeframe agreed to be reasonable by the engineer, or before a deadline which was clearly stipulated in advance of payment, the client has the right to a full refund of the amount paid for the songs which have not been delivered. Or the client may agree to accept delivery of the master beyond this deadline or reasonable time frame, in which case the client does not have the right to a full refund but may be partially refunded by the engineer to some amount on a discretionary basis.

DDPs

Concerning the liability of DDPs: a high degree of care is taken to produce high quality, error-free DDPs but the client must double check the accuracy of the track order, track markers and CD data before sending the DDP to be manufactured. Especially where the artist makes changes to the track names, track order or has confusing file names, care should be taken to ensure no confusion of the track order or names has occurred at some stage. Neglecting to check a DDP before sending it to be manufactured and subsequently finding an error (wrong track order etc) on the finished CDs will not be deemed a failure of the engineer and no liability will be accepted. Liability will be accepted up to the total value of the mastering fee of the project if there is any error found demonstrably caused by the engineer which falls outside of the expected scope of checking by the client (audio glitches etc).

Additional versions of the same track

When two versions of a track are deemed by the engineer to be trivially different, then they will be priced as one single track, that is the additional version will be free of charge. An example of such a case is when there is a full version and an additional radio edit version which is identical in every regard to the full version except the fact that it is edited down in length. In such a case, there is normally not a significant amount of work required to produce a master of this radio edit because everything is sonically identical between the two versions. If however there are three versions of a song, say the studio version, a remix and a demo version, and all of these are importantly different in terms of sound, such that different EQ and dynamic settings are necessary during the mastering process, then these are viewed as three different tracks despite the fact they may all be called the same thing

Vinyl files

"Vinyl files" means a set of files which can be sent to your chosen facility to be cut for vinyl manufacturing. This does not include the actual cutting or pressing itself, they are just the files to be sent to be cut elsewhere. Generally speaking the files mainly differ from the approved digital masters only in that they are 2db quieter, may have a stricter phase coherence or may have certain frequencies more strictly dynamically controlled if deemed necessary. Regardless of whether vinyl files are offered as an included part of a package or purchased as an add-on service, they are provided only after the digital masters have been approved. As such, if after approving the digital masters and requesting the vinyl files the client changes their mind and requests new revisions of some kind and another round of vinyl files is required to reflect these revisions, another round of vinyl files will have to be paid for at the going rate.

Backups

Infinite backups are not provided. It is assumed that after a month of project approval, the project can be deleted. However, an almost complete backup of all projects since around 2008 currently exists. Software changes over time. One example is the Catalina update breaking anything 32 bit. Other software updates may pose additional challenges for opening old sessions. More issues may occur as a result of the fallible nature of file archival on physical hard drives. This is why requests in respect to historic data retrieval are generally fruitful but no guarantee can be offered.

Agreement to these terms

Ordering mastering constitutes an agreement to the terms on this website in the English language. If you do not understand any aspect of these terms you should seek clarity before placing an order.

Since 2015, no more attended sessions have been offered in order to keep turnaround times and prices low. The studio is not available for hire to external engineers. There is no capacity for internships or work experience.