Mastering music for digital release
Alchemy specialises in mastering audio for digital release: optimising tone, dynamics and stereo image for the best results from any mix.
We have a wide range of analogue and digital hardware and software to ensure we can add a variety of textures to any mix. From coloured analogue treatments giving warmth and flavour, to digital signal paths that maintain punch, clarity and transient response, or a mix of the two, Alchemy has the tools to get the desired sound.
In 2013 Alchemy Director and Mastering Engineer Barry Grint pioneered the rewriting of the broadcast WAV specification by the European Broadcast Union, meaning a specific field was created in the metadata to hold a unique track ISRC.
If a client provides us with an ISRC for a track we can incorporate it into the metadata of the mastered file.
As standard we will return masters to the client in Broadcast WAV format, but we can also provide masters in MP3, AAC, FLAC, AIFF or Ogg Vorbis format if requested.
Central to the Alchemy Mastering Complex is a network of Sequoia workstations, from which we can create CD masters in either DDP format (our preferred choice) or as Red Book CD audio discs (often inaccurately referred to as PMCD).
A DDP is a collection of files making up the audio and data content which requires specialist mastering software to be able to play. We can provide this software free of charge to clients so that they can check and approve the CD master prior to manufacture (an important last step of quality control that should not be skipped).
We can also provide an audio reference CD burned from the DDP if the client prefers to approve this way
MFiT (Mastered For iTunes)
Apple’s Mastered For iTunes standard requires that masters be assessed through specific software created by apple to ensure that masters do not clip having been encoded and decoded by the MFiT codec. This helps to ensure a less distorted product reaches the consumer.
MFiT also supports extended sample and bit rates, and is intended as a higher resolution listening format.
Only Apple approved suppliers can supply MFiT masters, of which Alchemy are one.
We can create MFiT masters from masters that we have created, or from masters from other mastering rooms.