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Professional Audio Mastering.
Our mastering engineer has over 35 years' experience mastering more than 10000 electronic dance music tracks, so we like to think you're in good hands!
Our mastered tracks have had countless Beatport & iTunes top 10's, airplay on the biggest radio stations like Radio 1 and appearances on countless compilations by Sony, Warner, Ministry of Sound, A State of Trance to name a few.
Dimensional Records Mastering is the best value, premium solution available and we are trusted by many leading dance industry professionals. Both record labels and producers rely on us to master their sound recordings and help them gain the chart success and airplay they deserve.
Streamlined online mastering order process
Any file type or sound resolution catered for i.e. WAV, AIFF 16 / 24 bit etc
Your unique taste is catered for by our tailored mastering service
Bespoke mastering for every track with no presets in sight
Master your tracks in the highest resolution possible, with the most superior sound quality.
Our Quipment & Techniques
We us a combination of high quality hardware and software to produce your final mastered recordings and return them to you in 16bit 44.1 KHz WAV format.
We build our mastering suite around one of the world's most professional DSP based applications CreamWare. We utilize no less than 15 SHARC DSP chips. This combination of hardware and software gives our engineers the flexibility of generating the complex analogue logarithms needed to produce your digital masters.
During the mastering process your recording is always kept in its digital state and at the highest possible sample rates ensuring crystal clear quality throughout.
A typical series of equipment used in the mastering process would be:
Prism Maselec MEA-2 Stereo EQ
Manley Massive Passive Stereo EQ
Prism Maselec MLA-2 Stereo Compressor
Rupert Neve Designs – Portico II Master Buss Processor
Thermionic Culture – Culture Vulture mastering PLUS
Dolby Model 740 Spectral Processor
Neumann OE-DUO Stereo EQ
Neumann U473 SP Stereo Compressor
Whilst recent innovations in digital signal processing technology have resulted in some very useful tools in the form of affordable plug-ins some of which do a reasonable job of emulating the behavior of analogue equipment, most top level mastering studios ourselves included prefer to use the real thing. You cannot beat the three dimensional sound of true analogue gear and our selection features some of the most popular and widely used high-end kit alongside a couple of more esoteric and rare items.
Our two main analogue EQs come from Prism and Manley; the MEA2 providing precision and transparency with a super sweet top end, whilst the Massive Passive brings character and warmth or crunch and more radical tone-shaping options where appropriate. For compression Prism’s MLA2 is a very well known mastering unit which again provides control without colour, whilst Rupert Neve’s Portico can really bring a track to life and is literally much more than just a compressor (for a more detailed analysis of the Neve check out Nick’s blog post).
For clean recordings that require a little extra crunch we wanted a valve stage with a twist and so we turned to UK tube maestro Vic Keary’s Culture Vulture, made by Thermionic Culture. The Vulture is designed to harness the distortion characteristics of thermionic valves, providing more control over these effects than had previously been possible. We’ve been happy to learn through experience with this unit that not only can it add real old-school grit to sterile digital recordings, but can also provide wonderful subtle enhancements in a wide range of applications.
The Dolby 740 Spectral Processor was developed by Dolby Labs as a sideline using similar technology to that developed for their SR noise reduction processors but with creative rather than remedial objectives in mind. It has equalization and compression technology under the hood but it is neither of those things, and yet both. It’s not a tool you would want to use on everything, but where it is needed it is the only tool for the job. There are no plug-ins that do this.
Finally our Neumann Vinyl cutting console features some great EQ and compression options which are not just exclusively available to our vinyl clients. All these processors are separately patchable into the signal path to provide a bespoke mastering chain individually tailored to the needs of your music.
Portico II Master Buss Processor
Culture Vulture Mastering PLUS
Prism Maselec MEA-2 Stereo EQ
TC Electronic System 6000
Weiss DS-1 Digital De-esser/Limiter/Compressor
TC Electronic System 6000 with MD3 & MD4 Dynamic Processing & Massenburg
Design Works EQ
Junger Accent Dynamics Processor
Junger E07 Digital Dynamic EQ
Even with the best analogue tools money can buy on hand, certain processes are best handled in the digital domain. The Weiss DS-1 is a very flexible and transparent de-esser, which can be used not only to tame the more obvious sibilant sounds but also to provide control over gnarly frequencies where a straight EQ cut would be too extreme, or to smooth out the top end by warming up spiky hi-hats and the like.
The TC Electronic System 6000 on the other hand has so many functions that you could arguably master to good effect using it on its own. We particularly like George Massenburg’s “DesignWorks” EQ, which is a 5 band parametric equaliser that we use mostly to cut problem frequencies at very narrow bandwidths. It’s the surgeon’s knife in our arsenal. The famed MD3 and MD4 Dynamics packages are also here, providing M/S EQ, and three or five band multiband compression if needed.
Software & Workstations
CedarRe-Touch and De-Click
Further Plug Ins
Most of our masters are compiled and edited on our SADiE 6 system running on the PCM8 platform. Unlike some DAWs we find that the SADiE provides total transparency, and in particular when summing in-the-box it cannot be beaten for audio integrity. It is also a superb editor; very fast and intuitive to use, and in all our years of experience with this platform, delivering masters day in and day out, we have never had a single fault or glitch on a master.
One plug-in that we find invaluable, and that runs on our SADiE system, is Cedar’s renowned and latterly much copied Re-Touch. Originally designed for audio restoration, and to take out unwanted extraneous noises from location recordings etc., Re-Touch provides an editable spectrogram of a chosen segment of audio, and can probably be most easily described as “Photoshop for sound”. There is barely ever a session that goes by without our needing this fella at least once, whether it be to remove some clicky spittle from a particularly close vocal, or just to smooth over a dodgy edit. We use Re-Touch to fix the things you thought you couldn’t fix; it’s an amazing piece of kit whose applications are seemingly infinite and its ability to blow the minds of our attending clients make it one of our very favourite gadgets.
For more serious restoration projects we have yet another flagship product and that is Cedar Audio’s Cambridge workstation. The Cambridge is used for de-clicking vinyl records, removing mains hum and buzz (far more effectively than with a notch filter) and correcting time discrepancies between left and right channels in the case of bad azimuth alignment. We’ve used Cedar’s world-class restoration technology on all sorts of remastering projects including our extensive work on the back catalog of the Trojan record label.
SADiE 5 Software
VMS80 Cutting Lathe and Neumann Console
The elephant in the room isn’t actually an elephant. The renowned Neumann VMS80 was the last and most sophisticated vinyl cutting lathe ever developed, and ours put in a good many years of service at Whitfield Street Studios before we bought it for Dimensional Records.
We had the lathe, along with the SAL74B cutting amps and our Neumann cutting console installed and calibrated by Sean Davies, and it is currently maintained by Crispin Murray.
Sony PCM 7010 Timecode DAT Machine
Sony R700 DATMachine HHB & Sony CD Playback Machines
Studer A810 ¼” Tape Machine
Studer A80 ½” Tape Machine
Studer A820 ½” Tape Machine
Dimensional Records has a range of playback options to cover virtually every format (see above), however if you have any material for remastering from a particularly unusual legacy format just get in touch and we’ll sort something out.
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