All bands, established or otherwise, face fierce competition from one another. The internet gives you unparalleled exposure for your music, but when a million other bands are only a click away, it’s crucial that your tracks stand out.
Compositionally and sonically you need to be a cut above everyone else who’s trying to make it, and if your song does get played on one of the major stations, it needs to hold its own next to the established material of well-seasoned pros. When you want your album to shine, consider a full production at Grindstone Studio. I ensure that everything from pre-production, recording, performance, mixing and mastering are carried out to the best possible standard.
Situated in the peaceful Suffolk countryside, free from the distractions of daily life, in a moderately sized, comfortable, extremely functional, and above all, affordable studio, Grindstone provides the perfect environment for you to get the most out of yourself and your music. Everyone knows album budgets are tighter than ever. At Grindstone Studio you are only paying for what you need: top notch gear and first rate production, without the swimming pool and snooker table.The studio offers a full back-line for bands who prefer to travel light, but you will need a good spec drum kit and cymbals for drum tracking. You wont need a drum tech. I can handle it.
With home recording studios ever more affordable, some bands prefer to record themselves, or some parts themselves. Often this is budget related or a production preference. Whilst this can feel like a blessing it can also be a curse. A producer external to the band is diplomatically placed to weed out any weak ideas, help choose the right songs, suggest new parts, question structure and can get the best out of musicians without a band imploding. Getting great takes for the best tone and/or connection with the song is paramount - no amount of mixing can correct this.
Playing new songs together is key to success. More and more bands are trading in rehearsal time for sitting in front of a laptop trying to get something eq'd or figuring out how to get something to work. Tracking drums as a band can be great for creating a vibe and it helps to reveal obvious flaws in the cut and paste mentality of song writing and tempo planning.
A self produced album very often ’could have been better' - either the band or producing member lacked experience in recognising good takes in the recording process, or it was recorded a few hours here, a few there, and lacked any real focus. Tunnel vision is also a very real hinderance that is often helped by working with an professional producer. It is important to acknowledge the creative environment the studio provides, and the huge steps forward musicians can take by recording with an experienced producer: someone who can inspire confidence and offer a fresh and objective perspective.
However you decide to move forward, I am happy to work towards the ideal plan that suits you best.
That could be mixing or mastering only, or just drums, re-amping and mixing, or perhaps drums, vocals, re-amping and mixing. It's up to you.
Send me an email and we can work out how to get the best from your music.
Getting a great sounding mix is the the ultimate quest for rock / metal bands. Your songs will either go to the next level or fail to meet their potential.
Here at Grindstone, your songs will achieve the dynamics, weight, clarity and richness they deserve. For all forms of music, it's a vital step in the production chain and one that you cant afford to get wrong. It's competitive out there - aim high. If you want competitive mixes at competitive prices, get in touch.
Please supply audio at 24 bit 44.1khz. I am happy to receive Pro Tools sessions or consolidated audio. Please make sure all tracks have a definitive name in every session or per audio file : Kick is always Kick, and not Kick 93 in one session and Kick 94 in another. Please triple check that files are click and pop free and that any specific plug in effects are also bounced to audio.
I master all of my own mixes and productions. If you like what you hear, get in touch. I use analogue buss compression, tape simulation and careful limiting to get that polished, commercial sound. If you've had your album, EP or demo mixed elsewhere or even mixed it yourself, mastering can make or break your record. Its essential you get it done right, in the right listening environment. Mastering can also be a last chance if you have a faulty mix, either with a stereo file or stems. Whatever your situation, get in touch for options, I can always get things better.
Mastered For iTunes
I am certified by Apple for Mastering For iTunes (MFiT). The master is tested through the Apple Music encoder for possible clipping caused by Apple’s AAC format and tweaked accordingly. Masters that are made this way can be submitted for the “Mastered For iTunes” tag in Apple Music / iTunes.
Vinyl is now a common format for independent metal labels and i now offer specific non-clipped and less limited (less loud) versions of my masters specifically for vinyl replication. The limitations of the vinyl format mean the normal CD master may not translate as well as one specifically made for Vinyl.
Sometimes mixes can turn out wrong, maybe your mixing engineer couldn’t reach your requested standards, maybe you did it yourselves. If you are having problems with your mix and feel like its not quite there, Stem mastering can be a worthwhile step to take things up a level.
Export the mix in stems or instrument groups: e.g. drums, bass, rhythm guitars, lead guitars, keys, vocals. The sum of all the stems should sound as your mix (without any mix compression you may have). Always include your stereo mix for reference.
Guitar and bass re-amping services are available through a variety of backline and microphone combinations. Getting great tone is often a mystery for many Please email for further information.