Mastering is an often misunderstood process. The question often pops up "do I really need to have my music mastered?" The answer is yes! The next question is: Who should I have master it? In theory anyone with a digital audio workstation and some plug ins can do it. These results vary greatly in results but usually fall short or truly making sound significantly better and often make songs sound even worse. We at the Jam Room have mastered 100's of Lp's and singles with great results for many years. All of this mastering has been done in the Jam Room using a combination of high ens analog gear such as out Manley and Great River mastering EQ's, Crane Song compressor Crane Song HEDD converter along with our favorite mastering plug-is. While this was the best mastering set up in the area, it was not a dedicated mastering studio. The Jam Room control room is primarily a tracking and mixing space. The idea of changing this began last summer as we began a relationship with Stefan Heger, a mastering engineer and studio designer from Cologne Germany who was temporarily relocating to Columbia S.C.
What is the process of mastering at our studio?
1. The client books a session and provides us with stereo wav. files of the mixed songs. These files should be 24 bit and not be over compressed or limited by the mix engineer.
2. We load the files into our mastering session and route them and give them a listen though our Guzauski-Swist Audio Systems GS-3A monitors.
3. We then route the mixes trough out Dangerous Music Mastering Console which routes the music to out outboard analog gear. This is usually our Dangerous BAX EQ, Rockruepel - Comp.two Kompressor, and Dangerous Compressor.
4. We then begin the process of making the songs sound bigger and better through the use of the compressors , EQ and adjusting the stereo width.
5. Then the signal is re converted to digital through a world class analog to digital converter and apply final tweaks to EQ, limiting and adjustment of the stereo width our favorite plug ins.
6. Before the final real time rendering of the masters we closely listen to the beginning and end of each song to be sure there are no extra space or noises and make any needed edits of fades.
7. We then play each song in real time while we listen and create the master for each song to ensure that there are no unforeseen noises or problems.
8. We then name and export each song in the file format that best suits the clients needs, wav. files, mp3s and production masters for vinyl lps ect... and deliver the files via dropbox or physical copies when required.
What do we offer that many others offering the service of mastering don't?
An un-comprised monitoring environment including world class monitor speakers and amplification along with a professionally acoustically designed and tuned room.
Respected mastering engineers each with 100's of credits of widely distributed music and many for major record labels.
The choice between several pro engineers that specialize in different genres. We are just as comfortable with slick pop, country, reggae and hip-hop as we are with edgier metal, indie and punk.
We carefully tweak each song with audiophile quality analog gear witch gives a bigger and better final result than any digital plug ins are capable of.
We understand the vinyl format and are experienced in making masters optimized to sound best on LPs and 7"s.
We happily work on home recordings and projects recorded at other pro and semi pro studios and
As many of you know the Jam Room has been the principal sponsor along the the Whig, Free Times, City of Columbia, Budweiser of Columbia and many others of the Jam Room Music Festival. It was our 4th year of putting on this festival and we had the best one ever planned except it was set to occur on the 1st day of the great SC flood. As we found that there was no way that we could have the fest in the street and our headliner couldn't reschedule we scrambled to find an alternative venue. We called every place from the Music Farm to the Armory and SC fairgrounds with no real luck. Fortunately we have a good relationship with the good people at the SC Museum of Art and we were able to rent a space there that held 400 people. While this is far short of the 10,000 that we originally expected we felt we owed it to the people, ourselves and out sponsors to make it happen. The sound production company ACS went far out of their way to turn the space into a world class concert hall in a day and they show went well. In the end we made exactly enough at the door to cover rental of the space and gave a show to the hardcore music fans that braved the weather. I'm proud to be associated with an ever growing team of hard working can do people that could turn a disaster into success on a days notice. The other half of the festival will be held in the usual spot on Hampton and Main on Oct.10 with only 1 stage instead of 2 since we are now can't afford 2 any more. I hope the flood doesn't require us to cancel this one. Also big thanks to Hiss Golden Messenger and the Junior Astronomers for agreeing to reschedule. I hope to see you all there and that we can offer this as a bit of celebration in the midst of all of the destruction that has come our way. If anyone can think of a way that The Jam Room Music Festival's event can be of help with flood relief, please let us know.
Click here for the Free Times Article on Jam Room and the fest.
After many years we have recently purchased the building that houses the Jam Room studio and we are finally able to improve it to be a much more world class facility. This week our first moves were to insulate the entire building and start replacing the HVAC units. Next up is a complete rebuild of the Boom Room. Be on the lookout for an open house in early September. The remodeling of the A room main studio was finished last year and we plan to move on to the Jam Room control room by the end of the year. Other news is the arrival of Jam Room pint glasses, coffee cups and more shirts! Pop by for a visit and celebrate some SC music history with some Jam Room swag. The Jam Room is still in full swing and the Boom Room will be back up by August 12th. Give us a call if you're ready to make a record.
Thanks to Web Hulon of the band lowercase gods for his work keeping things cool ay the Jam Room.