Enrico Mantini here... nice having You reading this !
Maybe some of you know my name as a producer or deejay but, not everyone knows that I'm also a sound engineer, graduated in 1993 and professionally active since the mid nineties as a studio engineer and also live FOH engineer.
DDA Mastering is a Professional on-line Mastering Service I’ve created, specifically addressed to the Electronic Music industry, which is where I’ve been working in the last 30 years.
I developed it with the clear idea of delivering High Quality Distinctive Masters on a Budget, whenever needed to release music on Vinyl, CD or simply distribute it as Files.
I offer an affordable service for Electronic Music Labels and Artists, with Zero compromise on Quality !
Delivery is offered with a 4 Days standard time formula or a 24 hours Express option.
Let me tell You that I listen very carefully to each song that I receive and make decisions according to genre and client wishes.
Being an audiophile and a hardware fanatic, I developed Studio's listening environment in a very accurate way. the Mastering process is completely Analog, assisted by 90s vintage Vacuum and Tape technologies. The only two digital stages in the analog path are source and destination.
The end result is a healthy master that sounds good on any device.
My DDA Mastering service delivers a dynamic mastering that will not squash the life out of your song, but instead respects the dynamic Range and musical Quality, but still make it sound Loud and Clear.
While processing Your source I respect the streaming standard of -14dB LUFS with a maximum RMS peak of 10dB ON EDM MUSIC.
As an Engineer I am specialised in Electronic Music, House Music, Techno, Hip Hop, and EDM in general.
What my Mastering process can specifically do to your music:
°raise the overall volume of your song (RMS level)
°fix small errors in mixing
°eliminate unnecessary pops and clicks
°equalise your song levels
°widen stereo image
°make your music sound good on any device
°remove phase issues or technical mistakes
Send me Your song either via Wetransfer or Dropbox (or any online cloud service) to be mastered. I will send you back a 2 minutes sample of the finished master for review and approval. One revision is included.
My studio is exclusively equipped with hardware from the Nineties, which I jealously do not reveal, after having been digging for years, also relying on my long time experience as a Sound Engineer. Analog compressors, multi-band limiters, equalisers are used to get the warmer vintage sound out of Your Music.
I use valve pre-amps and compressors, as a standard in the analog signal path, which add a unique vibrant touch and warmth as well as wideness to Your Music.
Upon request I can record the source material on tape to add that kind of extra ’Magic’ to Your Tracks. Both wheel to wheel tape or cassette technologies are available in the studio, spanning from a cleaner tape tone to a gentle dirtiness.
For best results bounce down / export Your mixes as stereo interleaved .wav or .aiff files. Choose a bit depth and sample rate comparable to the resolution settings You used when doing recording and mixing. So, if You recorded and mixed at 16bit/44.1kHz then You should provide me with a stereo .wav or .aiff file at 16bit/44.1kHz resolution. Or, if You recorded and mixed at 24bit/48kHz then You should provide me with a stereo .wav or .aiff file at 24bit/48kHz resolution, and so on. I can work audio files up to a 32bit/192kHz resolution. Please do not resample your music at a higher resolution than the one used in your original recordings, it's a useless process which makes your files bigger with no quality improvement at all.
Please remove any Master / Main Output compression or limiting or maximizing plugin You might have used simply to boost the volume of Your mix, otherwise there is nothing I can do in mastering to undo bad compression or limiting side effects that may affect Your mix. If You resist the urge to make it sound as loud as You can and let me adjust the final volume then I can make it loud enough, avoiding the bad side-effects of a strong master output compression and keeping more of a sense of natural dynamics and punchiness. True artists know that loud music does not necessarily equal to good sounding music. You better focus on making a balanced, solid and clean mix and let me set the final track volume during the mastering process.
Also please make sure that your final stereo audio mixdown isn't clipping. If You're unsure, set the master output level to -6dB, or even lower if necessary, so that the maximum master volume level peaks are between -1dB and -3dB.
Last but not least, always double check Your Music before sending over, making sure about: 1) file integrity 2) there are no signal drops from start to finsih 3) it's the right version/song you want to get mastered, this to avoid any extra work that might result in a double fee charge.
Vinyl mastering is an art form of its own. The last vinyl cutting lathes were produced in the early 80’s. It’s quite amazing that we are still running this equipment, if you think how much the world has changed in the past 30 years.
Appreciation aside, while the cutting lathes are truly magnificent machines and, properly maintained stand the test of time beautifully, the format itself was not made to reproduce the kind of loud and often distorted music we have today.
Vinyl is an analogue format and sounds great. But with that come some physical limitations. Digital formats like CD and MP3 can reproduce anything where as vinyl is more unforgiving.
This is where my Mastering Engineer skills come to play. I must be sure Your Music is engineered and treated to get the most out of the vinyl medium and, in a way that my process allows the Cutting Engineer to cut Your vinyl without the need to make any further change to the audio source.
Sampler has been my first love and the main ingredient of all my productions. I’d say I have been ‘cooking’ my own samples for some time now and, since I can remember, it was 1988 when I started moving my first steps into Sound Designing onto my very first sampler, an Ensoniq Mirage mark I. During the years to come I have been mostly working on the Akai samplers, such as S900, S950, S1000, S3000 but also focused on Roland’s S330 and S550 for some specific productions, before definitely moving to the MPC, building my own personal library that has been used in many of my vinyl releases. I’m now sharing some Sample Packs via my Bandcamp profile and will slowly release more on a basis so, if you’re into that ’sampling fever’ like me and are looking for some good and distinctive sounds, I invite you to give them a try ! especially if you are an MPC owner.
Sample Packs have been realised mostly using the Akai MPC 1000 and the MPC 5000, and they are ready to be used in High Quality 44.1kHz 16 bit format via most of the recent Akai MPCs like MPC 1000, 2500, 4000, 5000, X, Live, Live II, One, Touch, MPC 2.0 Software and also via every contemporary hardware Sampler or DAW. All Samples have been strictly taken from original sound sources like synthesizers, drum machines or microphones, without passing into any mixer and, in some cases they have been processed by the MPC filters or effects.