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What is mastering?
Mastering is the last stage in the artistic process of putting a track or release out. Mastering adds the final polish to ensure that it sounds the best that it can in all possible playback situations and making sure that it fits together seamlessly so the sound doesn’t vary from track to track. Online mastering gives you access to Capitol Mastering’s world class facilities from anywhere on the planet, and after submitting a track it will be assigned to the most suitable engineer for the job and returned in whatever format you would prefer – as a downloadable file or even cut to vinyl masters.
What formats can I get my track in? Vinyl? Digital download?
Either one! We will supply the mastered song in the standard CD resolution, 44.1kHz 16bit as in the .wav file format unless you specify a higher resolution file is required.
Can I choose which engineer will master my track?
Yes you can, when you are submitting the project you will be prompted to choose if you so desire. There is a small additional cost attached to the choice of $45. We suggest that you start by having a look through their bios and past projects before making your choice.
Will I hear from the engineer mastering my track directly?
You will have the ability to specify to the engineer any of your comments regarding the track and if the engineer has questions they will reach out to you directly via your online profile. We will notify you via email if you have received a message from your engineer. You then simply login into your account and click on messages to read and respond to the communication.
How long will it take to master my track(s)?
Online mastering should take a maximum of 5 working days from the point of payment, subject to your engineer’s workload. However, if you need your track before this deadline we can master your track in 1-2 days. Simply choose the “FAST TRACK” option after you upload a track and it will be mastered within 1-2 days for a small fee.
Will you notify me when my track has been mastered?
Yes, you will receive an email letting you know your mastered track is ready to download and approve.
What format should I send my track in?
WAV or AIFF only please. We recommend uncompressed stereo interleaved audio with a bit depth of at least 16bit (and maximum 24bit) with a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz up to 192kHz. No pre-processing using limiting or normalizing – we need as much headroom as possible to work with to make sure that your tracks sound as good as possible when we master them. **Please note: Track duration must be no longer than 10 minutes** Each separate version or mix of a track will be charged separately. Single tracks submitted that the engineer deems to actually contain two or more songs within the mix will only receive only partial mastering up to the first song in the mix. To avoid this, please upload all songs individually.
Can I get any revisions to my mastered track?
Yes, you are allowed 1 free revision on your mastered track. After that any further alterations will be charged at $50 per track.
Can I get my track mastered faster?
Yes. Just choose the “FAST TRACK” option for $50 per track and we will get your track back to you within 48 hours. Please note that if you choose a specific engineer we cannot always guarantee 48 hours delivery from them depending on their schedule. If this is the case we will be in contact within a business day to let you know when you can expect it.
How do I download my tracks?
To download your tracks you need to log in to your account, go to the relevant project and click on the blue “Job Ready” link. You will be able to open the file when it’s ready.
I’m having problems with uploading my tracks, what should I do?
There are various reasons why this might occur. It could be due to the size of your track, the track being in the wrong format or using special characters in the name of your file and project (&$*% etc). Please make sure you only use letters and numbers in your project and file name. Your track should be no longer than 10 minutes and be in the format specified above.
I want my track to be mixed at Capitol Studios. What are my options?
This is your unique opportunity to have your track mixed by one of Capitol Studios’ highly skilled and experienced engineers. Capitol Studios have always been at the forefront of innovation and technology. In this tradition, we are proud to be evolving and expanding our services so that they are more accessible to artists all over the world, who are perhaps unable to visit the studios personally.
What is Mixing?
Mixing is the process of summing a multitrack recording down to a stereo sound print. Mixing methods include but are not limited to: setting levels, setting equalization, using stereo panning, and adding effects such as reverb. Minor adjustments in the relationship among the various instruments within the song can have dramatic impacts on how the song affects the listeners. This creative process is an integral part of creating an album or single and can add a sense of depth and clarity to the original recording. Mixing is largely dependent on both the arrangement and the quality of the original recordings.
Can I choose my engineer?
Please be assured that your song will be mixed by one of Capitol Studios’ highly skilled and experienced engineers. Our engineers are constantly in demand and operate a very busy schedule, so it is not possible to pre-book a particular engineer for online mixing.
Can I choose a studio?
It is not possible to book a specific studio for online mixing.
If I pay more can I choose my engineer or studio?
Sorry, this is not possible through the online mixing service. If you would like to book a specific studio and engineer for an in person session, please contact Paula.Salvatore@umusic.com for studio rates.
Can I use any of Capitol Studios’ world famous effects in my mix?
Yes. Effects such as our echo chambers and plates as well as our vintage Fairchild, Pultec and RS124 are available for your mix though this is subject to availability and at the discretion of the engineer, as they may not be suitable for all mixing situations.
Is there a limit on tracks I can use?
Yes. Through the online service there is a 64 multi-track limit. If you have more than 64 tracks please contact us.
What about midi?
Please print any midi or virtual instruments – as we only accept audio files.
Is it ok for me to say, “I’d like it to sound like [insert your favorite song here]…?”
Absolutely. In addition to as much written information as possible you’re welcome to provide a rough mix as well as a commercially released reference song, as these will be useful as guides for the engineer (this won’t be counted as an additional track).
Oops. I seem to have lost my file.
The mixed file will remain online on the Capitol Studios servers for 3 months after the date of delivery, so you can download it any time during that period. Obviously, we advise that you back up your mixed file once you’ve got it down for after this period – or as soon as you get the track down ideally, just to play it safe!
Can I use special characters in my track name or project name?
Please do not use £$“ % / ,. ?! or any other special characters in your track and project name as this can cause problems.
I’m thinking of adding a load of reverb and effects prior to the mix. Is that ok?
Ideally not. We ask that you please supply multi-track files dry, without reverb or effects. But, if you feel that a specific effect, processing or creative element (filter sweeps, delays etc.) is an integral part of the sound then please provide a clearly labelled ‘dry safety’ version of your track with-in your ‘Reference Audio Folder’ when you submit your project (Any audio in this folder won’t be counted as an additional track).
What should my submitted file look like?
We accept WAV or AIFF files at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, and 192kHz; 16/24 or 32 bit. Please supply us with mono or stereo files, clearly named and without audio clipping. You will need to provide multi-tracks that are consolidated or bounced from the start point of your song (bar 1 beat 1 or start time code). All files must be of the same duration, sample rate and bit depth. Sorry, but we cannot accept DAW sessions (i.e Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase etc). We ask that you also double check your audio files before uploading. Reload them into a new Session/Project, checking that they are the correct placement and length, Also checking that any crossfades have been included when consolidating or Bouncing in Place. Please ensure the multi-tracks provided are ready for mixing and do not assume any tuning or timing issues will be automatically resolved. However, if a small amount of vocal tuning is desired you can provide this information. If our engineer suspects the amount of tuning or editing will seriously intrude on mix time you will be informed. Large amounts of tuning and editing will be charged for and will delay turnaround time. It is in your best interest to do any tuning and editing in your time, so that the Capitol Studios engineers can maximize time spent mixing your song.
How much headroom do I need to leave?
Plenty of headroom please. Artifacts like clipping and distortion cannot be removed in the mix process, so allow plenty of headroom when printing your multi-tracks to avoid any.
I’m having problems with uploading my tracks, what should I do?
There are various reasons why this might occur and it can be due to the size of your track, the track being in the wrong format or using special characters in the name of your file and project (&$*% etc). Please make sure you only use letters and numbers in your project and file name. Your track should be no longer than 10 minutes and be in the format specified here.
Ok great. What will I get back at the end of it all?
You will be supplied with, – 1x Limited ‘listening’ copy of track at 44.1 / 16bit – 1x Unlimited mix master at original sample rate and bit depth – 1x Unlimited backing (TV) track at original sample rate and bit depth – 1x Unlimited Instrumental track at original sample rate and bit depth – 1x Unlimited a cappella track at original sample rate and bit depth.
Once I’ve heard my mixed track, will I be allowed any mix revisions
You’ll be allowed 1 revision or reasonable number of tweaks to levels or sonic elements within the mix, e.g. “bring the reverb on the vocal down,” “bring the level on the bass solo up,” or “add more boom to the kick drum,” “the ukulele sound is too bright,” “a little closer to its sound in my reference mix,” etc. Major changes in direction will be treated as a new job, not a mix revision. For this reason we strongly recommend that you provide a reference mix and as much written instruction as possible, along with any commercially released reference song you find relevant. One mix revision is included in the price, and must be requested within a reasonable amount after the delivery of your mix. Any requests for any further mix revisions after this will be charged for.
Will my song be mastered?
Capitol Studios does provide a separate online mastering service. Please check our online mastering page for more information.
How do I download my tracks?
When your order is ready, you will receive an email with relevant links for download.
When will I receive my physical order?
Vinyl shipments will take 5-10 business days from the approval of your digital masters to process.
Can I select an engineer?
You can select an engineer for your digital masters, but your physical Vinyl will be cut by Ron McMaster or Ian Sefchick.
Can I fast track a Vinyl order?
Unfortunately, we do not accept Fast Track requests if your order contains a Vinyl add-on.
How can I pay?
Please upload your track, choose your engineer if applicable, enter your billing address/client information, pressing the continue button to move on to the next step each time. You will then be moved to a secure payment page where you will input your card details including name, card number, expiration date and security code. We accept most major cards.
I'm experiencing a problem with my payment, what should I do?
Log back in to your account and click the “Place Order” button displayed under your project details. Please make sure you have chosen the right type of card: Master Card, Visa Debit, Visa, Etc… If the payment fails again you might need to ask your bank to see if there are any issues currently blocking your transactions. Please note that transactions are in US$ and if you are based outside the USA your bank might have blocked the transaction for this reason.
I've received a promotional code, what do I do with it?
Upload your tracks, choose your engineer and what formats you require – then when you get to the page with your billing address you will see: “Have a coupon? Click here to enter your code” below your address. Please enter your code and click “Apply Coupon”. You should see the change to the amount below.
I have questions about my order, who should I contact?
If you’ve already submitted your order and have questions or comments for your assigned engineer, you may contact them via your customer portal. For administrative questions, you can reach our Studios staff:
I forgot my password. How can I get a new one?
Use the Retrieve/Reset Password function on the login screen (by clicking “Lost your password?”).
This is my first time logging in to the website. How do I obtain login information?
You can log-in via your FB or Gmail accounts, or click the “New To Capitol Studios” tab to register a new email address.
How long will my files be stored for?
All of your past files submitted will be stored for 3 months in your account.
Online dashboard capabilities?
Via your customer portal, you will have the ability to download and approve files, as well as communicate directly with your assigned engineer.
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