Hermann von Helmholtz’ Resonators, an apparatus created in the 1850s able to pick out specific frequencies from a complex sound

is the last creative step in the recording process where the audio content gets prepared for replication as a physical release and as master files used for digital distribution and streaming. The sonic qualities of a production will see a final check to ensure a balanced system translation across a wide range of speakers and headphones, volume relations and the spacing between tracks are adjusted to give the work a smooth flow. Audio can also be mastered for a specific purpose, like the presentation in a distinct space or the playback through a bespoke sound system.

From a historical point of view
assembling a master mainly involved the sequencing of a playlist from the final selection of recordings scattered across various tape reels. Back then recordings where made in professional studio facilities employing a whole crew of highly skilled and specialized technicians – selecting the space for a recording, properly setting up the right selection of microphones, operating tape machines, mixing the tracks down with an appropriate amount of equalization and dynamic processing – to name but a few. Those recordings where supposed to be transferred flat, without any further post production, so the master tape was often assembled by trainees. During decades of advance in audio technology, mastering became an art form in it’s own right, carried out by experienced engineers working with dedicated mastering grade tools in acoustically accurate listening environments.

Fast forward to 2019
when a lot of music is entirely made in home or small project studios under less than ideal acoustic conditions, and mastering plays an essential creative role in a production that wants to stand out sonically. Interventions necessary in order to archive this goal can either be subtle or rather drastic.

At Schwebung Mastering
my objective is to make your mix sound detailed, deep, and transparent, while contemplating the dynamics and character that your music demands. Your production can be harmonically enriched to give it more life, contour and that special radiance. In a professional mastering environment the strengths and possible weaknesses of your mix become evident and can be adjusted or enhanced appropriately so your sound will unlock it’s full potential.

You can read more about my background and general approach to sound and mastering here.

Apart from stereo mastering for analog and digital formats I’m offering stem mixing, mastering for film and restoration of historical 78/45/33 rpm records, 1/4″ and 1/2″ reels as well as cassette tapes.

For Whom
Being a collector of a wide range of music from my early childhood on, I have no reservations towards any genre. I love music, I love the shaping of sound. While I specialize in mastering services for artists and labels working in the fields of electronic, electroacoustic and contemporary classical music, I have collaborated with rock and pop musicians, metal bands, early music players, house producers and jazz ensembles. Many clients have chosen to work with me since they appreciate my artistic sensitivity for sound.

Studio Schwebung
I’m working with a selection of state of the art analog and digital tools made with a background of working in outstanding studios around the world for 25 years. While equipment is certainly a fascinating subject, what really matters is the choice of the right tools for a specific task and the skills to apply them effectively.

In the end, mastering has to be all about the finished product, not the way it got there.

read: Preparing Your Mix