Mastering Audio CD in Chicago


About Mastering

I strive to provide masters with quality comparable to that of the best facilities in the country. This is why before you pay anything, Iwill provide you with samples of your mastered tracks so that you can compare them to work done at other mastering houses and commercially-released cds.

What is Mastering and why is it necessary?

Many believe that the purpose of mastering is to simply make music louder; this is in fact only a small part of the job. The main goal of mastering is to make music sound clear, punchy and consistent on a variety of stereo systems. This is mainly achieved with the use of compression—bringing down the louder signals in order to make the quieter aspects (and frequencies) of the music audible. A good mastering job can enhance a recording dramatically, however a sloppy job can ruin an otherwise great mix beyond repair.
Some engineers believe that compression is bad because it "deadens the music" and "destroys dynamic variation". This is in fact true, but only for limiting—an extreme form of compression which should be used in minimal amounts if at all. Mild compression, on the other hand, can enhance dynamic variation by increasing punch of the music and bring life to the sound by cleaning up muddiness of the raw mix.

Why get your music mastered at Knightly Productions?

The fact is, I can provide you with masters comprable to those of professional high-budget mastering studios at a fraction of a cost. Why so cheap? Well, because I don't have a fancy studio with expensive equipment and a huge list of credits. All I have are my ears. And I am convinsed that the ears are more important then the most expensive equipment. One of our clients recently had some songs mastered at a prominent Chicago mastering house (one of the top studios in the country) and the results were far from satisfactory. One of these songs is featured below. Because the mix, it seems, was already compressed quite a bit (something that makes the mastering engineer's job very difficult) it was very muddy and the drums were buried underneath the rest of the music.The pro mastering house did the regular run-of-the-mill mastering job with lots of limiting only to worsen the problem by bringing out the vocals and the other instruments and squishing all punch out of the drums. What the mix required, however, was exactly the opposite—more punch and less vocals, achieved by first 'uncompressing' the lower frequencies to bring out the drums and then compressing the whole mix with very little limiting to bring down the rest of the music. Try listening to these tracks at various volume levels and compare them to commercial hip hop albums.  

Featherless Wings (Original)        Featherless Wings ("Professional" Master)       Featherless Wings (My Master) 

Listen to more examples on the music page

Send mail to to inquire about specific prices for your project.