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We produce the right digital masters

Electronic music distribution has some unparalleled benefits − but sound quality is not one of them. That is the prevailing view, but it is not quite accurate. Even compressed formats such as OGG, AAC or MP3 can achieve good sound quality when their encoding is based on digital masters expertly prepared by us. And, of course, there is also high-resolution audio, which is far superior to the quality of CD audio, for example.

Album, playlist and single

In the world of streaming, the album as a musical concept has become less important. Users listen to their own personal playlists or consume music from a random selection of digital media services. With the retreat of the album, artists may be losing a mode of presentation, but this opens up new freedoms for the sound engineer.

We can now allow individual tracks to unfold in all their glory without having to adapt them too much to fit into the context of an album. This may mean that a digital album is less coherent, but it is made up of individual tracks that can hold their own in any context and will have a major impact on listeners and the music market.

Optimal digital masters for every distribution channel

Some specially adapted strategies are required to ensure that the full tonal potential of your production also comes across to consumers listening via digital distribution channels. This is why we create dedicated digital masters for electronic music distribution. In our workflows, we distinguish between three different types of digital master: masters for distribution via high-resolution audio providers, masters for the encoding that is required for streaming or download and masters that are set up according to the Apple Digital Masters specifications.

Digital masters for Hi-Res audio

High-resolution audio allows the listener at home to enjoy your music in the same quality as we do in the studio. That is great in theory. To ensure that it also works in practice, we supply production masters for Hi-Res audio distribution that are 100% compatible with the specifications laid down by the service providers who may distribute your product.

The audio resolution required by some service providers corresponds to the native production format, which is also the most sensible option. So for our Hi-Res masters, whenever possible we turn to the high-resolution data used for CD processing, before it has been rendered to CD quality. This is an economical way of working that gives the listener access to top-quality audio.

Digital masters for Streaming

We can provide you with production masters optimised for download and streaming distribution. In addition to our usual mastering techniques, we also take the typical listening conditions for these formats into account. By making the appropriate adjustments, we can achieve the best possible sound for the listener.

To create the most suitable source data for the encoding, we take platform specifications into account and work in accordance with best practices. This is important because the different providers have different requirements and will use their own algorithms to modify our audio data.

In practice, we could create just one digital master that would be accepted by all platforms (with the exception of Apple Digital Music). However, it is more advantageous for your music to create individual masters optimised for the specifications of each distribution partner.

Apple Digital Masters

We create special ADM upload masters for Apple Music to ensure that when listeners access your music via this platform, they will be enjoying a sound that comes especially close to the original master. These Apple Digital Masters consist of high-resolution audio and are created in accordance with Apple’s specifications.

In 2014, Master & Servant became one of the first studios in the country to be certified by Apple Inc. USA as an official technical provider of music meeting the ‘Mastered for iTunes’ standard − known today as Apple Digital Masters.

Do Apple Digital Masters sound better?

Yes, absolutely. A clearly defined and interwoven workflow is an integral part of an Apple Digital Master. It starts with our work in the mastering studio, continues with uploading and encoding and concludes with technical provision by the provider. This process results in superior quality in terms of audio compression and encoding. Furthermore, it ensures that the D/A converters used by consumers will run at the levels they were designed for. This results in clearer sounding downloads and streams with reduced distortion and compression artifacts.

Our Apple Digital Masters can also be used outside of Apple Music for many other types of high-definition audio marketing. At the same time, the ADM data provides you with a high-resolution archive copy of your production, meaning that Apple Digital Masters can also serve as the source for all future formats and uses. So there are several good reasons to create optional ADM masters.

Your benefits at a glance

  • Digital masters with impressive sound
  • Optimal masters for streaming
  • Optimal masters for downloads
  • Optimal masters for social media
  • Optimal masters for Hi-Res audio
  • High-resolution archive copy of your project
  • Our production masters meet all specifications
  • We are a certified provider of Apple Digital Masters

Get a quote

Use this form to request a quotation for the mastering of your project. Please tell us something about the artist, the work and the technical circumstances surrounding the production. Your personal assessment is also very important to us.

    Master & Servant GmbH

    Schlachthofstrasse 36B
    D-21079 Hamburg

    Tel 0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44

    0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44