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Digital masters

Digital music distribution is unbeatable in many ways – but sound quality is not one of them. This, at least, is what many people believe, although it’s not quite true. That’s because even compressed formats such as OGG, AAC or MP3 can sound decent when we professionally prepare the digital masters that serve as the basis for encoding. Not to be forgotten here is high-resolution audio, the quality of which is far superior to CD audio, for example.

Album & single

In the world of streaming, the album as a musical concept is becoming less important. This is because users listen to music from personal playlists or consume their music crosswise from the various digital offerings. While artists may lose a form of depiction and communication with the retreat of the album, mastering engineers are in fact given new freedoms.

These freedoms mean that we can allow the individual tracks to stand out in all their glory because we don’t need to perfectly align them with an overall album context. Digital albums produced in this manner can be less consistent than traditional albums, but they also contain distinct individual tracks that can have a major impact on both listeners and the music market.

optimal digital masters for every distribution channel

In order to ensure that the full potential of your music production’s sound can be enjoyed by listeners even via digital distribution channels, specially adapted strategies are required. For this reason, we create dedicated digital masters for electronic music distribution. We distinguish here between masters for three different types of distribution: masters for productions that will ultimately be distributed by high-resolution audio providers, masters that will be used as basis for encoding and subsequent streaming or downloading, and masters created in line with the Apple Digital Masters protocol.

Hi-Res audio / Digital masters

High resolution audio means that listeners can enjoy your music at home in the same quality as we do in the studio. That is a great thing in theory. To make this work in practice, we supply production masters for Hi-Res distribution that are fully compatible with the specifications of the service providers you are considering for your product.

The audio data resolution required by some providers corresponds to the native production format, which is also the most sensible option. For our Hi-Res masters, we therefore resort to the high-definition data of the corresponding CD processing whenever possible, before it is rendered down to CD quality. This workflow is economical and ensures full audio quality for your listeners.

Streaming \ Digital masters

We provide you with optimal production masters for distribution via download and streaming. In addition to our usual mastering routines, we evaluate the typical listening conditions when consuming these formats. With the appropriate adjustments, we realize the best possible sound on the listener side.

In order to provide the most suitable source data also in terms of encoding, we follow the requirements of the platforms and keep the best practices in focus. This is important because different service providers set different specifications and modify our audio data with their own algorithms.

In practice, it is feasible to create a single digital master that is accepted by all audio platforms, except Apple Digital Masters. However, for the presentation your music programs it is more advantageousto provide individual production masters according to the specifications of your individual distribution partners.

Apple Digital Masters

We create special ADM upload masters to ensure that your music program will sound as close as possible to the original studio master when it’s distributed by Apple Music. These masters feature of high-resolution audio and are created according to the Apple Digital Masters protocol.

Back in 2014, Master & Servant actually became one of the first mastering studios in Germany to be certified by Apple Inc. USA as an official technical provider of music productions “Mastered for iTunes” – now known as Apple Digital Masters.

Do Apple Digital Masters sound better?

Yes, absolutely. The key component of Apple Digital Masters involves a clearly defined interwoven workflow that starts with the work in the mastering studio and extends to uploading, encoding and technical delivery by the service provider. This process leads to superior audio quality in terms of compression and encoding. Furthermore, it ensures that the D/A converters used by consumers will run in their technical sweet spot. All this together results in clearer sounding downloads and streams with less distortion and compression artefacts.

Our Apple Digital Masters can generally be used for many other ways of marketing high-definition audio other than Apple Music. At the same time, the ADM data gives you high-resolution archive copies of your productions, so the Apple Digital Masters can also serve as sources for all future formats and applications. Creating optional Apple Digital Masters of your productions therefore makes sense for several reasons.

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 get a quote for mastering. Feel free to tell us about the artist, the work and the technical circumstances surrounding the production. Your personal views and ideas are also important to us.

    Master & Servant GmbH

    Schlachthofstrasse 36 B
    D-21079 Hamburg

    Tel 0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44

    0049 (0)40 - 25 60 44