My name is Henry Smithson, and I care about your music!
I've got a great studio and gear, and over 20 years of experience in mastering, working with bands and artists like you, in just about every musical genre you can think of.
But the main thing is I prefer to spend a bit more time and give you the best result I can, rather than watch the clock.
I'm proud of the work I do and the relationship I have with my clients. My policy is to always over-deliver, and to get the best results I can, regardless of how long it takes me.
Here on my website you'll find genuine testimonials from clients, tracks you can listen to, and a gallery of some of the hundreds of albums I've worked on. And there's more about me below...
Pro mastering is vital for your tracks - you need your tracks to stand up with the best of your genre. And it's easy to lose perspective on your project when you've heard it countless times while working on it. That's why even a song recorded by the greatest producers in the finest studios will benefit from an engineer who can bring fresh, experienced ears to it.
I'm confident that I can get the best out of your music, so I'm offering this Free Mastering Trial. Sign up for the offer if you've got a project ready to go, then you can send me one of your tracks and I'll master it - no obligation, no charge.
More details below...
I've also got years of experience in optical disc manufacturing, so if you want to produce a run of pressed CDs, I'd be happy to give you a really competitive quote for your manufacturing, with a choice of all the usual packaging formats. Feel free to get in touch if you need any help or advice on any aspect of CD manufacturing.
I can also help with any issues of artwork and design in relation to CD packaging. So even if you've got nothing but a few photos, I can put it all together for you from scratch, right up the point where it's properly laid out for the packaging that you want, and in the correct file formats ready to go straight to print.
I've gained vast experience of all sorts of music from over 20 years of CD mastering work, and also a longer history of bin-loop mastering for cassette duplication, including household name chart hits. So I've heard a huge amount of music in just about every genre you can think of, and under critical listening conditions. Because of this, I know what a good mix sounds like - which puts me in a unique position to help you get the best out of your studio mixes.
...is what I aim for. First I use my experience to listen to a client's mixes until I've formulated an overview of how the tracks could potentially sound. Then I focus in on the detail of the processing required in order to achieve it.
I've always approached audio mastering from the musical viewpoint, so I notice things about dynamics, the ebb and flow of a track, and how it's affected by the relationships of the different sections of a track to each other, as well as the more technical issues of EQ balance and level.
I don't agree with maximum loudness being the main aim of mastering. Loudness is important, but so are balance and clarity. To me it's all about enhancing what's already there to achieve Maximum Emotional Impact.
Home and budget studios are great for recording, but dubious monitoring and dodgy acoustics can mean that if you've never heard your music in an accurate listening environment, then you may not know how your mixes really sound. But I will, because my studio is flat and accurate.
In addition to the acoustic tuning - bass traps, acoustic tiles and corner absorbers - the studio is equipped with the amazing TACT room correction system - giving me a time-aligned flat frequency monitoring environment in which to make accurate sonic decisions. Here's the techy stuff...
- PMC TB2 active speakers, highly regarded for their extended frequency response and accuracy.
- SADiE 24/96 & Magix Sequoia/RME DAWs for recording & editing. Plug-ins: SADiE & Magix native, Steven Slate, Voxengo & UAD.
- Analog outboard - Focusrite dynamics & EQ, SPL Vitalizer 2 enhancer. Digital outboard - dbx Quantum digital dynamics & EQ.
But don't forget - it's about ears, not just equipment! So let's not get too hung up on the gear - because Mastering is much more to do with the knowledge and expertise of the person using the gear.
- Audio Restoration - DeNoise, Dehiss, Declip, DeClick, Decrackle for audio cleanup.
- Editing.- Radio edits, assembly of music or voiceover recordings from multiple takes.
- Transfers - Professional transfers from older digital or analog formats.
- ISRC Coding - I can add ISRC codes and / or CD Text to existing masters if required.
Thanks for reading so far. While you're here, you can have a listen to some Music tracks that I've Mastered, read some Testimonials from delighted clients, look at my Gallery of CD covers from some of the hundreds of albums I've mastered, and find out about getting CDs made. Hope to hear from you soon - and don't forget the FREE Mastering Trial offer! Cheers,
- Click on the image to launch Player 1. These are some tracks from some of the albums I've mastered. These are on high-quality 320 Kb MP3 - currently 25 tracks covering a variety of musical genres, and I'll add more as I go. Hope you like them. There's more in Player 2.
- Because of my huge experience (over 20 years) of audio mastering on all different types of music, I can make quick judgements on what is required, and do what's necessary to make it sound better.
Here are some of the recent CDs I've mastered...
“We just wanted to say thanks for the excellent mastering session you did this week for the Easychair CD. We’ve had a chance to evaluate the results in a variety of listening environments, and agree that you’ve done a fine job. You correctly identified the main problem with the original mixes and have set that right, so there’s now a good deal more energy and power in the songs, which flow track to track in the way they should.”
Andy & Anton - Easychair
"John, the producer and co-writer of my album found Mister Master while he was researching mastering companies within budget. There were about three companies in the running, and each of them did a sample master with one of my album tracks. They were all ok, but then he heard Henry’s sample and he sent it over straight away insisting that I just had to listen. It was clearly the best we’d heard. It sounded professional, industry ready and we could tell that Henry really cared about the tracks too. We told him what our budget was and he said he really wanted to work with us, so he agreed to the budget which was fantastic news for us.
It’s really refreshing to work with someone in the music industry that actually enjoys listening to music and is still passionate! Along the way, Henry offered constructive suggestions on some of the mixes etc, again going the extra mile to show he had invested more than the average mastering company. It’s been in the making for a while, but now my debut album is finished, I’m really proud and more importantly, it sounds excellent - Mister Master contributed to that in a big way."
"Our 2014 album 'Everything is Connected' is the second album we have entrusted to Henry Smithson, and the key point here is trust: we trust Henry. Henry’s mastering and treatment of our mixes deliver sparkle, punch, clarity and separation – but beyond this Henry actually listens to the songs and tailors his talents accordingly. Henry’s real talent does not just lie in the skilful navigation of his impressive array of mastering equipment but also in his ability to bring out the best in a song, to allow the nuances of a mix to shine, to give power and drive, and to offer that uniformly across the soundscape of an album. Another key to the service that Henry offers is his ability to work with an artist’s needs and to be flexible and adaptable so that, at all times, the quality of the final product is kept as the target and the prime objective. I fully recommend Henry Smithson to any artist that is serious about the music, indeed I thank him for his professionalism and his engagement with Dead Heroes Club."
Liam Campbell - Dead Heroes Club
4-track EP - £120
10-track album - £220
15-track album - £300
These are based on tracks with an average running time. If your tracks are 10-minute mini-epics the price may vary!
Get in touch with me by phone or email to discuss your project. I'll be able to give you an estimate there and then. After I've received your tracks and evaluated them I'll give you a proper quote and that's what you'll pay.
Red Book CD Master Disc - suitable for Duplication or Replication* - £15
(inc. postage by 1st class Recorded Delivery)
DDP Master Files - for Replication* - £25
(inc. listening copy on audio CD for approval, posted by 1st class Recorded Delivery)
THESE PRICES INCLUDE ADDING CD TEXT AND/OR ISRC CODES - AND NO VAT!
*Many CD Pressing plants now insist on Audio Masters delivered electronically as DDP files -
check with your Manufacturer.
Per hour - £27.50
Half-hour minimum charge - £13.75
Per 3 hours - £72.50
Extra time over 3 hours is charged at £13.75 per half hour, and £27.50 per hour
Bank Transfer (preferred)
Credit or Debit Card via PayPal
Cash or Cheque by arrangement
ANY CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS VIA PAYPAL ARE SUBJECT TO A SURCHARGE BASED ON THE PAYPAL PERCENTAGE APPLYING AT THE TIME.
The CD is not dead! There's still money to be made selling physical product, especially if you're a gigging band or artist. So why not let me quote for your CD manufacturing. I've got huge experience in the pressing and duplication of CD and DVD discs and the various packaging options available. And if you're looking for help with the packaging design, I'm equally knowledgeable in the issues involved in the preparation of artwork and the printing of the packaging, and skilled in the use of Adobe software to design and produce artwork that looks good and is compatible with the print processes.
- Reliable service and competitive pricing are the hallmarks of my CD and DVD Replication service.
- Guaranteed quality pressing, full-colour litho on-disc print and a choice of all the common packaging formats.
- Call me for free expert help and advice in any aspect of optical disc manufacturing - even if you're just thinking about it!
- Send me your photos, pictures, logos and text, and I'll put the whole thing together for you, from start to finish, with creativity and expertise.
- Or if you've already got artwork done, but lack the experience and software to create print-ready files, I can do the tricky work of checking it, applying it to the right templates, and creating the press-ready files needed for print.