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 or duplicated CDs or DVDs, 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 or DVD 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 30 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...
- Unmastered v Mastered example track.
- Starts with Unmastered, but keep your volume down, as the Mastered portions kick in louder!
Here are some of the recent CDs I've mastered...
“I cannot recommend you highly enough as the time, attention, enthusiasm and care that you took in making my product extra special. The fact that you listened to and even suggested a few tweaks that would enhance the CD and the listening experience I think was just brilliant and you produced the product that I had asked for. You also worked seamlessly with the Producer and the Disc production company and communicated with them and took control of that side of things. The fact also that you did put all the artwork together and design and so calmly added or removed bits and pieces and followed through my requests to the ...! I would highly recommend you without a doubt or hesitation. An overall one stop shop for the final production stage of any music project. Thank you soooooo much Henry. Life is Too Short...
“I very much enjoyed the process of having my album Reminiscence and some production music tracks mastered by Henry. I recorded and mixed the tracks myself, and it was helpful to have a pair of "fresh ears" listen to the tracks to give some constructive advice. During the mastering process we communicated back and forth until I was satisfied with the result. A good master can really help give a track that extra edge, make it come alive.
I recommend Henry Smithson's CD mastering service.”
“Working with Henry was great. I had a clear idea of what I wanted for mastering and Henry was so easy to communicate with and got the results I wanted first time.
All in all Henry was a pleasure to work with and the results speak for themselves, his work is top quality."
"Henry’s mastering of the five tracks on the EP "Early Days” by Parkside was fantastic. What a difference it makes to have proper mastering on a recording! Even though Henry had been recommended by ‘The Cream Room’ (who had been excellent in recording the album), one is still a little wary about getting in touch with someone over the internet, whom one has never met face to face. We needn’t have had even the slightest worry, as from our first contact, Henry was helpful and efficient. He initially mastered a trial track for us to check, before we gave him the go-ahead for the rest to be done. He very kindly mastered them in a relatively short space of time - before going on holiday! - so we were very impressed not only with his ’turnaround time’, but also with the quality of the results. In addition he was kind enough to adjust his price slightly to be able to include adding the ISRC codes and a CD, to still meet the band’s budget, which actually did help hugely.
I would have absolutely no hesitation in highly recommending Henry for his professional attitude, efficiency and the extremely high standard of his work. He gives a very impressive service."
Single track - £40
4-track EP - £120
10-track album - £220
15-track album - £300
These sample prices are based on tracks with an average running time. If your tracks are 10-minute mini-epics the price may vary!
Call me 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.