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First available engineer from £85 per track

Not based in the UK? Need a faster turnaround? Unlock the expertise of our mastering engineers from anywhere via our online mastering service. This is a convenient, secure and cost-effective way to get your music finessed by one of our world-class engineers.

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Have a mastering project you want to discuss? Get in touch with our Mastering Engineer Manager Ellie!
Have an Atmos project you want to discuss? Get in touch with our Mastering Engineer Manager Ellie!

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Atmos: In Conversation with Matt Colton

Atmos: In conversation is our series of interviews about all things Atmos and 360 RA. 

In this issue we sat down with Matt Colton, mastering engineer at Metropolis Studios, to talk about his recent work on James Blake’s recent album “Playing Robots Into Heaven”.

How long have you been working with Atmos? 

Matt Colton: I have been working with Atmos for a couple of years now since Apple adopted the format.

Is your workflow different when you work in Atmos? 

Matt Colton: It’s different in that I work entirely in the box when doing Atmos mixing and mastering, whereas in stereo I often use a bit of analogue outboard equipment. 

But the principles I bring to Atmos are the same – trying to be musical and focus on the musicality of the project over and above all else. Trying to best serve the music, and present it in the clearest and most honest way to the listener, whatever the format is that I am working towards, be it digital, vinyl, Atmos or whatever.

Is it helpful to the engineer who has mastered the project in both stereo and atmos? 

Matt Colton: I think it’s a massive benefit; the stereo currently invariably is done first, and that means I have gone through the whole approval process with the creative team to get the stereo masters approved and over the line. I know what the creative are looking for, I know what they are listening out for, I know their aims and ideals, and I know what pitfalls and problem areas exist in the album.

If I have done the stereo masters, then I have been through this whole stage of learning about the record, which a third-party engineer hasn’t. As a result, I can bring all that knowledge to bear on the Atmos part of the project as well, whether I am Atmos mastering or Atmos mixing and mastering.

I think it brings greater sonic consistency between the various different delivery formats, and I think also makes communication between the engineer (i.e. myself) and the creative team quicker and easier, because those lines of communication are pre-existing.

Have you worked with James Blake before?

Matt Colton: I have worked on most of the music James has released, from the ‘CMYK’ EP onwards. I mastered his first 3 albums for all stereo formats, did the vinyl mastering for his 4th album and now have mastered all stereo formats and mixed and mastered the Atmos release for this album, ‘Playing Robots Into Heaven’.

Tell a bit more about the project. 

Matt Colton: It’s one of my favourite things James has done, it really harks back to his early output, when he was a young experimental electronic producer living in London, and it’s heavily indebted to London and the sound of this city.

He’s much better at writing hooks now than he was around the time of his first album, and that shows on this record, but it contains much more of the spirit of wild abandon that made his debut album so compelling.

He called me up and said that he didn’t want to get this record mastered in the States, it had to be done by me, because he wanted to maintain the heavy dancefloor bass throughout.

What is your favourite track and why? 

Matt Colton: ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Loading’ are obviously great, but I also really love ‘If You Can Hear Me’ because it’s so unadorned – the emotion really comes through on that track.

Why have you decided to bring Corinne Bailey Rae’s Atmos forward and talk about her album in this interview as well? 

Matt Colton: Because it’s the best record [Black Rainbows] she’s ever made and one of my albums of the year, it’s breathtaking, the performances are great, and the writing is incredible – inventive, psychedelic, wild and engaging. The whole record totally moves the needle of what a lot of people might think of Corinne as an artist. Everyone should check this record out.

It works so well in Atmos because the sound stage on a lot of tracks is vast. The stereo mixes are very upfront and in your face and work great because they are so bold, and the Atmos is a kind of counterpoint to that in certain ways in that we were able to open up the space a bit more which creates a slightly different listening experience. It’s another way to immerse yourself in a truly great album.

Listen to our latest Atmos releases here.

Record Store Day 2020

What seems like a lifetime ago, but was in fact March of this year, Metropolis in partnership with Mastercard UK hosted Record Store Day ambassadors The Big Moon to record three tracks direct to vinyl, with a live audience alongside them in the studio.

Originally fast tracked through the pressing plants and scheduled to come out on April 18th as part of Record Store Day celebrations, the release was moved to August 29th to coincide with the first of the Record Store Day Drops, due to Record Store Day being pushed back as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans will be able to buy the release on August 29th from a participating independent record shop either in store from 8am or from an independent record shop website at 6pm. On the recording are brand new versions of Your Light and Waves and an exclusive cover of Fatboy Slim and Camille Yarbrough’s Praise You. These recordings are only available on the vinyl release in a limited run of just 650 copies. 


Recording ‘live to vinyl’ is the original process that artists used to record music for public consumption. There is no modern technology involved, it’s just plain old playing and recording. In today’s digital age, the art of capturing music live to vinyl has long been forgotten but we have recreated the experience using our unique vinyl cutting lathes. Part of the magic of recording music in this way is that the artist have to get it right first time… And The Big Moon did exactly that! 

Record Store Day is the one day of the year when over 230 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion. Thousands more shops celebrate the day around the globe in what’s become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar. Due to COVID-19 pandemic Record Store Day 2020 in April was postponed and will now take place as part of 3 ‘RSD Drops’. The exclusive release list has been split into three with products either available on 29th August, 26th September or 24th October from participating shops. 

A full list of releases and their release dates can be found on www.recordstoreday.co.uk.