Mastering


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Metropolis Mastering was founded in 1993 by Ian Cooper, Tony Cousins and Tim Young. Their motivation was simple: to master audio to a standard never previously achieved. In the years that followed they were joined by other established mastering engineers; Stuart Hawkes, Mazen Murad and John Davis to continue to raise standards and expectations.

From inception all our rooms have been designed and built to the highest specification, in conjunction with industry-leading speaker manufacturer PMC to house their finest monitoring systems powered by Bryston amplifiers. This ensures we have the best possible listening environment in which to make critical judgements and changes to audio. PMC themselves describe our rooms as “the best audio environments in the world.”

Another longstanding key partner of Metropolis are Prism who supply all the analogue to digital and digital to analogue converters we use. Each room is then equipped with a range of outboard EQs and compressors according to each engineers needs and preferences. Equipment chosen to be in the rooms comes from the likes of Sontec, Avalon, Maselec, Shadow Hills, Weiss, and TC Electronic.

Of our 5 mastering rooms, 3 have been designed for both for stereo and 5.1 surround sound mastering. This enables us to master for surround consumer formats like BluRay and SACD as well as cinema releases. While 2 have our lovingly maintained Neumann VMS-80 lathes installed for cutting vinyl records.

Mastered for iTunes

Metropolis was one of the first mastering houses in the world to be approved by Apple to produce Mastered for iTunes masters. The experience of our engineers was paramount in developing methods to make music sound as good as possible in the AAC format used for iTunes and Apple Music.

5.1 Surround, DVD & Blu-ray

Three of our mastering rooms were designed from conception with 5.1 surround sound in mind. As such we have impeccable listening environments for multichannel jobs. We master for a variety of surround formats including video formats like DVD and BluRay as well as audio specific formats like SACD and DVD-A. After years of development work by our engineers we have developed several techniques for upmixing stereo or even mono material to 5.1. This provides a viable option where original tapes are not available, or budgets are particularly tight.

Vinyl Cutting

Our mastering engineers have decades of combined experience in cutting vinyl and know how to get the very best from the format. As the format enjoys a well deserved resurgence, our specialism in professionally produced vinyl results in stunning sound quality which comfortably holds its own against CD and other digital formats. We have two lovingly maintained Neuman VMS 80 cutting lathes, which have been further modified for optimum results.

Half Speed Vinyl Cutting

Vinyl cutting at half speed is a highly specialised process, and we are one of the few mastering studios in the world capable of this superior method of cutting. Both the playback system and the cutting lathe work at half speed, putting less stress on the vinyl cutter head. This produces a louder, cleaner cut which far surpasses what is achievable on a standard speed cut.

iMastering

For those who want the convenience of hassle free online mastering, you can book any of our engineers through the iMastering service. This is an entirely online service geared towards those who can’t or don’t want to attend the session and is charged at a per track price. Simply upload your files, and get your mastered tracks emailed back to you.

Unsigned Bands

We believe it’s important to support emerging talent, so we are happy to accommodate truly independent, self-funded artists wherever possible. Contact us directly to discuss your project with one of the team.

Live Direct-To-Vinyl

A live, direct-to-lacquer vinyl cut is a truly unique undertaking in this day and age. It is a highly labour-intensive and intricate all-analogue process, harking back to the days before tape recording was introduced midway through the last century. Synchronised, simultaneous live performing, engineering, mixing, mastering and cutting of the record eliminates all scope for hiding behind modern production techniques, and is not for performers faint of heart!

The process is so intricate that it requires a team of specialists to execute, and Metropolis Studios is one of the very few places on the planet still doing it. Capturing an artist’s live performance direct to a vinyl master, completely bypassing any digital processing and any other recording processes, produces a truly unique and ‘real’ sound that is impossible to replicate.


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