Mastering to Tape
What is tape mastering, and how does it help?
At the core of today’s music productions is a large number of digital audio processors. Digital technology allows us to work with audio with greater precision and ease, and at a substantially lower cost than before. Naturally, this makes it widely favoured around the world.
Of course, there’s one problem with that. The moment you hear your music through a finely built analog audio processor, something changes. That’s why the unpredictability, the lack of precision, the natural warmth and saturation, and the gentle compression of analog will always be in demand.
Many great mastering engineers use tape processing add warmth, drive and spirit to their typically digitally processed masters. Tape makes the perfect final print destination.
On top of the known advantages of analog audio processing,
Sound Sauce uses a 1988 Studer A80 tape machine with ATR 1/2″ tape. Our machine is heavily modded with custom heads and modern capping, and we always use brand new tape for our masters.
The Art & The Science
It’s worth noting that converting audio between digital and analog domains changes the character and properties of the sound permanently, and with each additional conversion, we’re risking further loss and degradation. We take a number of steps at Sound Sauce to reduce this.
No two digital audio converters are the same. We use premium RME audio converters to limit digital distortion and jitter.
High sample rate
The sample rate of analog audio is essentially infinite. This plays a part in defining the sound of analog. We work at a high sample rate of 88.2KHz (twice that of CD quality) to retain this.
Our standard, non-tape masters experience zero sample rate and digital to analog conversions.
We limit our tape masters to two digital to analog conversions to two and sample rate conversions to one. This is the minimum number possible.
How does it sound?
Below are some examples of our mastering.
Dance & EDM
Rock & Indie
Looking for great mastering?
For standard masters, prepare your music for commercial release on all online streaming services.
1x 16bit/44.1KHz WAV
For commercial release on multiple formats, add a specialist master for release on CD.
2x 16bit/44.1KHz WAVs, 1x DDP file
For the perfect master, run your master through our unique modified Studer tape machine.
2x 24bit/88.2KHz WAVs, 1x DDP file