Many a Canadian producer will have musicians record in Canada, mix in Canada, but might suggest an album be mastered in the US. Why?
The world’s most celebrated mastering studios are in New York and southern California. You’ll find more credits from these few studios than all the other mastering studios combined. These studios also have top-tier gear specifically made and customized for mastering. The rooms have been designed by top acousticians and sound acoustically neutral. Their engineers have decades of experience.
So with all of that why wouldn’t your Canadian producer have you master outside of Canada? Because the producer doesn’t realize (or believe) we have all of this in Canada. Well we do, and in abundance from coast to coast.
HERE’S WHAT THE PRODUCER (OR YOU) MAY NOT KNOW:
We have celebrated engineers with multiple gold and platinum albums under their belts:
Lacquer Channel (Toronto)’s own George Graves has mastered some of the best and most-recognized albums ever made and is one of the most experienced engineers anywhere.
We have mastering suites that rival the best rooms in the world:
Joao Carvalho Mastering (Toronto) boasts one of the most beautifully designed rooms, reputed as “the most accurate listening environment known.”
You can get world class mastering on both coasts.
Archive Mastering (Halifax) and Suite Sound Labs and Zen Mastering (Vancouver) discographies feature some of the best Canada has to offer.
The gear used in Canada’s mastering studios is the best anywhere.
The AD/DA converters used at Lacquer Channel, – Lavry Gold, Prism, dCS, Burl and Forsell, – are the same that are used at Gateway Mastering (by Bob Ludwig) and New York City’s Sterling Sound. Greymarket Mastering (Montreal) has a custom-designed EQ by Barry Porter, one of the most reputable EQ designers. Silverbirch Mastering (Toronto) has an Ampex 1/2” tape machine with customized Class A Aira electronics.
Some of the coolest, best-selling, and highest profile Canadian artists of the past five years have been mastered in Canada:
Death from Above 1979 (Joao Carvalho), Handsome Furs (Harris Neumann), Joel Plaskett (J. La Pointe), Neko Case (Peter Moore), The Waking Eyes (Phil Demetro), RUSH (George Graves) and Broken Social Scene (Noah Mintz) have all had past recordings mastered here in their home country.
You can get a Vinyl Lacquer Master cut in Canada:
Lacquer Channel Mastering is the only place in Canada you can get a lacquer cut with our Neumann VMS-80 Lathe.
Overall, I can’t see any reason not to master. Kudos to all those Canadian producers (and labels, studios et al.) who encourage and build relationships with our many amazing, world-class Canadian mastering engineers and studios.
Here is a list of mastering studios in Canada: (Let me know if I’m missing any)
Lacquer Channel Mastering
Joao Carvalho Mastering
Heading North Mastering
E Room Mastering
Grey Market Mastering
Trillium Sound Mastering
Sound Master Studios
Outta Town Sound
Suite Sound Labs (Vancouver)
Zen Mastering (Vancouver)