Dear Friend of XARC Mastering,

Lorenz Vauck here! I hope you have had a relaxing and productive summer so far?

Here at XARC I´ve taken the time during the summer to add new equipment to the studio. There now is a total of 6 tube EQ´s that I can chose from to perfect your project, along with a total of 5 tube compressors. Also, additional analog tape devices and “tube gaining stages”, which are pre-amps in a sense that uses tubes, but can be driven to add extra warmth to your music jus by running through them, have also been added and I can exchange the tubes whenever needed to get a different tube-sound (tubes do sound very different to each other).

For each project I am doing I am always choosing the best EQ / compressor and evaluate each and every EQ / compressor for each cut / boost that I am doing to find the perfectly right sound even for the smallest cut / boost. This is a very time-consuming work that notmany studios offer, but since you and I want only the very best from the mastering at XARC, I always go this extra route and clients are very happy with that. As an example please see the feedback I´ve received from lightshade about my work at:

It´s also a big plus working over the internet since in 99% of the cases there is no big time-pressure and so, compared to traditional studios, I don´t have to finish everything in “one go”, but can put the project aside if my ears get tired to do the next steps the next day with fresh ears. Usually I repeat this during a few days until I come in one morning and say “I can´t make it better than this”. And only then, once I am convinced that everything is as perfect as it can get, I will send you the approval master.

Of course you can still request changes free of any additional charges if that is needed. Nothing has changed with that policy.

On another note:
If you’ve been with XARC for long, then you know that from time to time I like to offer a special discount to thank existing clients for their continuing support and to encourage new clients to start their first mastering session, of course (let´s be honest! :=)

This is why to celebrate the close of summer you can currently get a very generous 20% discount on any of your next order. This is one of the largest coupons ever offered and saves you a nice amount, especially for large projects.

To use it, simply input the code: SUMMEND in to the proper location on the contact form on the XARC website or mention it when we begin to discuss your project via email.

The coupon is good until October 31, 2012.

To discuss your upcoming project, just visit:

As always, if its been a while since you’ve had a project done, you can see the recent client reviews over at the XARC forum at:

You can also listen to dozens of recently updated before and after demos at:

We’ve also got a “Get Your Quote” pricing-tool (the exchange rates for USD / CAD / GBP are updated daily):

Remember, take 20% off of the total investment price displayed..

I wish you the best with your music and look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Thanks again for your continued support.

To Your Success,

Lorenz Vauck
Managing Director & Chief Mastering Engineer
XARC Mastering
Gompitzer Str. 108
01157 Dresden
VAT-IdNr.: DE814199915
Web: /
Phone: +49 (0)170 750 22 92
Fax: +49 (0)351 465 610 62
ICQ: 195597977
YIM: xarc_mastering
AIM: xarcmastering

“XARC’s detailed service is outstanding, and the mastering
itself is absolutely up there with the best.”
Computer Music Magazine, UK (Issue January 2006)

XARC Mastering in your words:

Tell others about XARC and receive $17 USD for each successful
referral! How? Visit:

When it comes to mastering, many artists want to do it themselves so that they can have full control over their music. However, few realize just how much goes into it… and not everybody has what it takes to do a pro job.

This then results in music far short of what it could be when those (not realizing how much goes into mastering) sit down and get to work with mastering software on their home PC.

So, what does it take to get top results with mastering? There are 5 key points:

1. Patience. A good mastering engineer must carefully listen to the audio and know that not every adjustment is going to work out. You’ve got to test, tweak, and listen, until you get the best possible sound.

This means you never know how long it’s going to take to master even a short track. It may need a wide range of adjustments… or not much at all to bring out the best possible sound.

2. Good ears. Just like a photographer or artist needs “good eyes” to create the picture with the best color coordination, a good mastering engineer needs “good ears” to pick-out potential problems… and find the best combination for all of the sounds.

This often takes training and a natural gift to be able to do this well.

3. Experience. Mastering is not something you can automatically do a great job with after reading a book or having just a little bit of hands on training. Every audio you encounter is going to require different adjustments to some degree.

Only experiencing a wide range of music and situations is going to allow you to know the best solutions for all of your music.

4. Knowledge of the equipment. This goes back to having experience. It often takes an engineer a good amount of years and clients before they feel fully comfortable with their tools.

Simply knowing what needs to be applied to music is pointless if you don’t know how to do it the best way with your equipment.

5. Ability to communicate with the client. A common problem with many mastering studios is that they don’t listen and communicate with the client well enough.

As a mastering engineer, your job is to help complete the client’s vision. If you can’t get a clear picture of their final vision, then you’re going to have a lot of unhappy clients.

Additionally, you as the artist, can never do a good job mastering if you’re not clear yourself in what you want. Talking with the mastering engineers allows you to understand what can be done to your music during the mastering process.

Probably, the standard for learning about mastering is Bob Katz’s book, “Mastering Audio: The Art and Science.”

Of course, the single biggest advantage of going with a mastering engineer is the fresh pair of independent, skilled ears. Without them, then you’re never going to reach the “Sonic perfection” your music deserves – and increase your chances of having more success.

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

As a music artist or producer, understanding the mastering process is a vital part to getting the best possible sound from your music.

Because if you don’t know the ins and outs of it, then its often hard to choose the best mastering engineer for your money. However, when you do know how everything works together, then you are virtually guaranteed to get the hit sounding final record you envisioned.

With that said, let’s cover three important components of the mastering process to getting a great final master:

1. The listening process.

Before you know what to fix, you’ve got hear the music out.

The first time you hear it, you listen to see that there is no clipping (digital distortion). Then, you listen to hear if the file is at least 24bit (16bit is often to poor quality for mastering).

After the basics are established, it is time look for the big “errors,” such as too low-volume vocals, or heavily out-of-phase stereo-image/to mono stereo-image… or a too boomy bass, for example (plus, there are a number of other little things that a skilled mastering engineer knows to look for from experience).

2. Next, the mastering process begins. Every song usually requires something different. A good mastering engineer does not limit himself to certain techniques, but uses a wide variety, depending on what is needed. Bad engineers may only be proficient in a few techniques and use those repeatedly.

Through out the mastering process, the ears are given time to rest. If the ears become too used to the project, then the mastering is put aside for a while.

It´s amazing how used to music you can get even only in a few hours of fine-tuning / mastering. A few hours later, you can again hear things you haven´t noticed before.

Then, you continue that until one of those “fresh-listening-sessions” results in no more changes you want to do to the project. This is how you know you are done with your work.

It doesn’t stop after you get tired.

3. Finally, when the work is done, the client is given the approval master.

If the client wants any changes, then the mastering engineer will discuss the pros and cons of each.  Sometimes certain changes are not possible because the supplied mix doesn´t allow you to make these changes in a way that would not “damage” other important aspects. In this case, the client must decide if they want to redo the mix.

This is a reason why it’s so important to talk with the mastering engineer through the recording and mixng phases to make sure nothing is overlooked.

Eventually, through back and forth discussion with the client, a consensus is reached on a final sound.

Once the client gives the final approval (and the engineer is satisfied with everything from the technical and mastering-”experience”-perspective), the final master everyone is happy with is created.

The result is a much better record than could ever be achieved without the help of a skilled mastering engineer.

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

Every artist has their influences. It’s how inspiration arises to create new hits.

However, this often causes a problem. At any given time, there are thousands of artists being influenced from the same great acts of the past.

As a result, too often everybody begins to sound too much alike—and this makes it hard for you to stand-out enough in the overcrowded marketplace.

Sure, you can have “better” music than everybody else. But, there are countless great musicians who failed to get noticed during their lifetime.

Simply put, your music must have the clear “edge” (in quality and emotional charge) over the rest. Otherwise, you’re most likely going to get drowned out by all of the competing noise.

This is another reason why mastering is so important. It’s what gives your music that final touch and helps drive your music home to becoming a hit.

After all, it’s hard to edit your own work. You may think you’re music is new and different. But, in reality, it may need some more polish to differentiate it from the crowd.

What you need is a new set of skilled and impartial ears a good mastering engineer offers… to help you put out the best possible version of your music.

Additionally, this means when you get mastering, you must consider how you can make your music stand-out.

You should pay attention to how you can give your music a more innovative sound – so you grab the attention of your listeners (or others in the music business who can help get you heard.)

A good mastering engineer you trust is what’s key here. Because a unexperienced one won’t know exactly what to improve to make your record truly special. It takes the talent of a real pro to give your music that final touch to make sure it gets noticed.

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

There’s a lot that goes into the production of your music. It’s got to be written, performed, tweaked (with each person involved adding his or her own personal touch), recorded, mixed, mastered, and finally distributed.

All of this takes months or years before any potential listeners get to hear your record.

Although this is often a difficult process, there is one step you can do to make the production go quicker, easier, and more pain-free.

Moreover, this step is a vital component to creating a hit record.

It’s simply this… continually work on building a cohesive vision of where your music is going.

In other words, you must have a picture in your head of the final sound and “feel” you’re trying to create. To get this vision, it involves actually stopping and taking time to answer the difficult questions.

You must think about (from the start) what sounds you want to experiment with and how you want the music to flow together. Think about how you would describe your music to people who’ve never heard it.

If you’re not certain of this picture, then you’re in for a difficult time. Because you’re going to go back and forth between changes and be indecisive about your music.

It’s a bit like being lost in the woods. If you keep on changing directions, then you’re never going to find your way out. You’ll keep going in circles.

As a result, you’re going to frustrate those who you work with (sometimes causing disagreements that can result in disaster) and it’s going to take longer to create the record.

Plus, you should also keep in mind that this vision is part of the creation process.

You’re not going to get the complete vision, until you’ve discussed your ideas with all of the people who help in the music production.

The holes of your final vision get filled-in as your music is produced and experimentation with different sounds takes place.

In the case of the mastering engineer, for instance, you need his expertise to get a clear view of what can technologically be done (based on his tools and skills).

This is the same with the mixing and recording engineer.

Another key point is that the more experienced the people you work with are, the better. Their experience is going to help guide you to making the best decisions based on years of working in-the-trenches.

They know what to expect and can guide you painlessly to creating your vision. All you have to do is figure-out how to explain it to them. Those with good communication skills are going to be the best people to work with.

Additionally, the biggest place where experience matters to help create your vision is in the mastering studio.

Mastering is the process of putting the final touches on your music and making all the sounds run seamlessly together. It makes your record complete.

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

Everybody wants an experienced audio mastering engineer, as it’s vital if you want any chance of creating the “Hit” sound. Without it, the engineer is never going to deliver the complete results you want.

In fact, having an experienced engineer offers you 3 key benefits:

1. Knows which changes and adjustments are going to produce the best results.

Every song has its unique quirks that require adjustments. An experienced engineer is going to know quickly what the best course of action to fix problems is and how to go about doing it to get amazing results.

While, an inexperienced engineer may not feel comfortable with all of the techniques or the full capabilities of what his tools can do (which often takes years of work inside the studio to master).

2. Avoids making the wrong changes (based on a thorough understanding of the potential consequences all the adjustments can have.)

You see, mastering is like cooking a big pot of soup. If you just make one seemingly minor mistake, such as not realizing how much salt you’ve put in (until you’ve got way too much), then you’ve ruined the entire soup.

It didn’t matter that you did everything else right. All it took was one tiny mistake to ruin everything.

Mastering is often the same way. Be aware, a bad mastering engineer can actually make your music worse than what it was to begin with.

This is why you need to go with a proven mastering engineer who has heard it all and knows all the potential pitfalls the wrong adjustments can have.

3. Has experience working, talking, and understanding the wishes and problems of clients… and, in relation, offers you revisions (if needed), until you’re satisifed.

This alone can save you from a major disaster. If the engineer fails to communicate with you in an effective way, this is where the big problems occur. Because the engineer is going to miss vital information needed to get you the result you want (based on your wishes)… or is not going to let you in on what he or she is doing, until it’s too late!

With all that said, experience is sometimes not all it’s cracked up to be. What you should look for instead of the number of years the engineer has been working, is his or her track-record.

You want to ask yourself, “Has the engineer proven he or she has what it takes to create a ‘Hit’ sound?”

After all, an engineer may have been working for 10 years, but has little to show for it. On the other hand, another engineer may have only been working for 4 years, but have already helped many clients create hit records.

Who do you want mastering your music?

Additionally, you should look to see if the engineer has testimonials from satisfied clients on his or her website. Meeting the clients’ wishes satisfactorily is just as important as the final results.

Because nobody likes working with an engineer who is talented, but is no fun to work with either. You should look for someone who is the best of both worlds.

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

When it comes to making a record, mastering is usually the last thing on most people’s mind. After all, there’s a whole lot more that goes into it before you even come close to the mastering process.

However, this lack of forethought often causes a problem.

Too often people wait until the last minute (just after the mix has been completed) before they put any thought into their mastering.

This can be a costly mistake.

The biggest reason is that it often puts you and the mastering engineer “Under the gun” to get it done fast. And, when this happens, it’s often impossible to get the best possible sound from your music.


Well, the most important reason to get music mastering is the fresh, skilled, and independent ears. This is because they are the only way to catch mistakes and ensure your music has the “Hit” sound before it’s released.

Otherwise, only those who have a lot invested in the music (or people with some type of bias) are going to give you feedback on your music – and that’s how deadly mistakes often occur (Click here for more on this topic).

So, when you give the mastering engineer only a day or two to get it done fast, then there’s no guarantee you’re going to get the best possible result. 

Plus, you’ll often find that the best mastering engineers are booked weeks in advance and so they have to pass on your project to one of the less busy (and in relation, often less good) mastering engineers.

Yet, this is what most people do. They go with a mastering studio that promises to get their music done in a short time and expect the same results than if they went with a “Real pro.”

You see, the best mastering engineers take enough time as it takes to get the master right. If a song doesn’t need much, then they can finish their job more quickly. But, if there are serious changes that need to be made, then a pro is going to take his time to make sure the best possible sound is achieved. And since the pro has many happy clients because of this approach to work, he is often booked weeks in advance.

This includes talking with you to get a clear picture of what you want… and giving the music as many listens and adjustments as it takes before he feels confident in his work. If his ear gets tired from listening to the music too many times in a row, then he’ll take a break to let it rest – and have new ideas come-up.

Simply put, what all this means to you is simple… don’t wait until the last moment to start thinking about your mastering. You should begin by communicating with your mastering engineer during the recording and mixing phases to make sure you have the best sound for the engineer to master.

Because, remember, the mastering engineer can make a good recording sound great, but he can’t rid a bad recording and remove all of its flaws.

Then, when you finally get to the mastering phase, you should give the engineer as much time as it takes to work his “Magic”— because you know that rushing is going to mean you can easily miss-out on some killer improvements.

This means, if possible, pre-book a slot in his mastering schedule far in advance to make sure time is not an issue (because his schedule is too full to take in your project in your desired time frame).

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

I am happy to announce our End-Of-Summer-Special at XARC Mastering which is only valid in September. Get 25% discount on any mastering session!

Act now and book your mastering session here!

If you want to guarantee that your music has that “Hit” sound every time, then this short article may be the most important you will ever read.

Here’s why:

Too often people think that one type of music is better than another. Some people love country, but hate classical music… or they love classical, but can’t stand rap.

When in reality, great music is up to the listener. There really isn’t a good or bad because it all depends on what the listener relates to in the music.

But, here’s a key point that few of those in the music business think about.

What is it that makes a listener of your music become a fan? Or go from simply liking your music to wanting to play it non-stop in their CD player for years to come?

The answer is that your music touches something that comes “alive” inside the listener. You can’t really place what it is, but it makes it him or her boil with excitement.

Maybe it’s your lyrics the listener can relate to… or he just sees himself as the type of person who would be fan of your music (because of the image that is portrayed).

Simply put, the music is less about the quality (though still important) and more about emotions that are stirred-up when the person listens to the music.

And this is the secret key ingredient to mastering… focus on making your music pack an emotional punch in the listener.

By tapping into what the audience thinks and feels on daily basis, then this is how hits are made.

This means that when you make changes to your music (such as raise the volume or make certain parts of the song more cohesive), then you need to focus on stirring-up the right emotions of the listener.

In other words, a good mastering job can literally be the difference between your song failing or becoming a smash hit.

This is because you may have a created some great music, but it’s irrelevant if nobody can “feel” it. If it fails to reach what the listener cares about, they’re not going to listen to it.

Mastering gives your music that little extra edge needed to hit the “Sweet spot” inside your listeners – and make them raving fans.

And since the mastering engineer is an unbiased listener (not involved with any other parts of the music) he or she can adjust the music to give the listeners more of what they want.

For instance, maybe the drums aren’t prominent enough to get the listener going along with music… or, on the flip side, maybe they’re to loud and drown-out another important part the song the listeners want to hear.

Working one-on-one with the mastering engineer allows you to perfect your music during the mastering to give it the crucial emotional punch that creates hits!

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

For many, online mastering seems like something you’d only use in two circumstances: You’re either in a rush or are short on cash.

The reason some people have this image of online mastering is because there are a lot of so-called “Budget studios” that only charge $5-$30 a track and guarantee a quick turnaround time.

Usually, these studios are amateurs who do the work on their home computer. You then hear stories about these studios giving back masters no better (or even worse) than what you sent!

The truth is that the studio is not so much important as the engineer you get to master your tracks.

It doesn’t matter if you’re online or off, if you don’t have a professional working on your music, then you’re probably not going to get a quality result.

With that said, online mastering also has much more to offer than most realize. And, in fact, is much better than offline studios in many respects with the right engineer.

One of the key reasons is because the time spent mastering your music is 100% productive. You don’t have to travel anywhere to get to the studio and sit there while the engineer works.

Often this can take-up valuable time and distract the engineer from doing the best job.

Because when the engineer is alone he or she can take his time to test various adjustments to find the best sounding combinations. If you’re still waiting in the studio, the engineer often feels pressured to make the adjustments more quickly.

With online mastering, communication is quick and easy through email or over the phone. If you have an idea in the middle of the night, then you can quickly notify the engineer.

As a result, the engineer has the freedom to do his or her thing without any pressure, but while still having and following your input—so you get the best possible result.

Then, when the engineer’s done, he can send you over the music instantly through the internet for your review. And, if something needs to be changed, it takes only a few minutes to tell the engineer.

You don’t have to return to the studio or ship anything back.

Additionally, this also means you’re usually going to pay less – because the engineer does not have to spend as much time like in a offline session, while still being able to achieve the same and even better results.

Plus, another key benefit is that online mastering engineers often have more experience with different types of music. Since people throughout the world use their services, they’ve heard it all. And know exactly how to improve your music to get the best sound.

Offline studios often only have experience with a certain type of music that is popular in the area.

About the Author:
Lorenz Vauck is an Audio Mastering Engineer, Musician, and Internet Entrepreneur from Dresden, Saxony, Germany. He is the Managing Director and Chief Mastering Engineer of XARC Mastering, one of the world’s first online audio mastering studios established in 2003.

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