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
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Phone: +49 (0)170 750 22 92
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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)

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To get equal volume just by letting the computer do it is still almost impossible nowadays and can’t replace the ears. Reason being is that the perceived volume (so what your ears tell you how loud it is) is completely different from what meters can tell you.

A simple example would be this: take a sine-wave-sound at 50Hz and one at 5000Hz that have the same RMS. Now, while the meters do show the exact volume for both, they have a very different perceived loudness to you, right? The problem is that the human ears reacts differently to different frequencies, and even then, impulse sounds, lasting for short at a high volume on the meter, can still sound lower in perceived volume than a longer sound played back at lower volume. Many factors come in so that only the human brain in connection with your ears can correctly judge what the right loudness relation between the songs is.

However, there is an ongoing attempt (and I say attempt, because it’s far from perfect) to digitally simulate and measure the perceived loudness and tell you how you have to change the volume of each song in relation so they all sound equally loud. This is derived from the ReplayGain that you might know from MP3 Players.

Here is how you go about and initial measurement and then adjusting the volumes accordingly – the results are acceptable for a first start, but still you have to control and adjust the volume of each song by ear afterwards. But it gets you in the ballpark for a good start:

1) Download this and extract it:

2) Take each of your songs and reduce it to the chorus parts (the loudest parts of the song, or better said: the parts the listener has the most attention to in the end, this usually IS the chorus, right?). Then save each of the “reduced to chorus” versions of each song to a separate WAV file (use 24bit, or better 32bit float).

3) Now put the wavegain.exe from the archive you extracted above to the directory you saved your “reduced to chorus” songs.

4) Open a command prompt and type

wavegain *

…and it will tell you how much you should adjust each song so that they get the same perceived loudness. So you now go back to your original songs and boost/lower so much dB as it tells you for each song.

Normally you can also simply do this on the “full song” instead of cutting it down to a “chorus only” version. But I found that it yields better results this way.

Still you will have to control and manually adjust afterwards, but it’s the best starting point a computer can make out of it, haven’t found any other tool that does it any better than this.

Of course the best point do to this process is prior to the final limiting stage, because if you do this on already limited songs that have no more headroom, it will not work to well, apart from that you will destroy the dithering you (hopefully) applied. So do this at the point where you are happy with the master so far but have not used the final peak limiter yet. After you have fnished this process and did the last adjustment by ears for equal loudness, you can then go to the limiter and use the same setting for each of the songs you’ve previously processed – you do want to do this, because limiting each song with separate values will of course also put off the volume-relations between the songs again.

Hope it helps and good luck:)

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 little thank you for all my followers on Twitter, here is a special limited time offer for you: If you follow XARC Mastering on Twitter you will receive a 10% discount on your next online mastering project. Just contact me with your Twitter-Name when booking.

One of the artists for which I have produced results that I’m particularly proud of is an Estonian group, by the name of Soul Militia.

From their site

The R&B/Soul/Hip Hop trio Soul Militia formed in Estonia in the late 90’s. Semy, Craig and Lowry were already pursuing careers in music business when a series of fortunate events brought them together. Starting out as a quartet the group released their debut album in 2002 appropriately titled “On The Rise” . The completely self- written record spawned a couple of radio hits and was the first contemporary R&B album released in Estonia.