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: www.xarcmastering.com / www.lorenzvauck.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/lorenz_vauck
MySpace: www.myspace.com/xarcmastering
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/xarcmastering
Email: info@xarcmastering.com
Phone: +49 (0)170 750 22 92
Fax: +49 (0)351 465 610 62
ICQ: 195597977
YIM: xarc_mastering
AIM: xarcmastering
MSNM: info@xarcmastering.com

“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: www.xarcmastering.com/affiliates/

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!

Dear Friend,

I hope you had a good first two months of the new year?

I just wanted to quickly let you know that I have again added a new before / after demo to the ever growing big before / after demos section of my website. This time it is a song from Lewis Newman called “Piano Track”. It´s a very dark and ambient song, with a very nice mood to it!

Here is what Lewis replied to me after I´ve sent him the approval master so he could let me know any changes he might require before we go final:

“Hi Lorenz,

I just had a listen to it on a few different systems, and i think it sounds absolutely amazing!…

I am so pleased with it, so much better than the unmastered mix. There’s nothing i would want to change.

I did an A/B comparison, and the unmastered one seems so flat and boring compared to the new version!

I just want to thank you for everything.

The master is exactly what i wanted, and on top of that, your service and communication is absolutely excellent.

I’m doing a demo to send to music libraries at the moment, so i will have more tunes for you soon if that’s ok!…

Thank you so much again, you are great!

speak to you soon,


The before / after demo can be heard at http://www.xarcmastering.com/demos/ (Lewis Newman – Piano Track)

Besides a pretty huge before / after the mastering difference, this demos again shows the massive benefits of my newly installed equipment, including a “new old” tape machine, new passive tube equalizers and a new custom build dynamics processor which again shows its full potential on this demo if you listen to how much details are revealed “out of the dark”.

Especially the tape machine and the tube equalizers, which I carefully select for each and every boost/cut I do on each song, gave the song this massive and fat, airy but still warm analog sound. With all those possibilities at hand, it often takes a few days to finish just one song! But hearing the results and getting such feedback from my clients, I always see it´s worth it to not do it like “common” mastering studios which finish a song in an hour or two usually.

So enjoy listening and let me know any questions you might have, I am always here to help and listen to your thoughts / ideas / questions.

I hope you are enjoying the christmas time and got all gifts for your loved ones already?:)

As announced earlier, I have now added the before / after the mastering demos from the album “Æskudraumur” by “Róbert Óttarsson”. This is a “special” demo in terms of that instead of switching between the unmastered and mastered version all 10 seconds, it´s 1 minute extracts of 4 songs before and after the mastering in single WAV files. Here are the links:

Unmastered WAV

Mastered WAV

However, as per request, there is also a switching demo available, but of only one song from the album.

Besides a pretty huge before / after the mastering difference, those demos also are the first ones that make use of newly installed equipment, including a “new old” tape machine, two new passive tube equalizers and a new custom build dynamics proessor which shows its full potential on these demos if you listen to how much details are coming out of the songs (hihats, guitars and all this little ear candy) after the mastering that couldn´t be heard before. Enjoy!
All other demos can be found here as usually.

As for now I do wish you and your family a merry christmas and in case we don´t hear again, a happy new year!

P.S.: The 10% discount for following XARC on Twitter is soon to be running out as many clients have been taking up on it. You can also pre-pay now at the discounted price and master at a later time or buy it for someone else as a christmas gift (maybe someone of your friends is currently near to finish an album or song). Just contact me with your Twitter name when booking.

Dear Friends,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your business.

Thanks to you, we’ve grown from the first on-line mastering studio in 2003, to an established business with thousands of satisfied clients in now over 70 countries in only seven years! I’m also happy to see that many of you have become very good friends, making the last years all the more enjoyable.

In other news, XARC now has a presence on Twitter, over at: http://www.twitter.com/lorenz_vauck/ Please stop by and say “Hello” by adding XARC to your “Following”-list. This is an easy way to stay in contact and connected and to hear about all the news at XARC Mastering. Also, any new post on this blog (and those have been many in the last months) will be published on Twitter as well.

As a little holiday gift, when you follow XARC on Twitter you will receive a 10% discount on your next project. Just let me know your Twitter name when booking.

I’m also pleased to report that XARC continues to get pleasing feedback from clients, underlining that the approach is right to focus on communication and non-compromise high quality mastering with the extra edge for a upfront fixed price (see http://www.xarcmastering.com/pricing/). Here is what Sorin Lazar from Iceland (http://is.linkedin.com/pub/sorin-lazar/25/8b7/92a) replied to me after I finished mastering the latest album from Róbert Óttarsson named Æskudraumur which he produced:

“Man, it’s a GO! I don’t need to listen in the car or more stereos. This is the final MASTER. You were right about the analog feel, it is stunning. Forget about the strumming guitars.. the drums sound now like $$$ and the overall sound is like this project was recorded in Nashville not Sauðárkrókur. So, I guess you want to hear it, right: YOU ARE EXTREMELY GOOD! Excellent job.”

In a few days I am also planning to add a before / after the mastering demo of this album at http://www.xarcmastering.com/demos/ Keep an ear on it to hear what Sorin is talking about.

If you have any upcoming projects, as always, I would be pleased to work with you. Feel free to contact me, so we can discuss your needs, and book you a spot in the schedule. The current turnaround time is at about 1 week or shorter, as usually also depending on how much work your project requires to get it to the best quality possible.

With that, I will leave you for now, wishing you every happiness this holiday season, and hoping for a prosperous, successful New Year for you and your family;

Thank you again for your continued support!

XARC Mastering in your words:

Best Regards,

Lorenz Vauck
Managing Director & Chief Mastering Engineer
XARC Mastering

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

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.


One common (mis!)conception I see when people think of me, XARC, or other on-line mastering firms, be it in forums or elsewhere, is that they think on-line mastering is just for a “quick shot” – perfect for when they don’t have the time to go to a “real mastering studio,” or when they need a demo mastered “quick and cheap.” Thus, for the real mastering, they think they would go somewhere else. But…

On-Line Mastering is Real Mastering*
(* At least in the case of XARC!)

The difference between XARC’s on-line mastering and an equally-skilled “brick and mortar” firm – lets call them “Firm X” – is not to be found in the “usefulness” of the product. XARC and Firm X both use professional-grade equipment, and both employ professional, skilled and talented mastering engineers. Both have actual studios too, and both are in every way real mastering firms. The true difference is that XARC is simply not tied to certain constraints that exist with “Firm X”. We are thus in a position to deliver not equal, but rather higher quality. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • Having an on-line firm enables us to work within a global marketplace, rather than a more limited, local one. The advantages to this are huge, particularly in the realm of being able to work with such a wide range of musical genres. It’s never the “same old, same old.”
  • In terms of efficiency, there is far more flexibility too. For example, we can “pre-listen” to the clients’ mixes to see if they’re optimal for mastering. If any changes are required, those can be done and delivered very quickly, even if it has to be repeated several times. With snail mail, it’s impossible – or at least would take weeks to accomplish. The same applies in reverse – when it’s time to deliver the approval master, it’s just a download for our clients. Iterations at that stage again benefit from nearly instant delivery, rather than days back and forth.
  • Not being limited to having to go from mix to final master in a day or two (which is the typical practice when a mastering session is conducted at a “brick and mortar” mastering studio), also gives us the opportunity to refine the final product. We can get every last bit of perfection out of a track, and improve quality with the extra time, because we’re not as “rushed.”

So, on-line mastering really is real mastering. It’s just that the on-line aspect of the process creates the preconditions for what us mastering engineers are able to do; in the case of XARC that means we are able to provide a better product to our clients, that in every way matches (and I like to think at least typically exceeds) the quality of what is produced at Firm X. And, who knows – it may just be that in a few short years, it will be Firm X who will have to say, “but we’re just as real and good and as high-quality as XARC and the on-line firms!” 🙂


Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to tell you a bit more about myself, and my work as Managing Director and Chief Engineer of XARC Mastering. For sake of easier organization, I have categorized my extended ‘bio.’ Happy reading!

Mastering Me, Business Me

Prior to starting XARC Mastering, I worked for a German TV Station editing, mixing & mastering audio for their daily needs. In and of itself, the work there was very interesting, and often very inspiring. Taking on a slightly different project in 2001, I worked for six months with Artificial Illusions Film, on their movie “Malen mit Licht” (English translation: “Painting with light”). I performed all of the audio editing, including mixing & mastering of the soundtrack, as well as creating the sound effects and mixing & mastering the complete movie in Dolby Surround. The movie was nominated for and won at the “SLM-Televisionprice 2002” in the category “Special price production engineering – camera, audio, cut”.

But, my destiny soon appeared to be taking a different direction. Indeed, in a lot of respects, (and akin to many things in life), XARC came about essentially “by accident.” One major part of the inspiration for XARC originated one day in May 2003, when I was browsing the musician/producer forum on renoise.com, taking a look at their section where new songs are posted for review. One sounded particularly appealing to me, so I downloaded it, and decided to improve upon it sound-wise, just for fun, so I mastered it for my own personal collection and listening pleasure. I was quite pleased with the results, and thought, “hey, maybe I should give this to the composer.” One thing led to another, and he was so “blown away” by the quality that he said: “this rocks, I am sending you $50 USD for your job.”

It was that event that really got me thinking. It was immediately obvious to me that there was a good business opportunity there to take my work international. A look around the Internet proved on-line mastering to be a brand new concept. Around then, I also realized just how empowering an on-line mastering service could be for a huge range of artists. So, I decided to test the concept out, to see if it was a good direction in which to expand my mastering work. I created a bit of “buzz” on forums like kvraudio.com, and was really quite surprised with how well that worked. Before I knew it, the clients started pouring in, I was quickly becoming addicted to working on an international level, and, as a professional, I had really never felt better. I thought long and hard about what to do next.

I soon came to the decision to take the plunge. I took the very brave step of quitting mastering for television and film, and started doing XARC full time, launching the business as a new company along with a professional website in December of 2003. At that point, I had already mastered for 33 “online clients” from a few countries under the XARC brand. How things have changed from then to now… Now we’re going to easily surpass a thousand clients next year. I’ve had the truly life-changing experience of working with a global set of artists in over sixty countries. I’m very proud to be able to bring high-quality mastering “to the masses.”

I’ve said many times before that not much could’ve really prepared me for the incredible experience XARC very quickly became. I am truly honoured to be able to do the mastering work I love, while working with such a huge variety of artists, from such a diverse range of genres and nations. They often say music is an international thing, but I don’t think I ever fully appreciated that until starting XARC. The depth of talent and creativity I am able to work with each and every day, I assure you, is far beyond just inspiring, and has very much changed my life. I really couldn’t hope for much more.

I also feel it’s important to contribute back to the industry on another level. In that area, I am also responsible for maintaining our ongoing research program, looking at new techniques in audio processing, and working together with various DSP-Coders and engineers to achieve the best for audio in general. That in itself is certainly an interesting and educational experience, and I am very glad to be involved.

Ordinary Me

Although I keep extremely busy with XARC, I do try to have a bit of a “life” outside of work. Completely (or at least somewhat!) outside the scope of XARC, I consider myself an avid amateur (digital) nature photographer. At a later time, I will probably post some of my pics and talk a bit more about that.

One of my other larger and more time-consuming interests are finances and financial markets. I particularly enjoy tracking my investments, subjecting them to extensive analysis, and otherwise following the ups and downs (all the while trying to take advantage of both) of many international stock markets.

Also very important to me is one of my closest companions – he’s of the furry feline variety. Charly Vauck (a cat!) is a fixture in the XARC studios, and even works for food only (although he’s not particularly skilled at mastering, at least not yet). I’ve included a picture of him below:

Charly The Cat

In terms of sports, I’m not too big of a fan of much other than Formula 1 and Stock car racing. Of course, Michael Schumacher, the German national legend, is my racing hero! I also love to play Snooker as often as possible.

Perhaps not surprising at all given my work, I also have been quite involved in the music side of things as a hobby (and sometimes a few commercial releases) too. I used to be fairly accomplished on the soprano flute, but I’ve lost my touch in recent years, and I am really quite “rusty.” I’m still quite the piano virtuoso though (and if enough people ask, I’ll have to perform a little virtual concert here). For the past dozen or so years, my main musical genres have been mainly melodic/epic/electronic music (i.e. trance, dance, techno), but also with a healthy mix of world-ethno-jazz fusion with Western beats. I’ll quite likely feature some of the artists I particularly enjoy from those genres in later posts (and maybe even some of my own work now and then), however a couple relatively large “influences” of mine in the fusion category are Deep Forest and Enigma.

Unfortunately, being so busy with XARC, I don’t really have the (large quantities as a result of my perfectionism streak) of time that I need to compose much of my own.

In terms of vacations and getaways – I do try to take a vacation every year whenever possible, sometimes for just a couple of days, sometimes for longer. This year, I attended the Fawkes / Faucks / Fauks / Vauck / etc. family reunion (during May) in Switzerland, along with many other family members from all over the world who are realted to Guy Fawkes, the famous British conspirator. Usually though, I try to ‘escape’ to some place sunny and warm, provided there’s a lot of musical tradition to find oneself in, and also where there are some good parties (i.e Ibiza!)

If anyone has any other questions about either “me,” please feel free to ask 🙂