In The Treehouse

Mastering music in both stereo and Dolby Atmos for the worlds greatest artists and their audiences. We aim to provide a consummate service for record labels, producers and independent musicians alike, across all genres, we are mix specialists with a real passion for great music

We produce Dolby Atmos Masters and all other formats such as Dolby Digital, Sony 360, Stereo for CD, Vinyl, Download and Streaming!

Stereo vs. Dolby Atmos Music Mastering:

The best way of achieving consistency is to have the same engineer master both of course. At GPS we will ensure that your stereo masters sound incredible, from CD to streaming to vinyl. We will voice your Atmos master similarly, so that the mixes match consistently.

One of the main differences between stereo and Atmos, is loudness, or rather available dynamic range. CDs have been mastered to -14dBlufs for years now, with heavy compression a hallmark of the “loudness wars”. Dolby Atmos, aside from being able to spread sounds out through more speakers and create space in a recording just by moving things, is mastered to -18dBlkfs. This means that there is considerably more headroom available in a mix and separation and dynamics can hit harder.

These two wildly differing formats highlight the difficulty in ensuring that the Atmos master and the stereo master sound like the same song. Part of the easiest way around this is to have the same engineer, in the same mastering studio, master both together. Here at GPS, we are virtually unique in the world, being able to offer a world class stereo and Dolby Atmos mastering setup in the same studio.

In the box vs. Out of the box:

Now that in the box mastering is so good, it seems pointless to introduce unnecessary digital to analogue and back again conversions. No matter how good your convertors, there is still some degradation. Whilst the emulations of old analog gear have become truly superb these days, they don’t compare to the transparency, power and punch of some of the latest all digital creations. It is also very hard to integrate stereo legacy outboard into a 9.1.4 Dolby Atmos mastering chain. Part of our decision of staying entirely in the box for most mastering jobs is to help us achieve that consistency between stereo and Atmos formats.

Sources and Formats:

We have Studer A80 mastering tape machines in our studios downstairs and can offer a fully analog solution to vinyl if clients wish. Upstairs in The Treehouse, we are able to handle resolutions all the way up to 768kHz and offer the ultimate in digital fidelity.

Like all top mastering studios, the most important features (other than the team) are the main mastering monitors and the room acoustics. Our main stereo pair of monitors are the acclaimed Genelec 8351b SAM with the Genelec W371a SAM bass extenders. This is not a sub top system, but rather the components combine to become a single full range system either side with a frequency response of 23Hz to 45kHz with tremendous resolution. The W371a woofer stands use a 14” and a 12” bass driver in independent cabinets to introduce directivity control and extension to the Genelec 8351As from 500Hz and down. The result is one of the cleanest, high bandwidth, low distortion mastering monitors in the world and we are very proud to be the first mastering studio in the UK to adopt this ground breaking technology.

Acoustically, our room has been designed from scratch to meet and exceed Dolby’s Atmos music mastering criteria. This includes a very flat frequency response and very strict RT60 times (reverberation) in all frequency bands. Then finally, the system is tweaked to perfection using Genelec’s GLM software, combined
with DAD SPQ speaker processing.

Our Dolby Atmos mastering monitoring system conforms to every one of Dolby’s requirements and is able to sustain 85dB at mix position with 30dB of headroom from any single speaker, using no bass management. Our LFE is able to sustain (and exceed) Dolby’s specification of 95dB spl +30dB of headroom.

Online and In Person Mastering:

We offer several ways to engage with our mastering service. We are fully set up for artist hospitality and welcome artists visiting us to approve mastering and Dolby Atmos mix / mastering sessions. Otherwise, feel free to email and we can offer an online mastering service.

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