Promoting standards that will help mastering engineers deliver high quality results to their artist and record company customers will be among the topics discussed on May 24th when the Music Producers Guild officially launches its new Mastering Group.
The launch, which will take place at Alchemea College in Islington, London, will provide a platform for MPG Mastering Group administrator and veteran AIR Studios mastering engineer Ray Staff to introduce a new QC process that the Group hopes the entire industry will adopt.
“There is currently an issue surrounding poor quality QC control and lack of coherent QC processes in the mastering world,” Ray Staff explains. “This was one of the reasons why the MPG set up a specific Mastering Group and why we have come up with a process that, if universally adopted, should address this problem.”
The new QC process comprises a set of guidelines that aim to prevent the wrong masters from ending up in the CD manufacturing chain. In recent months this issue has affected a number of mastering engineers who have faced potential bills for incorrectly manufactured CDs because proper measures were not adhered to.
“This is a very serious issue that the whole industry needs to address,” Ray Staff adds. “We live in a world where, other than vinyl, we are moving away from physical masters to the online delivery of CD masters and files for downloads. It is imperative that guidelines are followed to ensure that the right files and masters are delivered and to provide mastering engineers with some protection in case of mistakes by others. Many of those working in the mastering business already know the process but there are a lot of people who are new to mastering or are working in small home-based facilities that need guidelines and need a structure that establishes a clear chain of responsibility.”
In conjunction with the new QC process, representatives from insurance company Doodson will also attend the event to discuss indemnity insurance for mastering engineers. MPG members will benefit from a discounted rate.
As part of the evening’s panel discussion Barry Grint, Director of Alchemy Mastering, will report on his collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to enable ISRC codes to be embedded into the broadcast WAV standard. As a founding member of the MPG Mastering Group, Grint is working towards broadcast WAV becoming the standard file interchange format for the Music, Radio and Television industries across Europe. Grint will explain the far reaching benefits of this MPG initiative.
Ray Staff adds: “The remit of the MPG Mastering Group is to focus on topics that help promote the very best in terms of audio performance and quality. There is a seed change in attitude to sound, with people these days talking more about quality and not just level. The public does want quality and a sound they can enjoy and we, as an industry, need to focus on this across all digital formats, whether they are CD, downloads or broadcast.”
The MPG Mastering Group launch will start at 6.30pm on May 24th with a drinks reception, followed by a panel discussion starting at 7.00pm. If you would like to attend, please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Music Producers Guild (UK):
The Music Producers Guild (UK) is an independent and democratic organisation that encourages the highest standards of music production, and actively engages with other music industry organisations to campaign and lobby on matters of important mutual interest.
The MPG represents and promotes the interests of all those involved in the production of recorded music, including producers, engineers, mixers, re-mixers, programmers and mastering engineers.