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mastering music | ear for detail.

Mastering at Masterenzo

Masterenzo Mastering is a Rotterdam based dedicated music mastering facility.
Mastering is about improving the power, emotion and impact of your music and preparing music for release on Spotify, vinyl or CD.

The studio (Enjoy the Silence) is located in an old house built in 1927 and oozes vibe and energy.
The room is set up with a living room atmosphere in mind and has a great sound. It connects to the outside world through beautiful stained glass windows.

My approach is to take the song with most energy and vibe as the basis for the mastering session. All other songs are lifted towards that same level of energy and vibe.

The heart of the studio is the custom built monitoring system featuring Peerless and Vifa drivers and external crossovers fitting the room perfectly. Together with the Amphion Two15 speakers this makes the perfect listening couple for making those crucial decisions in the mastering process.

Short signal path: a single outboard rack is filled with (modified) solid state and tube gear for maximum flexibility. The analog outboard equipment is complemented with few plugins that are able to do processing not possible in the analog domain. A beautiful marriage between analog and digital!

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about what mastering can do for your precious tracks!

If you'd like to book a mastering session you can also use the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Masterenzo Mastering is an Apple approved Mastered For iTunes mastering studio. Read about the Apple Mastered For iTunes programme here.

MFiT-Badge

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About the Engineer

Masterenzo-Enjoy the Silence.jpgMasterenzo Mastering was founded in 2015 by Renzo van Riemsdijk (Ede, 1973).

After a chemistry study my musical career started back in the nineties by studying electric guitar at the Rotterdam Conservatory.
After graduating in 1999 the growing interest in the sound of recordings led to the beginning of my own mastering studio in 2003: the Masterenzo Audio Room.

I've worked at Rotterdam based studios like the Excess Studios (2009-2012) and the Real Music Room (2012-2015). With the experience gained at those studios I decided it was time again to build me my own mastering facility in 2015: Masterenzo Mastering. The room fits his custom built monitoring system perfectly and the studio is named after Depeche Mode's song Enjoy the Silence.

Over the years I am constantly improving my listening and mastering skills.

Masterenzo Mastering stands out with a personal approach to each and every project against a fair price to quality ratio.
My approach is greatly influenced by mastering icon Bernie Grundman, an American engineer who has mastered landmark recordings such as 'Aja' by Steely Dan, Prince's 'Purple Rain' and 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson. His view, ears and mastering philosophy show an example of ultimate transparency, energy and musical impact.

Born in the seventies myself I'm very much intrigued by the stunning sound quality of some of the recordings made in that era. Just have a listen to 'Rumours' by Fleetwood Mac and witness its pristine production quality and please consider: louder is not always better.

Besides mastering I spend my days listening to music, preferably on vinyl or cd. I'm a big fan of chocolat, great coffee and cooking and I like to spend quality time in the city of Rotterdam, accompanied by some good friends.

Columns about Mastering by Masterenzo

I write monthly columns about mastering for Dutch music platform Popunie, hoping to clarify many of the mysteries surrounding the black art of mastering.
In my columns I deal with non-technical issues such as how we experience music nowadays as well as the more technical stuff. (LUFS, loudness, dynamics etc.)
The columns can be found here.

Artists

A Selection Of Mastered Titles

Other clients include:

Spierenburg Music
NEW Productions (Soldaat van Oranje)
Audio Brothers Music Productions
Jurrie Meulman Music Productions
Maluku Sweden Connection

Others about Masterenzo Mastering

"Masterenzo has lifted my end product to a higher level. All details and nuances in the mix have been given subtle accents and the songs have become an album as a whole with some extra drive and shine.
Thanks Renzo, see you again next time!"
John F Klaver, John F Klaver Band (Blues, Americana, Pop)

"Renzo is a true professional who delivers high quality, he is fast and he's very relaxed to work with. Tnx for the great job Renzo!"
Martijn Spierenburg, Spierenburg Music (Producer)

"Most of my work to be mastered I send to Renzo. He is straightforward, fast and feels exactly what the master needs.
When the masters are returned (usually after only a few days), all my mixes are in complete balance without losing the integrity of the mix.
Renzo is great to work with and is very much involved in the projects I deliver to him."
Jurrie Meulman, Studio 9, Zwolle

"Mastering can make or break your project, so good communication and skills are a necessity. Renzo listens closely to the artist's needs and wishes and will translate this into the demanded sound and intensity.
To be recommended at the highest level!"
Phil Bee, Phil Bee's Freedom (Soul Blues)
Album Memphis Moon (Sept. 2016), Continental Records

"A Driven professional who is able to lay down a beautiful sound and knows very well what the music is asking for."
Dina (Singer-Songwriter with West African influences)
Album My Own Way

"He is fast, precise and knows what he is doing. In addition he is capable of getting the maximum out of the mixes.
That works very pleasant and feels comfortable."
Michiel Poelgeest, Villeneuf (Pop)

"Renzo has a sharp ear for, and great affinity with acoustic singer/songwriter music. He was very open to my wishes regarding the sphere of the final product en that worked out very well. He showed himself to be a true master in control to reach a natural, pure sound with a spontaneous 'live feel'.
Renzo has had an important influence on the album!"
Paul de Bijl (Americana)

"Since I met Renzo and his work, I realized how bad I was listening before."
P.H. Devos (Singer-Songwriter, New Folk)

Rates and Info

Mastering prices are based on a rate of 45 euro per track (excl. 21% VAT).

Please contact me if you have more tracks to be mastered (like an album or ep) and we'll discuss the options fitting in your budget!

There is no difference in price between an attended or unattended mastering session.

If you live outside the Netherlands and have a valid VAT-number or if you live outside the EU you don't have to pay the VAT.

Preparing files for mastering

  1. If you need help during the mixing stage: I'm more than willing to listen to your mixes and provide feedback. All that is necessary to ensure the an end product of the highest quality!
  2. Leave a few dB's from the 0 dBFS ceiling when printing mixes to stereo
  3. Do not use any leveling tools like limiters or normalizers on the stereo bus
  4. Never change the sample rate of the files (kHz)
  5. Don't forget to register ISRC, it's free! Check the official ISRC site for more info. If you are Dutch, you can apply for ISRC at Sena
  6. Save your tracks as 32-bit or 24-bit data files (.wav or .aiff), mp3 is not suited for mastering!

Mastering for Vinyl

Vinyl masters are softer in tone and in volume than digital masters. Two files will be made, one for side A and one for side B.

Vinyl masters can be made from digital masters with some minor changes made.

Mastering for vinyl

Mastering for Spotify

Spotify and other music streaming services use loudness normalization by default to ensure equal loudness of every track played.
Providing overly loud masters will cause the Spotify algorhythms to lower the overall volume of the track. This will result in softer sounding masters with less dynamics and energy.

Most of the streaming services use an integrated loudness level of -14 LUFS which is still louder than the maximum of -16 LUFS recommended by the Audio Engineering Society (AES). Music mastered at an optimal level for Spotify (-14 LUFS) sounds more dynamic with more energy and impact.

Let me know if your masters are to be made for music streaming services. You will be rewarded with softer but much better sounding masters!
Let's put an end to the loudness war. I've written columns about the loudness issue for Dutch music platform Popunie.

While uploading 24-bit audio files, Spotify itself will perform proper encoding to the (Ogg Vorbis) format to be used by Spotify (for both the premium and free version).

Mastered for iTunes (MFiT)

The Apple Mastered for iTunes programme consists of a set of tools supplied by Apple to ensure proper AAC encoding of uncompressed Hi-Res 24-bit files.
The files are adjusted for the highest possible fidelity on your computer, phone, tablet and Apple devices.

Masterenzo Mastering is an Apple approved Mastered For iTunes mastering facility.
More info about MFiT? Read the paper!

FAQ

Some questions we get asked pretty often.

Why mastering?

It's a competitive market out there. One of the main goals with mastering is to let your music stand out quality wise between other music available on the market. It's all about energy ;-)

Proper file delivery for different types of music media. It's important to use the right file format for the right media.
CD for instance requires different files than music streaming services.

A fresh pair of ears to listen to your music!
Having heard your songs/mixes over and over makes it harder to make objective decisions.
Handing over your songs to a skilled mastering engineer ensures a whole new and objective view on your project.

Can you give advice during the mix process?

Yes certainly! Sometimes a little external advice during the mix process can really be a problem solver.

Sending preliminary bounces of your mix can be of help. I'll listen to them carefully and provide feedback.

Our mutual goal is to deliver an end product that meets the highest standards. The better the mix, the better the master will sound!

What happens after I've booked a mastering session?

The moment when your mixes are done is the moment where mastering comes in.

As soon as the final mixes come in we listen to them carefully.

The best sounding song with most energy and vibe is mastered first.

This track serves as the basis for other tracks to be mastered.

Attended or unattended?

It's up to you. Normally spoken unattended sessions have faster turnaround times since we don't have to schedule an appointment to attend the session.

If you wish to attend the session: due to the size of the studio this is possible for a maximum of 2 people.

In price there is no difference between an attended or unattended mastering session.

What about revisions?

100% satisfied clients is what we strive for.

If you'd like changes to be made, revisions are possible at no extra charge.

Masterenzo does handle a fair use policy regarding the number of revisions.

Can you master alternative masters like radio edits or instrumentals?

Yes we can! The sooner I know, the better.

There will be a charge for mastering alternative takes of an already mastered song.

Do you offer stem mastering?

Yes we do. Sometimes working with stems makes it easier to make decisions about the balance of vocals or instruments in a song.

If stems are used there will be a charge for the extra processing time.

Do you also do recording or mixing?

No, Masterenzo Mastering is a dedicated mastering studio.

We can get you in contact with some professional recording engineers offering quality recordings in their studio here in Rotterdam.

For mixing we advise you to contact mix engineer Caspar Wijnberg. He has been in the business for over 20 years and has worked with artists like Trijntje Oosterhuis, Candy Dulfer and Womack & Womack.

More info about him can be found on his Facebook page.

What's a DDP?

DDP stands for "Disc Description Protocol".
It's a set of files in a folder used for the replication of CD's.

If you plan to release an album or EP we will put the mastered files in correct order along with CD-Text and/or ISRC/UPC codes.

The DDP folder will be made which can be easily sent to the CD pressing plant. DDP is far more reliable than sending physical CD's to the pressing plant.

Vinyl doesn't need a DDP. For a vinyl release 2 files will be made: one for side A and one for side B.

At Masterenzo Mastering the price of a DDP is embedded in the price of mastering an album or EP.

What music do you listen to yourself?

It depends on my mood but I'm a big fan of Norwegian singer-songwriter Thomas Dybdahl. At the moment I'm also listening a lot to guitarist and singer Blake Mills.

Also very cool is the Tedeschi Trucks band and of course my all time guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Besides these artists there are so many great artists out there, Here's a couple of names that put a smile on my face:

Lenny Kravitz, Michael Landau, Jimmy Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Katy Perry, Madonna (early years), The Isley Brothers, James Taylor, Jaco Pastorius, The Black Keys, Sting, The Police and not to forget many very well engineered albums from the seventies.

Chardonnay or Grüner Veltliner?

It all depends on the occasion or the food the wine is paired with.

They both are very well suited for either enjoying just a glass or as accompaniment for a good meal.

In the end all that matters is your personal taste but if you'd ask me, I'd go for the Grüner Veltliner. It's mineral character is priceless!

Info about preparation of your files for mastering can be found in the Rates and info section.

Other questions? Send an email or fill in the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Mastering samples


Compare mixes to masters and feel the difference!
I'd recommend listening these with headphones or through a decent stereo set.







Gear

Analog:

  • Avalon VT-747sp tube/Class A compressor/equalizer
  • TK-Audio TK-lizer Mastering equalizer with Mid/Side matrix (modified)

Digital:

  • Crane Song HEDD, AD/DA converter with tube harmonics and tape saturation

Monitoring:

  • Custom built Thermionic Microlabs main monitor system (passive), 
    powered by vintage Marantz SE KI and Sony ES amplifiers
  • Amphion Two15 monitor speakers, vintage Pioneer Reference amp
  • MB Quart Phone 90 headphone (West-German quality headphone from the eighties)
  • SPL 2Control monitor controller

Software:

  • Wavelab Pro
  • Sonoris DDP Creator
  • A selection of esoteric plugins by Kush Audio, Tokyo Dawn Labs (Ohlhorst Digital), FabFilter and Slate Digital

Various:

  • nOb generic controller
  • Unity teflon silver plated OFC cabling
  • Custom designed and built studio furniture, inspired by Northward Acoustics
  • A selection of esoteric coffee beans

Contact Masterenzo Mastering


Any questions? Want to book a session? Get in touch!

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Studio Address

Masterenzo Mastering
Renzo van Riemsdijk
Schielaan 32 A
3043 HC Rotterdam
The Netherlands

 telephone.png    +31 (0)6 21 462 953

 envelope.png    renzo[at]masterenzo.nl

 globe.png    www.masterenzo.nl

Chamber of Commerce Rotterdam: 24 34 28 39

© 1973 Masterenzo Mastering | Rotterdam