Frequently Asked Questions

We have gathered the most common questions, our clients have.
In case you need more information, or you have specific questions about your project, feel free to contact us.

My mixing engineer will do a mix-master for me. Why do I need you? What is mastering?

Mastering, is one of the most critical steps of the production and yet still quite misunderstood, even by professionals in audio business.
It is your last chance to make the necessary processing decisions, in order to present your music in its best form.
Sometimes the mix is so good, that mastering is only quality control.
Some others, it is a massive positive leap in audio quality.
Throughout the history of recorded music, it was proven again and again, that both cannot be safely decided by one who has spent countless hours listening in a different mindset, than the hollistic way a mastering engineers does.
A second pair of unbiased, unaware and fresh but highly trained professional’s ears are needed.

Dedicated mastering studios are busy doing only mastering, day in day out.

I work in a great sounding room, with great sounding speakers and I do this for many hundred tracks per year.
I have the musical background and taste, along with the technical expertise, to make educated processing decisions, which will help both the translation from different mediums and different listening environments and also the overall presentation of your mix, rather than the internal balances which is the mixers’ main concern.
My skills and my tools are very different from your mixing engineer.

Moreover, I am more detached and consequently unbiased and along with all the above, these are the valuable "skills" one is hiring me for.

Feel free to send one track over to be mastered, instead of your full album, in order to evaluate our work against the mix-master you have received from your mixing engineer.
We normally do not have enough time to offer free samples of our work, but when you decide to send the full album, we will happily deduct the amount you payed for the first track from the final price.

Will you do a free sample for me?

When time allows we can do this and have done it numerous times.
We really wish we could do this for every potential customer but we normally do not have enough studio time to accommodate all the requests for free samples, so we prefer to work for our normal fee and then deduct the amount from the final price of the album.
We would rather have less workload but more time, in order to provide the best possible master to our paying customers, which we value most of all.
Having said that, we know that most studios nowadays offer one and most of the times that we offered one, we got the gig, so when time allows we can offer a snippet free of charge.
Feel free to contact us or give us a call to discuss our availability and the specifics of your project.


How loud will you master my audio?

The short answer is, as loud as you wish.
The long answer is:
Unless otherwise requested by the client, I normally work towards the sweet spot of loudness without compromising the integrity of the mix.
Every mix has a loudness potential depended on the instrumentation and the methodology, expertise, style and tools of the mixing engineer.
My aim is to maximize this potential without any compromise and find the best balance between body, weight, clarity and dynamics that suits the music at hand.
Having said that, I am prepared to work towards any loudness target the client wishes me too and I encourage all, to send over references and any other useful information that will help me understand the vision and achieve it.

Will my master be compliant with the loudness recommendations at various platforms?

Yes. Absolutely.
The sweet spot of loudness versus dynamics, as analyzed above, depending on the music genre and mixing style, is usually somewhere between or above the recommendations (ie. louder) of the various platforms.
However, each one seems to be somehow different and producing different masters for every single one of them can be counter productive and very time consuming.
Please, feel free to specify your preferences prior to sending the files and we will take care of it. The sooner we know all the above the easier the session will be for us and the cheaper the whole process can be for you.

How much is it going to cost?

Feel free to download our rate card.
Alternatively send us an email at apostolos.siopis@siopismasters.com with details of your project and I will estimate the cost and email you back with details.
We are always happy to speak to you on the phone as well, so feel free to give us a phone call at +30 2310 3306 18 and chat about the specifics of your audio project.


I don't have money. I am a poor starving musician. My guitar is broken. People don't buy records. Venues don't pay me for performing. My mixing engineer is paying me to allow him to mix-master.

I hate discussing about money. Let’s discuss about your music, your vision and let me show you what I can bring to the table.

What do you need from me?

Make sure you spend all the necessary time listening and approving the exact files you are sending over.
Make sure you have clear titles for all your files and please place them in a zip folder before uploading to the server or before transferring them to a USB stick.
If it is possible, specify the track order and specific instructions for the timing and/or cross-fades.
If there are alternative versions of the tracks please tag them accordingly and send them over at the same time as the main mixes.
We advice all our clients to send us the mix in the same bit depth and sample rate of the session, without any loudness processing on the master buss.
If you are still unsure on how to properly export your mix from the DAW, please feel free to email me or call me and we can go through the process together.
Alternatively, feel free to read our relevant blog posts here, here and there.

Should I leave the master buss compressor on or do you want it bypassed?

Leave it on.
If there is a problem with the mix I will let you know as soon as possible.
It is even better if you export a mix with compression and one without. Feel free to send both mixes.
As far as I am concerned 9 out of 10 times a compressor judicially used on the master buss, is part of the sound of the mix, so I would not advice to leave it off for the exports.
However, there have been instances where I was able to get better results with my own tools. So if you are not 100% certain your compression is benefiting the material, by all means feel free to send me 2 versions of the mix, one with and one without compression and we will decide together, which version produces the best master (no extra charge).
Any other processing that is aimed to increase the loudness of the track, should be avoided (ie limiting, clipping or heavy compression).

What will you send back?

I will send back your mix mastered to its full potential
Your master will be engaging and have an impact.
As long as you have made all efforts to produce a great mix, the master will be able to compete and stand as equal against tracks of the same genre on all platforms and mediums.
My aim is to ensure you are thrilled with the results and your listeners enjoy every last second of the material for the years to come.
So we will communicate closely until the very last minute of the process. We will send over demo masters for you to approve and will not stop until every little detail is taken care of.

Will you produce a great master, very quickly, at dirt cheap price?

Sure. Pick any two of the above and I will happily discuss the details of your project over the phone or emails.

Will you master from stems?

Feel free to contact us and discuss the possibilities and the optimum way of exporting the stems.


Will you mix my track?

I ‘d love to be able to, but I am not even remotely as good at mixing, as I am at mastering.
However, I have a wide network of mixing engineers with whom I work exclusively and can definitely find at least one that suits your style and budget.
If you are looking for a mixing engineer, who can work closely to me and maximize the potential for great sound due to the better communication that such a relationship obviously implies, feel free to email me or give me a call with your request and I will propose at least a couple that can take your recordings and produce a great mix, which will eventually be a great master.
If you are a mixing engineer who wishes to work closely to me for my customers, you know what you have to do. Give me a call, let’s work together and let the customers benefit from it.

Can I send revised mixes after we are done with the mastering of the first mixes?

Sure. Feel free.
I am always trying to find a way to help my clients get to the best result they can and if this involves mixing again, then by all means, feel free to do it.
I don’t mind working on every single mix you export.
However, as neither my time nor your money are infinite, let’s discuss the possibilities prior to the session, so neither of us gets stiffed at the end.

Do you master analog or digital?

Any way it fits the project really.
Most masters are treated via my analog tools but there have been instances, that the extra thickness and solidity, that analog equipment bring to the table, is not preferable.

Can I include your name on the credits?

I will be honored.
Feel free to credit me as:
Mastered by Apostolos Siopis
Mastered by Apostolos Siopis at SiopisMasters

My friend says you are a great mastering engineer. Are you?

Well I am certainly better at mastering than writing FAQ.

Your room looks nice, may I come over for the session?

Of course.
I ‘d love to have you here. I love the immediate feedback and I love communicating all parties’ concerns regarding any project.
Feel free to drop by and give me advice, while we listen to your mixes prior the actual mastering session, if you are paying online mastering rates.
You can also be with me, while I work, and this will be billed at our hourly rate, which you can find at our rate card.


Have you mastered for famous people?


…I think so.
Frankly, I do not even care.
I try to do my very best no matter who I deal with.

…who knows maybe you are the next “famous” musician I will work with.

Are you doing any restoration work?

I have the experience and the tools needed to restore your audio, be it for archival purposes or forensic work.
This is billed at our normal hourly rate.
If your mix needs some restoration prior to mastering, please make sure to specify it and we will find a way to do this in a way that we will not break the bank. (Usually minor things such as removing artifacts/noises at quite passages, removing thumps, plausives, CRT tone, spot de-essing etc are inclusive our prices)