The finest mastering to give you the sound you need





What is Mastering ?
Mastering is your last chance
to adjust sound levels, find an efficient balance, perfect fadings in and out,
select the order of songs for the final album and
to hear exactly how your music will sound after the pressing of your final CD or vinyl).


We equally take care of any certain feeling or trait that may be missing from your music :
Warmth, deepness, strength, joy,...

It's not how loud you make it

* Merci à Laura Nelson pour sa traduction libre du site CIREN











































CIREN Audio OPENING PAGE What is Mastering ? Mastering is your last chance to adjust sound levels, find an efficient balance, perfect fadings in and out, select the order of songs for the final album and to hear exactly how your music will sound after the pressing of your final CD or vinyl. We equally take care of any certain feeling or trait that may be missing from your music. Warmth, deepness, strength, joy It's not how loud you make it, it's how you make it loud. PRESENTATION Ciren Audio is born from an association of people passionate with music and sound research. After much musical studying and research and sound engineering, since 1984, CIREN Audio applies it's knowledge and it's ears to audio mastering used today. Why Mastering and only Mastering ? Working in the studios is one thing, working with mastering is another. The studio should do the best recording possible. Before entering the mastering program, one must be sure to use the best mixing or sound assertion possible. The studios may be different depending on the artist. This very technical work demands experience, an important material set-up and listening/hearing skills oriented towards the instrument. The studio should do the best mixing possible. This very creative work (involving choice of effects and sound positioning) should be listened to for spectral and musical balance. Here is where the magic in the making takes place. The mastering studio should develop the best sound possible. Ears should, just like during the mixing, be listening for song balance but should also be listening to the sound frequency spectrum so that the sound respects all forms of listening material (radio, car, stereo, audio files etc...) It is the last chance for a song to sing and be heard. This demands, once again, specific material and experience. In order to keep our ears neutral and awake, CIREN Audio does only mastering and no recording or mixing. Quality FIRST ! ! ! Facing work by the hour and availability, CIREN prefers task based working because one should not waste this often important investment while finishing the actual songs. We work for success each time in the same way :-Giving of the album by the artist or a representative -Listening and then criticizing the album : We listen to the artist and then give our point of view. -Artist's choice : The artist or sound manager decides which direction to take. -1st Mastering : We carry out the first mastering and a pre-master sample is given to the artist with the possibility to listen to it on Mp3 available through " transparent audio " on the website. -First pre-master Critique : To obtain perfection, one must know to question oneself. The artist should be the owner of his album, his creation, his baby. We accept and encourage critical evaluation. -Second Mastering : This involves the final touch-ups and then the album can finally go off to the market. A trap to look out for More and more studios are offering complete packages : you come in with your instruments and come out with 1000 CDs in hand. It's practical, doesn't require too much work and your album comes out quickly. Packages like this have a good side, but also a bad side :n Sometimes the sound engineer feels as if he should do everything himself (often for fiscal reasons) so the sound no longer comes from the heart of the studio. These are natural human errors and are often times not corrected by the sound engineer. The result is that you, the artist, no longer have a great perspective of the final album. n Even worse, sometimes package mastering consists of simply passing your music through a "finalizer "which only compresses it leaving your music sounding thin and hollow. In short, you end up with a piece of... well... a masterpiece nourished over several months, even several years, only to be thrown down the drain because you wanted to speed up the final steps. CIREN SAYS NO ! ! ! A musician does not hear the same things as the sound engineer during the mixing and the same thing goes for mastering. Mastering requires another ear and other skills, especially very different material from that found in normal recording studios, Make sure that a fresh, able ear is there to listen and your musical sound will be optimised during the mastering phase. This is your album and you think not to be able to offer yourself a real mastering session ? Make us an offer and you'll be sweetly surprised... REALISATIONS Numerous artists recently on the market have passed through our hands. Our goal has always been to give them the best sound possible, that in the rules of the mastering art. Thank you to all the artists, producers and studios who have put their trust in us. STUDIOS Studios and Phonographic Editing Professionals Are you a studio professional or a phonographic editing professional ? You should strive for the best sound possible :-for new studio recordings-for re-editing old recordings-for a studio recording compilation in different studios or by different musicians/artists-for putting together quality music files (Mp3, windows media, real audio...)-for musical tracks from a movie or a theatre piece -for musical liaison creation CIREN offers you :-flexibility and little structure, rapid and multi-purpose -the guarantee of a mastering adapted to your productions- quality procedures and an after selling service We arrange complete commercial offers as well as a welcoming offer once having discovered the quality of our benefits. for more information on what we have available for you. FIRST CD Producing a record for the first time : Why ? What songs ? How ? How much is it gonna cost ? ! ? ! *· Aimed for beginners ! Being in the top 50 of any style of music is not the easiest thing to do with a first record. Nevertheless, you will always stumble upon producers who say, do this, do that, your music is great , I'd like to sign with you. Watch Out ! ! ! There are good producers and good editors (I thank them very sincerely for their passionate work) but unfortunately, many swindlers are out there just for the money. You can pick this type of guy our pretty easily, they won't harm you, or very little. They will often propose editing contracts but in reality are only interested in 50% of the author's rights. Do not sign anything before having consulted a contract professional. A contract leans your responsibility and bad contracts are legions. Now, if we offer you 70.000Euro in advance (non-refundable in case the disk gets a 'check mate') start by thanking the nice producer..., consult a contract professional and remember that negotiation can be a win-win situation. You must know that above all, an album is there to help you with promotion, knowing good producers and playing concerts. It is also a marker in your artistic evolution, a piece of work your loved ones are proud of or a memory of your group. How can you make it successful ? What songs do I pick ? When you rehearse, you know the songs you like to play. Choose them . When you perform, you know the songs that the audience likes to hear. Choose them ; If the number of songs is really important, you may have to take off a few from both sides (among your favorites and the public's favorites.) Don't forget that your disk will be distributed and sold to a part of our existing public. You must please yourself but others as well. It's a dog eat dog world out there. But you will probably be limited by the amount of track time (74 min or20 min) and your budget. How ?The 1st phase : The Studio You can find numerous pieces of advice on the page devoted to studio preparation. All you really need to know is that the better prepared you are, the more magic moments you can have in the studio. Studio time should not be for rehearsing. Choosing between analogical and digital : I personally prefer analogical but digital is quicker and easier to correct. 2 '' analogues are no longer really in use in smaller studios (small analogue tools no longer have the quality of the big, bad machines we now use today.) If you are able to , I would say do the sound recording on analogical and then use digital for the mixing process in the studio. But this is a first record ! While choosing between 24 bits and 16 bits, there really is no difference as long as the CD is 16 bits, a 16 bit studio is amply sufficient. The 2nd phase : Studio Mastering Be careful not to neglect this stage. An un-masterized album has no chance for play time on the radio in a battle against a masterized CD. Time is crossed by the quality of a masterized album and the number of participants. If you're short on cash, make us an offer and you'll be surprised. Never master your album in the studio you recorded in. New ears are needed as well as new, different material for the mastering phase. The 3rd phase : Manufacturing Here you will have the choice of manufacturer and type of packaging. You should have a printed out version of the CD booklet (from a Photoshop type of program.) Be careful with packaging packages also. If you look around, you are sure to find someone who loves Photoshop, Corel Draw or Paint Shop Pro. In case you can't find a creator around you and still wish to save money, preparing the texts and pictures on mini disk, CD or email files, can help you out. This would be a " first stab " stab at it and an actual designer would not take more than two hours to put together your CD jacket. For CD packaging, try to avoid a paper slip cover. It will be lost among the 1000s of CDs received by each producer and after each concert. Stick with plastic covers and it's sure to be well conserved as time goes by. How much is it gonna cost ? This is where it hurts ! You have 2 possible options- the album or the maxi (album being 74 min ; and maxi 20 min.) For a first album, I would suggest the maxi option. It requires less studio work, less time and the mastering is less expensive, packaging costs less and the copyrights are less expensive (if you wish to protect your music.) You can get out this less wounded. Plus, if they like your tunes, you can play some concerts, get a bit of money to produce a real album and your first time in the studio will have taught you lots of things that you will remember the second time around. Minimum Costs : Maxi (<20 min.) 3 studio days = 550E, Mastering = 150E, CD covers = 100E , 500 CDs = 900E TOTAL : 1700E + copyrights (optional) Album (<74 min.) 10 studio days = 2000E, Mastering = 300E , CD covers = 100E, 500 CDs = 1.100E TOTAL : 3500E + copyrights (optional) The prices listed here are the average prices in a small studio. If you want a serious album, prepare for higher prices with bigger studios. You need a quality sound engineer (and quality microphones.) The rest of this article on the page RECORDING CONTACT Don't hesitate ! ! ! We respond to every email with commentary, questions, offers...) FORMATS To be clear, the mastering process corresponds in reality with the " glass mastering " process which intervenes during the industrial pressing/ burning phase. Nevertheless, Mastering has a new meaning which is the very last chance to verify and adjust audio levels before the final pressing. Mastering is the last chance for your music to sing out, perfecting fadings, sound levels, order of songs and especially to hear your music like it will sound on your final recorded CD. A certain coding system must be applied to your disk so that a perfect glass mastering is in your favor. No matter the name, the mastering process demands an ensemble of understandings and materials completely different from those used in the studio. Two ways to pick out a professional mastering studio : -it will never be in the same location as the mixing studio (a man or woman's ears could not stand for it) -it is capable of putting a professional mastering format. A mastering studio looks more like a recording studio but more an audio laboratory with specific acoustics (because very strong measuring tools and work stations are needed.) For many mastering needs, in our case, we accept numerous formats (2'',1'',1/2'', U-matic, dat, minidisc, tape, 78T, 33T...) Mastering Formats For a very long time, the professional standard was the ¾ U-matic band, a Sony mark. Today, two classic professional formats are the Exabyte DDP and the PMCD (by Sonic solutions and also Sony.) A master professional is also called a " Master Cut " or " Cutting Production Master " because the glass master is produced directly by him. Why would you be interested in a professional format ? Simply to avoid pressing errors, that can be very expensive, or to avoid surcharges tied to security procedures when the pressing time comes. PMCD The premaster CD was a team project developed by Sonic Solutions and Sony. A real PMCD contains the code PQ (see the Red Book) engraved on the final discs (and for this reason, many CD burners can not handle PMCDs .) Exabyte DDP It's a cassette in 8mm format. A rather robust form but difficult to read. Numerous CD-Roms are masterized from this source (lots of pressing factories are equipped with this.) Factory CDs If you must reissue a series of CDs, you can use a burned CD as the master copy (as long as it's in very good condition.) CDs pressed on ordinary burners The competition between pressing factories was strong and economic pressing forced these factories to do things for quality and they now today accept non-professional formats. Some will accept burned CD from certain burners but the glass master copy will be created after an analogical transfer of the client's CD. Other industries will not accept the same CD. The problem with these CDs is that they can contain interruptions or pauses due to digital errors. This can happen during the glass mastering process and then you get another bad glass master copy. We have several tools available to verify the origin of unknown CDs and can correct them in case of error. FREE TEST It isn't easy choosing one's mastering studio. To prove to you the quality of our work, we offer you a free mastering of one of your songs. For a free test, we require : -The song you want treated : digital formats (wav, aiff), DAT, MD, band master 9.5/19138. We no longer treat MP3 because of bad sound quality (low, high, abominable !) -Sending of reference Album in your style of music : copies are accepted and destroyed after use. Be sure to precise the what it is you are expecting from the mastering. Don't hesitate to say whatever you want, even if it isn't very subjective. Here are some examples of requests : n fadings in and out, progressive volume changes, quick cut offs n -strength n -a lighter sound, warmer sound, clearer, more airy n -better guitar sound n -make brass and woods shine n -take things down to the norm To treat your music by post mail (a masterized song on CD + sending) we ask for a participation fee of 10 Euro (check can be made to the order of) Frederic VERET (Ciren) 25 rue Ernest RENAN 35700 Rennes France You can find our email addresses on the Contact Page RECORDINGS A Bit of advice before getting into the studio To have successful studio experiences, you have to prepare and practice. Your days in will then no longer be a pain in the butt but intense moments of creation. Structured Rehearsals When you go off to the studio, you think that you are ready ! Your songs go over well in rehearsal. If you take the time to record yourself and then listen, you will see that you're not in place, that there is some drifting and some notes that come from God knows where. In studio, this is not excusable and there really isn't any room for armatures in the disc market. If you are able to record yourself before, even if it is just with a tape recorder, you will then be able to learn from yourself and all the things your voice and hands tend to do once recording. Just start with one song and take the time to do this very simple procedure and see if you can't better the sound recording. After, things will go more smoothly. The Rhythmic Section This is the base of the recording. You'll start by recording base and drums. I prefer to record them together rather than separately because normally, the musical energy is better. Start together and try to work on the beat (a head phone metronome). The beat can be a rhythm box that you programmed for the song (always heard in the head set.). I know it's painful but after a couple of times, you'll learn to play together. Why play with the beat ? Because when working in the studio, it will help you out so much in keeping a steady rhythm and tempo. For recording on a cassette try several times to find the right place for the mike so that all instruments are heard and no sounds just jump out. The Melodic Section With the rhythm section recorded, the melodic section will now be able to get in place. They can practice at home and then practice together. Voice, guitar, synths, strings can be present . You could also record a final cassette and listen to it to get better at what you play !Real RehearsalEveryone together now ! Here we'll see who worked and who slacked off. I strongly suggest to record it and though you may come across a unequal mixing problem, you can at least hear everyone and that's the most important. Thanks to this, you will be able to better understand your song and you'll learn how to fix up rough parts. Don't look for perfection, it does not exist.HAVE FUN ! ! ! !Ok, well, you should at least be having a good time, right ? Try to mix up real working moments with moments of musical energy and you should be in for a good treat. These instants are here for you to help you use your money wisely and get yourself out onto the market with a proper disc. There are intense moments to be lived by all artists so Keep it Cool.La bretagne est une jolie région et les musiciens bretons y trouvent une inspiration magique. La forêt de brocéliande, la forêt de paimpont, la côte de granit rose,le montdol, Medreac (ou Médréac) et son vélo sur rail, le "vélo-rail". Que d'endroits pour se ressourcer, que de plaisir à vivre dans cette bretagne si douce. Le mastering demande à aimer les musiciens, à les respecter. Que dire d'un mastering effectué à la hate, en une journée? rien sinon qu'on ne peut parler de mastering mais plutôt d'une moulinette à son. La ville de Rennes est agréable à vivre et c'est avec grand plaisir que nous recevons nos amis musiciens dans cette belle ville de Rennes. Le mastering ou prémastering à rennes en bretagne, c'est ici. Bienvenue!!!!!!!