At Turtlerock we can handle any format if we are given adequate notice, however we may have to lug them out of storage and get them re-aligned for your job. Please phone us if you are unsure of which formats you have - our engineers can usually figure out over the telephone what you have in your hands, if that is not possible we can tell at a glance what the formats are and which machine will be required.
We have a Studer a800 2 inch 24 trk which is renown for being the greatest multitrack recorder ever and curiously it is now offered as a digital plugin by various software companies .. but ours is here, heavy and works perfectly , we use it to both record and to restore and transfer to protools old recordings on that format .
In our main studio is the legendary Ampex ATR-100 1/2 and 1/4 inch tape machine. This machine has been extensively and lovingly restored and has ATR Service Company extended frequency response Mastering Heads, Mastering Capstan and rebuilt electronics. This is the finest analog tape machine ever made.
Some clients request that we “bounce the digital masters to 1/2 inch tape” to give them “that analog sound”.
There is a lot of noise around the web about the glorious sound of tape saturation. As experts in the field of analog mastering with tube equipment, frankly, we don’t believe the hype.
Our Parkside Sound Mastering Consoles are built in such a way as to achieve "that analog tone" easier and much more reliably than bouncing off 1/2 inch tape. If we do bounce off tape we use a new reel for each song project which adds $200 to the cost of most sessions. Reusing the tape is, in our opinion, sonically inferior and not worth wasting the tone or the clients’ time with.
That said .. it's here we use it , if its right for the sound we will use it on your record.
The pair of Pultec program equalizers (with matched serial numbers and military-grade Telefunken tubes) we use in our main room are a key part of the “Turtlerock tone” and cannot be found in any mastering house on this side of the planet. Of course being 50 years old and being a matched pair, they cannot be bought in any store, anywhere.
if it’s glorious Analog tone you are seeking, then we have that tone truly covered.
We realise that computers can simulate the looks of the vintage tube equipment in our consoles, but ask yourself why would we have vintage Pultec equalizers or the other stuff bolted into our racks if we could simply use a plug-in of the same device to create that “analog sound"?
Well we think you know the answer to that.
Many, if not all analog tapes pre-1990 are now in a state known as “shedding oxide”. This means that your old masters are coming apart at the seams. The glue that holds the oxide on to the tape is full of moisture and the tapes are literally falling apart.
This has nothing to do with how many times they were used, more that it was a mistake in the chemistry by the tape manufactures as they struggled to find glue that would work. These tapes cannot be played without risking the head of our machines and the music on the tapes themselves.
The previous glue used in tape manufacture from the fifties and sixties was made from a component of whale oil, so when the replacements were introduced in the early seventies and onwards, unfortunately nobody could check how long they would last until they started falling to pieces. This is now the case, and your old tapes will invariably be in trouble.
If you have a classic tape that you need re-mastered you must process it first in a process known as “baking”. This will make the tape stable and stop it falling apart for 1 month or so while it is transferred onto another format. This process is as scary as it sounds. The tapes are place in an oven and cooked for a few hours and it is not something you want to try at home.
We have purchased a laboratory thermal hydrating oven, so we now have the best, safest and most stringent way to offer this tape baking service in-house. This service is available to Turtlerock clients only and is only available for the master tapes we are re-mastering , remixing or transferring to multitrack digital.
This is our main source of business and what we do the most of. Clients can expect to leave with a PMCD Master, a Safety Copy and as many CD-R References as there are clients at the session (usually 2 References are made at the end of the session) We also provide hardcopy or online DDP masters and on line references on an as needed basis.
Mastering for Vinyl
Vinyl mastering takes a great deal of experience and as Rick was the head mastering engineer at festival (cutting literally thousands of records) during the height of vinyl manufacturing, our experience is unparalleled in this area.
Stereo mastering for DVD
Mastering Stereo Audio for DVD involves the same time frame and costs as mastering CD Stereo Audio.
5.1 Mastering for DVD
At this point in time Turtlerock no longer offers 5.1 DVD Audio Mastering. Due to the changing nature of DVD standards we have decided that offering 5.1 Audio at the highest level, as something that we could be proud to deliver, is not yet possible at a price point that makes sense to our clients.
Digital dubbing transfers and editing is charged at $AU125 per hour inc. GST
Turtlerock can compile, transfer and restore your masters from any format. Often clients will bring in masters several weeks before doing a "box set" so we can get the tracks in shape and in order for the actual session with Rick.
We also compile run of the mill CD compilations - please contact us if you have a bulk job that needs to be done. Note: We may move our price around (in your favour) if it makes sense for us to do so.
Turtlerock accepts audio in the following formats:
- 1/2" 2 Track Tape
- 1/4" 2 Track Tape
- AIFF, WAV or SDII Data files at 16/24-Bit 44.1/48/96kHz stored on CD-R, DVD-R,
- Cassette (if you must)
24 trk 2 inch multitrack
Note: We do not really want to restore your music from vinyl pressings - after so many years of working with master tapes, having to go back to the vinyl as the only master is a drag - we urge you to "find" your masters.
The Final Product
At the end of every mastering session a PMCD Master disc is burnt, error checked then listened to uninterrupted in its entirety. The client is provided with this PMCD error checked Master, a PMCD Safety Copy and one or several CD-R Reference discs, or a DDP master file set , or file sets for itunes only or vinyl only releases
We accept Cash, Cheque, Credit Cards (no AmEx) or Direct Deposit. It our usual policy that no masters leave the building until the account is paid in full. What this means is most clients fix up the bill at the end of the session.
Booking Fees and Cancellations
At Turtlerock usually a phone call is all it takes to book us.
We then request that you send us an email with all your contact details and the agreed session time as a confirmation of the session.
If you cancel the session we require 1 weeks notice or we charge a cancellation fee of 1/2 the expected session price.
For overseas or interstate artists we require you to book the session with us and then make sure we receive the masters the day before the session at the latest.
Typically we are booked two to three weeks in advance for albums and E.Ps but we may be able to slip in a shorter job earlier. As always ring us and check, we have been known to shuffle things around for our clients in a real bind. Please check with us as we're here to help.
We encourage anybody who wants to come the mastering session to come along. There is not much for the client to do except have a look, a listen and a chat but the way we see it is this a people business, and the closer we can get to the client the better we can serve them.
At Turtlerock we do not store or backup any data without express authorization from the owner of the music copyright. The bottom line is we give the client the masters and then it’s up to them to keep them safe.