Stardelta Mastering was started by Grammy award winning Mastering Engineer, Lewis Hopkin. It is located in a converted Victorian church, lovingly turned into a world class, Northward Acoustics designed, front to back mastering studio. It is also the culmination of an absolute no compromise design, incorporating the highest level of acoustic accuracy and integrated audio technology.
Lewis has been an engineer for over 2 decades, working with some of the world’s greatest musical talents.
Joining Lewis and the team at Stardelta Audio Mastering is Mastering engineer and audio supremo Andy Miles who has worked with many musical household names in his career of approaching a decade. During this time Andy has worked on Grammy nominated projects and has made his name working on technically and musically complex albums and singles for artists both commercial and underground.
Working daily for both major and independent record labels, the diversity of mastering work from the Stardelta team is astounding. On the one hand we work with ease on records that top number one spots and national charts all over the world and on another we work on niche vinyl -only projects destined to have a tiny but fanatical listening base.
Each and every different musical genre requires a different skill set, one that has been finely honed through literally hundreds of thousands of mastering projects!
On the commercial side of things Lewis has mastered in excess of 20 UK national chart number one hits in the last 3 years alone. Add to this near countless top ten and top 40 hits for household names and major record labels. Recently this has lead to multiple Grammy Award nominations and Grammy winning albums and singles for these artists, all mastered here at Stardelta.
With projects mastered by Lewis also being nominated for and winning Mercury Music prize awards, MOBO’s and Brit awards, it would be fair to say he is the man to see about mastering a hit!
On the flip side to the commercial big records and labels, the core of Stardelta Mastering lies in its work with independent labels and artists whose projects Lewis and Andy love. We are happiest when mastering vinyl and digital for artists and labels who care deeply about the quality of recorded sound, as we do at Stardelta.
Over the years we have established a reputation with Stardelta that is unrivalled in the sense that we are able to master music in a unique and varied style all of our own, using an all analogue approach to minimise the compromises normally associated with modern day mastering.
Ever trying to advance what is possible sonically (and physically) with the vinyl format Lewis has dedicated his life to cutting carefully crafted and sonically superior records. As a team Lewis and Andy are implementing this sonic research and making possible what we believe are very fine sounding records indeed.
The Stardelta Way | Grammy Award Winning Mastering
Mastering is the final creative and technical stage of any musical project, a stage where sonic signatures of recordings can be made to shine. Stardelta was set up with one primary goal – to provide you (and ultimately your listeners) with the best presentation of your valuable music, one with absolutely zero compromise in processing quality.
All too often your hard work can be compromised at the final stages by the desire for loud, competitive masters on a realistic budget. This usually takes the form of cheap, digital mastering, using inferior software plug-ins.
It is somewhat true that there are now some usable software solutions out there that have opened up a new world of possibilities and processing quality to the recording musician, perhaps for demo purposes, but not for a high quality release.
We feel that, contrary to what many cheap online mastering services would have you believe, it is a myth that they can ever truly be a match for the human touch and the hardware solution of real tubes, transformers, transistors and good old analogue circuitry and, quite frankly, we don’t think ‘OK’ is anywhere near good enough when it comes to your music.
Many modern recordings are often created solely inside the computer, or ‘In The Box’. This brings about its own set of forced compromises within the recording itself that, until played back through a loudspeaker, may never have actually been an analogue signal. Our analogue and high end digital hardware has been carefully selected through months of rigorous listening tests (electronically modified in house where necessary to improve on the specifications), to ensure that, whether it’s the most naturally recorded piece of live music or the most digital of electronica, your music is being passed through simply the finest circuitry available anywhere. Processed using the right equipment for the music being mastered. One size does not fit all, which is the approach taken by the digital limiter merchants!! All of this analogue magic happens with one of the world’s top mastering engineers in a studio of exceptional acoustic pedigree.
This means we can do everything from the most transparent, delicate adjustment to adding the strongest of colours in a way simply not possible with software mastering.
Whilst in the past it has been the Mastering Engineer’s job to preserve the original recording with as much dynamic range as possible and as close to the original master tape or source, there is now a well established phenomenon known as, ‘Most music sounds pretty shitty these days ’….. or the Loudness Wars or some other nonsense name, where sonic quality and dynamics are often sacrificed in favour of increased average loudness and perceived volume (not to be confused with actually turning up the volume). Whilst not always appropriate it has been widely adopted and it is now standard practice to make things as loud as possible. This is very often the wrong thing to do and beyond a certain point with certain styles of music ruins the recording.
Other styles of music respond well and sound good with little dynamic range and can be made very loud indeed.
Through many, many years of experience and hundreds of thousands of mastering projects we get this right for you and put the dynamics where they need to be and the LOUDNESS where the loud bits need to be. We have developed and implemented a proven method to get you the loudest master possible (if that is what you are looking for) with the minimum resulting artefacts (i.e. loss of dynamics and distortion), so whether you want total transparency with dynamic range intact, or both the loudest and cleanest, we’ve got it covered!