Hiltongrove Mastering

Hi-End Audio Mastering Studio

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246 Reviews (242 Verified)
Hiltongrove Mastering on SoundBetter

I'm Dave Blackman and I own and run Hiltongrove Mastering, a dedicated mastering facility based in the Essex countryside. We're an Apple approved MFiT provider, and I've been a mastering engineer since 1996 - I'd like to think I know what I'm doing by now! Past clients include Coldplay, Keane, Killing Joke, and Echo and the Bunnymen.

We are Hi-End mastering facility offering the best of both analogue and digital processing. Monitoring is provided by B&W 801 Nautilus monitors and a Crane Song Avocet monitor controller, in a room designed and built specifically from the ground up as a mastering studio. Outboard is by Barry Porter, Prism Sound, Thermionic Culture, SSL, IGS, DAV Electronics and TC Electronic, all feeding a SADiE workstation.

Also available are Cedar processors, Cedar ReTouch software and Izotope RX. We also offer digital audio watermarking.

The studio has been approved by Apple to provide hi-res audio files that meet its Mastered For iTunes specifications (MFiT). Once the mastering is complete, We can supply you with WAVs for digital distribution and streaming, DDP file-sets for physical replication, vinyl cutting masters, or what-ever physical parts you require.

We're happy to work with you remotely as well as offering attended sessions.

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.

246 Reviews - 68 Repeat Clients

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  1. Review by Emma Elisabeth
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    Dave nailed it, again! Fast communication and fast delivery. :)

  2. Review by Nathan K.
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    Great sounding masters and quick to respond. Would highly recommend!

  3. Review by Ricardo Badillo
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    Amazing mastering. I’m really happy with the final result.

  4. Review by Mr Belding
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    Dave was very responsive, quick and the results are amazing! All of the songs sound consistent and high quality on all playback systems. Highly recommended.

  5. Review by Landry H.
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    High quality work with a quick turnaround

  6. Review by Yeshaya F.
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    Great job!!

  7. Review by Shane Heng
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    Smooth and really high quality of mastering done by Dave! Would definitely work with Dave for mastering again!!

  8. Review by William D Lucey
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    Dave did a wonderful job on this record. Highly recommend..

  9. Review by Christian S.
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    Did an amazing job, it sounds 🔥🔥. I messed up and uploaded the file late and he got it back to me the next morning. If you want your song to sound professional this guy is the way to go

  10. Review by Zeno C.
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    Very good quality and very good communication.

  11. Review by Simon
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    One word: efficient. If you want a quick and professional turnaround from a true Pro in the biz: Dave is your guy.

  12. Review by Peter S.
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    Another great and quick delivered Master from Dave.

  13. Review by Fine R.
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    Dave mastered an EP for vinyl. Sounds great and he was a pleasure to work with.

  14. Review by Danny
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    another project completed with Dave, very happy with the results!

  15. Review by TyCo Sound
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    Dave is a stellar mastering engineer. Locks in the song every time and is ultra-responsive. Will absolutely be working with him again in the future, and I recommend anyone reading this does too!

  16. Review by Simon S.
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    Was a pleasure to work with Dave! He was very quick to answer and to send the mastered files. He understood my remarks perfectly and made those changes. The mastered song sounds great. Thank you very much, Dave!

  17. Review by Robert K.
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    Dave at Hiltongrove delivered the masters we wanted very quickly. We were delighted with the result and will definitely use Dave again in the future. Very professional and easy to deal with.

  18. Review by Jason
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    Dave was very helpful from the initial contact, all the way through to the final output of the masters. His pricing was very competitive too. Thank you.

  19. Review by Simon
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    There is a reason I keep coming back to Dave @ Hiltongrove and that's for a few simple reasons: quick turnaround, easy communication and mastering know-how that's hard to beat for value. Can't recommend enough.

  20. Review by Danny
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    The results were undeniable- total pro!!

Interview with Hiltongrove Mastering

  1. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  2. A: Billy Joel - simply because I'm a massive, massive fan. (I'm a piano player in my spare time!)

  3. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  4. A: My room has been designed and built from the ground up for mastering. Its a classic room-in-a-room design, floated on rubber and isolated from the surrounding building in order to prevent sound transference. The audio response is very flat at the monitoring position, and translates very well to the outside world. Monitoring is handled by a pair of B&W 801 Nautilus monitors which have been with me for over 10 years. These are fed by a Cranesong Avocet monitor controller, providing and extremely clean signal path. The Avocet also makes level matched A/Bing as simple as a button press. The equipment here is all chosen to do a specific job. I have both clean and vibey EQs and compressors, both analogue and digital, and everything is mounted into the desk in front of me, meaning I never have to move from the monitoring position while applying processing. Capture, editing, PQ list-building and parts generation is handled by my SADiE digital audio workstation.

  5. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  6. A: We do mastering here, and just mastering - all day everyday. This involves chatting to my client about the sound they're trying to achieve, and what the aims of the project are, and then applying any relevant processing that may be required. We have several really nice pieces of equipment available here, and we'll use whatever is necessary to get where my client wants to go. Once approved we run out the parts and files required for distribution and replication.

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Showreel of some of my previous projects

I was the Mastering Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

First revision free. Then billed at hourly rate.

Gear Highlights
  • Prism Sound MLA-2
  • Barry Porter custom EQ
  • Thermionic Culture Phoenix Mastering Plus
  • DAV Electronics BG3 EQ
  • TC Electronic S6000
  • B&W 801 Nautilus monitors
  • Crane Song Avocet monitor controller
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