Hiltongrove Mastering

Hi-End Audio Mastering Studio

starstarstarstarstar
90 Reviews (88 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, Chiswick Reach, DAV Electronics and TC Electronic, all feeding a SADiE workstation.

Also available are Cedar outboard processors, Cedar ReTouch software and Izotope RX5. 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.

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Dave Blackman
  • Michael Nesmith
  • Skin, Flesh & Bones
  • Yabby You & The Prophets
  • Yabby You
  • Bunny Lee
  • David Ford
  • Third World All Stars
  • Third World All Stars
  • Tommy McCook
  • My Darling Clementine
  • Phil Pratt
  • Sunshot Band
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry & the Upsetters
  • Dennis Bovell
  • Art Brut
  • The Free Spirits
  • The Ingoes
  • Ryan Kelly
  • David Ford
  • Mighty Baby
  • Pagan Altar
  • David Julyan
  • Peter Tosh
  • Channel One
  • Sounds from the Ground
  • Yabby You
  • The Inturns
  • Horace Andy
  • Susan Pillsbury
  • Chillum
  • Second Hand
  • Jade
  • The Human Beinz
  • My Darling Clementine
  • Bunny Lee
  • Striker Lee
  • Readers Wives
  • Liquid Stranger
  • The Man From Another Place
  • Thomas White
  • Bobby Kalphat & the Sunshot All Stars

90 Reviews - 24 Repeat Clients

Endorse Hiltongrove Mastering
  1. Review by Garth M.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Worked with Dave to master a "classic country" song, and he both got the vibe of the song and suggested some important fixes to the mix prior to mastering. Quality product and experience.

  2. Review by Dean Korso
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    It's a pleasure to work with Dave! The sound picture is amazing after his mastering magic)))

  3. Review by Alec F.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Had an EP and a single done by Dave. Made all those little tweaks I didn't know it needed, sounds better than I could have imagined. Very professional and had them done right when he said he would.

  4. Review by Faisal A.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Excellent, after looking at the profile you really can't doubt it

  5. Review by Guy Britton
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Second time working with Dave and great results again. Fast turnaround and always happy to make any changes.

  6. Review by Rob O.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Dave is a real professional. He has helped me turn my mix into something really alive and full of presence. Great work!

  7. Review by Spinmont Productions
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave did a fantastic, quick job. Masters sounded clean and captured the polish I was looking for. Thanks Dave!

  8. Review by Simon
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Very efficient and quick turnaround time too. Would use service again.

  9. Review by Steven C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Another one straight away. Again, top Mastering. Professional and fast turnaround. Recommended.

  10. Review by Steven C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Top Mastering. Professional and fast turnaround. Recommended.

  11. Review by Alexander
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    I've been working with Dave on the second project with a difficult task. Dave's made a great job. We've achieved the result we needed despite the artist's whims. Thank you so much for your professionalism and patience. It's a pleasure - to have a deal with you!

  12. Review by Jake M.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    A good Joe.

  13. Review by Kristian H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    We had a tight schedule as always, but Dave is a pro and the result was top-notch all the way. Recommended!

  14. Review by Ferro
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Amazing to work with Dave, really premium sound and warm treatment.

  15. Review by Gary H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave is fast and gets it right the first time!!!

  16. Review by Gary H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave was accessible and prompt. The mix what fantastic.

  17. Review by lloyd o.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave thank you very much. Highly professional made my song sound crisp and polished and much better than the previous masters id got from two other so called mastering engineers which still had a somewhat muddy sound. il definitely will be coming back with other tracks soon Dave Thank you again

  18. Review by Alexander
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave's done a great job on the song. His mastering gave a new breath to the track. Dave, thank you so much for your professionalism and quality work!

  19. Review by Sam F.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Professional and fantastic service... will definitely work with Dave again!

  20. Review by Andy H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Fast work and brilliant sound as always! Thanks Dave

  21. Review by Guy Britton
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave master was great and his turnaround was quick. I had a small revision to make to the initial version but had a revised master from him in less than 24 hours. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for high quality mastering at a great price!

  22. Review by Lone Wolf Studio
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave has done an excellent job with the song I submitted. The mastering he provided gave the song clarity, depth, dynamics and wideness! I could not ask for more! Thanks a lot Dave for being so professional!

  23. Review by Avyay G.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great job and really great at incorporating feedback. The first master was far off what we wanted, but he took all my requests into consideration and gave us just what we had imagined. Recommended!

  24. Review by James A.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Amazing work

  25. Review by Cíara - Country / Irish / Folk
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave was really fantastic throughout this process. He always got back to my questions very quickly and the master sounds great!

  26. Review by Noble
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Dave beat my deadline by 1 business day. I am really happy with the quality of my mastering and will certainly consider him for future projects.

  27. Review by Andres O.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave did an incredible job. We were quite unprepared going into the entire process and Dave was so patient with us; will DEFINITELY be going back for another master in the future. Professionalism, quality, and class. Thrilled to say the least!

  28. Review by Harith J.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Fast and Efficient. Quality was great as well. Will definitely come back for more!

  29. Review by Kurt C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    If you want a huge radio ready single. This is this place.

  30. Review by Rami A.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Fantastic results at a very decent price. I also requested a change and it was done with no hassle, he fully understood what we were after and gave us more than we expected. Highly recommended

  31. Review by Andre G.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great job, good service. Much thanks!

  32. Review by Lazy Keys
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Hiltongrove was at all times professional and courteous. I felt that Dave took feedback really well and provided his fantastic service promptly and with excellent attention to detail. If you’re looking for a pro with reasonable prices, go with Dave art Hiltongrove.

  33. Review by Polo C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Best Mastering Studio, looking forward to working together again!

  34. Review by Ariel M.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave is a great engineer to work with. His masters brought our mix to where I am more than satisfied. He swooshed past my expectations! I'd recommend him - highly.

  35. Review by Michael S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave did a fantastic job. Great mastering. Perfect communication. Fast delivery. I will definitely come back for future projects. Thanks a lot!

  36. Review by Roshan R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great Master ! Very quick turnaround ...
    Thanks !

  37. Review by Dylan R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Very flexible and extremely easy to work with. His stuff sounds great!

  38. Review by Nick D.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Hiltongrove did a fantastic job on my track! Definitely would recommend them!

  39. Review by Jared L.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Quick turnaround and great outcome - a pleasure to work with!

  40. Review by Jimmy W.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    WOW! Dave go Hawk And The Wilds song The Wave sound great everywhere: in headphones, in the car, in the studio, even on the smartphones built in speaker! Outstanding work :D

  41. Review by Kim P.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Excellent mastering! Great communication, very receptive to feedback, and extremely prompt with revisions. Highly recommend without hesitation and would definitely work with Dave again!

  42. Review by Zane
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Dave from Hiltongrove was extremely efficient and gave quality masters in the span of over a very short period of time. It was excellently done and the communication back and fourth was crystal clear!

  43. Review by des
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Hi can honestly say, Dave did a perfect match on my track with the ref i provided him with. Can secure more work will be following.

  44. Review by Tar C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    It's comforting to know that when I receive tracks back from Dave, that it's gonna sound good. Really, really good!

  45. Review by Andy H.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    I can definitely recommend hiltongrove mastering and will work with them again in my next projects. I needed one song to be mastered. The responses were really quick and the sound is great and cristal clear! Just perfect!

  46. Review by Timo R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Very good mastering!!

  47. Review by j.delVey
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave provided me with a great MFiT master--all the low-midrange mud was gone. My track never sounded better. Best value on this site for mastering for sure!

  48. Review by Scott K.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    I needed Dave to re-arrange the song order on my DDP. Dave turned the job around very quickly and for a very reasonable price. Thanks again Dave!

  49. Review by Spencer R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Awesome job! Completed fast without sacrificing the quality of the work. Excellent!

  50. Review by Jason L.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Very happy. The final mixes sounded great, communication was professional and very responsive. I will definitely use again.

  51. Review by Dennis N.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave performed an exceptional job in subtle interpretation of my tracks into elegant masters. I was extremely pleased with how it all came together, particularly the sweeping orchestrations. I highly recommend Hiltongrove for their quick service and exceedingly reasonable fees for performing their impressive magic. Thanks!

  52. Review by Hode
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Fast , Amazing & Awesome !

  53. Review by Vaihi O.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    What more can I say Hiltongrove this is the 2nd time of come to them to Master a song and they are AWSOME they are fast and accommodating. Very pleasent to work with as well. And they made my song POP.

  54. Review by Scott K.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    I gave Dave my album to Master. He took a really nice mix and made it even better. I am really, really happy with the way it sounds.
    Dave was really easy to work with and the turn around was very fast. I highly recommend working with him. I know I will again.

  55. Review by Guven C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave is a great mastering engineer to work with. Easy communication and fast turnover. Recommended.

  56. Review by Joshua Taylor
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Flexible, fast and professional service - 100% recommend

  57. Review by Josh C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Excellent mastering engineer. Worked with him for a second time and as expected, great results with a fast turnover. Will definitely be back, again.

  58. Review by Alberto S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Always a pleasure! Will return for sure for other projects.

  59. Review by Chin L.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave really did a great work!!

  60. Review by Alberto S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    One word.. SICK! I don't know what he did, but he did it.
    Dave is a true professional, he delivers the highest quality without compromise, is fast, approachable and FAIR with his fee. I could not ask for more and I'll be a regular client for life.

  61. Review by Olga C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave is efficient and professional as always. We are very happy about his work!

  62. Review by Shiinstudio
    starstarstarstarstar_border
    check_circleVerified

    Very good quality of work. Kind to give me a few versions of work and advices. Great job done.

  63. Review by Vaihi O.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great Job! Easy to communicate very fast and the sound is killer. Will use again for sure.

  64. Review by Diego Aguirre
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    We just finished the first EP of our new project, and we are very happy with the result, sonic wise and the service was also amazing. We highly recommend Hiltongrove Mastering. Nice job Dave.

  65. Review by Olga C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Hilton is very efficient and talented. He worked his magic and made the song better :)

  66. Review by Jon
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Went above and beyond to make sure we were happy with our sound- professional and fun to work with. Super accommodating and did a fantastic job at communicating to make sure we knew how to move forward. Can't express with words how grateful we are for the sound and service Dave provided for our album.

  67. Review by Jack P.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    the best if you need a great mastering engineer FAST.

  68. Review by Cazz B.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave managed to clean up the mud / open the top-end of my (admittedly dense) mix while retaining the vibey spirit. Exactly what I had requested and was very accommodating in making a quick revision. Would happily recommend and use again for more projects.

  69. Review by Michael N.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave is wonderful to work with and I'm delighted with the results. I can't recommend him highly enough--a true professional!

  70. Review by Brad S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave was a treat to work with. He was fast and did a terrific job overall. Highly recommended.

  71. Review by Ryno Z.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    A really seamless and pro experience. Dave was very helpful and quick with his turnaround. And it sounds huuuuuge!
    Highly recommended

  72. Review by Jack P.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    amazing

  73. Review by Babalola
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave was really quick and did a great job. Thanks!

  74. Review by Buzzin Producer
    starstarstarstarstar_border
    check_circleVerified

    DOPE!

  75. Review by Alexei Y.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    excellent work, very professional and fast turnaround
    easily handled changes that I requested.

  76. Review by Stan Rose
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    It was great working with Dave, he was super prompt and really put some nice finishing touches to my track. Hope to use his services again.

  77. Review by Christos Stylianides
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great job and really close to what asked. Fast communication and gives feedback on your track/mix.

  78. Review by Buzzin Producer
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    GREAT ! ! ! Really fast and professional would be using them again and again.

  79. Review by Rob M.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Very happy with the master, and Dave was even kind enough to give me some feedback on my mix.

  80. Review by Josh C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Great experience and is without a doubt one of the top mastering engineers on SoundBetter. Dave was very helpful and patient. Once he had all the tracks, he finished them within a day. The results were astounding. I will surely visit again.

  81. Review by Winfried S.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    He's done a wonderful job mastering out tracks. Thanks!

  82. Review by Tar C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Great work and I will continue to work with Dave! Easy communication and timely delivery :)

  83. Review by Tim B.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Working with Dave from Hiltongrove Mastering was a real pleasure: great sound, good and helpful service.

  84. Review by Diego Aguirre
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Working with Dave, has been a really nice experience, and we are very happy with the job he made in our song. I recommend completely Hiltongrove Mastering. Also the service very fast and friendly. Looking forward on working again with them.

  85. Review by Glen R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave was great to work with. My song benefited enormously through his mastering. He breathed further life and excitement into the song & gave it cohesion and consistency. It amazes me that some people leave out this crucial step in the record making process. It truly is the icing on the cake.

  86. Review by Tom R.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by
    check_circleVerified

    Extremely easy to work with, right on the money in terms of the master. Couldn't ask for more.

  87. Review by Alexandre
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    Dave did an amazing job like always, incredibly talented and professional engineer, I don't even look for other mastering engineers anymore, Hiltongrove Mastering is my first and only option for mastering.

  88. Review by Alexandre
    starstarstarstarstar
    check_circleVerified

    It was a real pleasure to work with Dave, he is really professional,works fast and understands what the song needs, he really took it to another level. I will work with him again for sure, 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

  89. Review by Tar C.
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Very glad to have Dave around. I got an excellent master back and quickly too.
    He accommodated my deadline which was around the Holidays.

  90. Review by Andrea
    starstarstarstarstar
    by

    Really enjoyed working with Dave, he really cares about making sure that you end up with masters tracks that you're 100% happy with. Would recommend to anyone.

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.

loading
play_arrowpause
skip_previous
skip_next
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 Compressor
  • Barry Porter custom EQ
  • Chiswick Reach stereo valve compressor
  • DAV Electronics BG3 EQ
  • TC Electronic System 6000
  • B&W 801 Nautilus monitors
  • Crane Song Avocet monitor controller
  • Cedar ReTouch
  • Izotope RX5
More Photos