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.

My credits include

AllMusic verified credits for Dave Blackman:

  • Yabby You & The Prophets
  • Yabby You
  • 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
  • The Inturns
  • Horace Andy
  • Susan Pillsbury
  • Chillum
  • Second Hand
  • Jade
  • The Human Beinz
  • Skin, Flesh & Bones
  • Bunny Lee
  • My Darling Clementine
  • Bunny Lee
  • Striker Lee
  • Readers Wives
  • Liquid Stranger
  • The Man From Another Place
  • Thomas White
  • Bobby Kalphat & the Sunshot All Stars

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

Genres I specialize in

Terms of Service

First revision free. Then billed at hourly rate.

Reviews of Hiltongrove Mastering

  • Default-avatar5 days agoby Verified Review

    DOPE!

  • Listing_thumb_img_657220 days agoby Verified Review

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

  • Listing_thumb_stanrose012 months agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Listing_thumb_1836780_10206454165055688_7471975369637914323_o3 months agoby Verified Review

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

  • Default-avatar3 months agoby Verified Review

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

  • Listing_thumb_dsc_88083 months agoby Verified Review

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

  • Listing_thumb_fb_img_14715244050113 months agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Default-avatar4 months agoby Verified Review

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

  • Listing_thumb_tar_crystalline4 months agoby Verified Review

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

  • Default-avatar6 months agoby Verified Review

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

  • Listing_thumb_berlin6 months agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Listing_thumb_glen_profile-pic_500x500px6 months agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Default-avatarabout 1 year agoby Verified Review

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

  • Listing_thumb_unnamed__1_over 1 year agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Listing_thumb_unnamed__1_over 1 year agoby Verified Review

    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.

  • Default-avatar6 months agoby

    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.

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Interview with Hiltongrove Mastering

Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Billy Joel - simply because I'm a massive, massive fan. (I'm a piano player in my spare time!)
Tell us about your studio setup.
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.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
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.