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.

My credits include

AllMusic verified credits for Dave Blackman:

  • Skin, Flesh & Bones
  • 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
  • Yabby You
  • The Inturns
  • Horace Andy
  • Susan Pillsbury
  • Chillum
  • Second Hand
  • Jade
  • The Human Beinz
  • 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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_scott_guitar5_b_w11 days agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar17 days agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_studio_pic_jt21 days agoby

    Flexible, fast and professional service - 100% recommend

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_fb_img_147152440501128 days agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatarabout 1 month agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar2 months agoby

    Dave really did a great work!!

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar2 months agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar3 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_theme_song_record_company_logo_shiinstudio__3_3 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar3 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_diego3 months agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar4 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar4 months agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar4 months agoby

    the best if you need a great mastering engineer FAST.

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_cazz_bw5 months agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar5 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_jb2_17206 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar6 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar6 months agoby

    amazing

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar8 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar8 months agoby

    DOPE!

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_img_65728 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_stanrose0110 months agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_10247813_10206248821522228_6151692761567017177_n10 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar11 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar11 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_fb_img_147152440501111 months agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatar11 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_tar_crystalline12 months agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avatarabout 1 year agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_berlinabout 1 year agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_glen_profile-pic_500x500pxabout 1 year agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewDefault-avataralmost 2 years agoby

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

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_unnamed__1_about 2 years agoby

    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.

  • Verified ReviewListing_thumb_unnamed__1_over 2 years agoby

    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.

  • Listing_thumb_tar_crystalline7 months agoby

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

  • Default-avatarabout 1 year 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.