Hiltongrove Mastering

Hi-End Audio Mastering Studio

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50 Reviews (48 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.

Send me a note through the contact button above.

Credits

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

Reviews (50)

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

  2. Review by Zane
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    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!

  3. Review by des
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    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.

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

  5. Review by Andy H.
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    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!

  6. Review by Timo R.
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    Very good mastering!!

  7. Review by j.delVey
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    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!

  8. Review by Scott K.
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    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!

  9. Review by Spencer R.
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    Awesome job! Completed fast without sacrificing the quality of the work. Excellent!

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

  11. Review by Dennis N.
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    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!

  12. Review by Hode
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    Fast , Amazing & Awesome !

  13. Review by Vaihi O.
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    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.

  14. Review by Scott K.
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    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.

  15. Review by Guven C.
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    Dave is a great mastering engineer to work with. Easy communication and fast turnover. Recommended.

  16. Review by Joshua Taylor
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    Flexible, fast and professional service - 100% recommend

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

  18. Review by Alberto S.
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    Always a pleasure! Will return for sure for other projects.

  19. Review by Chin L.
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    Dave really did a great work!!

  20. Review by Alberto S.
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    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.

  21. Review by Olga C.
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    Dave is efficient and professional as always. We are very happy about his work!

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

  23. Review by Vaihi O.
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    Great Job! Easy to communicate very fast and the sound is killer. Will use again for sure.

  24. Review by Diego Aguirre
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    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.

  25. Review by Olga C.
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    Hilton is very efficient and talented. He worked his magic and made the song better :)

  26. Review by Jon
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    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.

  27. Review by Jack P.
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    the best if you need a great mastering engineer FAST.

  28. Review by Cazz B.
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    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.

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

  30. Review by Brad S.
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    Dave was a treat to work with. He was fast and did a terrific job overall. Highly recommended.

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

  32. Review by Jack P.
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    amazing

  33. Review by Babalola
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    Dave was really quick and did a great job. Thanks!

  34. Review by Buzzin Productionz
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    DOPE!

  35. Review by Alexei Y.
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    excellent work, very professional and fast turnaround
    easily handled changes that I requested.

  36. Review by Stan Rose
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    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.

  37. Review by Christos Stylianides
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    Great job and really close to what asked. Fast communication and gives feedback on your track/mix.

  38. Review by Buzzin Productionz
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    GREAT ! ! ! Really fast and professional would be using them again and again.

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

  40. Review by Josh C.
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    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.

  41. Review by Winfried S.
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    He's done a wonderful job mastering out tracks. Thanks!

  42. Review by Tar C.
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    Great work and I will continue to work with Dave! Easy communication and timely delivery :)

  43. Review by Tim B.
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    Working with Dave from Hiltongrove Mastering was a real pleasure: great sound, good and helpful service.

  44. Review by Diego Aguirre
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    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.

  45. Review by Glen R.
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    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.

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

  47. Review by Alexandre
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    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.

  48. Review by Alexandre
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    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.

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

  50. Review by Andrea
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    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.

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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 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