I'm Mike Hinton, I have 25 year's experience in the industry, previously working for The Decca Recording Co. and The Exchange Mastering Studios. I set up MSTRD back in 2015 and have been working with some great artists and labels since.
My studio, MSTRD, is a top class mastering facility located in London. We use both analogue and digital tools to achieve our mastering goals. Our analogue chain consists of two DAV Electronics BG3 EQ's, Maselec MLA-2 and BSS DPR 402 Compressors, DAV Electronics SIPP for stereo width and parallel processing. Digital processing consists of hardware and software WAVES L2 Ultramaximizer, a selection of software limiters, Maximizers, Clippers, Compressors and EQ's. I have two Lynx Hilo's, using one for D/A and the other for A/D duties. These are very transparent, and the routing is very versatile. The equipment I use on a particular track depends on what needs to be achieved in the mix. For monitoring I use a pair of modified B&W Matrix 801 S2, 3 Way Full Range Loudspeakers. These are amazing speakers which I have had for 25 Years! Our mastering room is purpose built and acoustically treated to give a 20Hz - 20KHz frequency response making the listening experience very accurate.
As well as mastering audio, using our SADiE 6 DAW we can also compile EP's and album's and run off production masters such as WAV files with gaps and DDPI CD Masters. With DDPI CD Masters we have the option of encoding ISRC or CD TEXT as well.
Check out my audio sampler and the rest of my profile. I hope to work with you soon and add you to my list of mastering credits :)
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
- Bryan Ferry
- Anker & the Ghalat Family
- Sofie Winterson
- Alex Germys
- Ankur Tewari
- Blank Page
- Blind Allies
- Void Cells
- Strength N.I.A.
- Pesho & Dave Bo
- Sharma & The Besharams
- Andrew Grant
- Camilo Franco
- Alex Seda
- Manabu Shimada
- Madras Men
- Otto Knows
- Siddharth Basrur
- Michael Tee
- Nikhil D'souza
- Midi Matilda
- Androma & Kulkid
- Art of Shades
- Ryan Sallis
- & Co
- Ernest Moon
- Nash Albert
- Mag Day Chuk & Sanchez
- Jade Alger
- Simon Naked
- Luigi Sambuy
- Beyond The Struttosphere
- Glauco Di Mambro
- Alberto Bof
- Doug Morter, Jerry Donahue Featuring The Backroom Boys & Girls
- Bizarre Inc
- Padded Cell
- Tripoli (2)
- Raining Pleasure
- Isaac Delusion
- Otto Knows Ft. Avicii
- Manabu Shimada
- Michael Tee (3)
- Alma Negra (2), Sol*
- Mag Day Chuk, Sergey Sanchez
- Jade Alger
- Faide (2)
- Void Cells
- Sofie Winterson
- Void Cells
- Alma (31)
- Alma (31)
6 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Mike Hinton | MSTRD Mastering
Fantastic work as usual. Quick turnaround and attention to detail.
Solid work once again. The track I had mastered is a neo-classical / avant-garde song and Mike once again payed close attention to detail, and also leaves dynamic range which I appreciate.
I had another track mastered and I've had enough experience with various engineers to know that what MSTRD is doing is quality work. I've never had to get a revision. I love it.
Mike once again brought out detail in my track and got it back to me very quickly. Highly recommended engineer.
Splendid attention to detail once again. I can hear all the instrumentation with more clarity and nuance after having the master.. a lot of body and warmth added. Highly recommend Mike for your mastering needs. Also very quick turnaround, which is a nice extra.
Quick turnaround and high-quality sound! Highly recommended. I appreciate the attention to detail.
Interview with Mike Hinton | MSTRD Mastering
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: The mix engineers I work with operate outside of SoundBetter. I can see there are some very well respected mix engineers on the SoundBetter platform and I look forward to working with them in the future.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I’m really proud to have mastered Otto Knows feat. Avicii - “Back Where I Belong”. I’m a big fan of both artists and was lucky to be able to work with them before Avicii passed away.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I have just finished working on four remixes for a Disco / Nu-Disco EP release and I'm just about to start on a Minimal / Tech House EP of 6 tracks.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I like to use both. Analogue has a more natural sound, so I tend to do as much EQ work and compression in the analogue domain and then if any surgical EQ is required, I use a digital plugin EQ as its easier to get in to exact frequencies to adjust. I also use digital limiters and maximisers.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will try my best to achieve a great sounding result, whilst trying to retain the dynamics and character of the mix.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love listening to music and it's great that my job means I can work on new music on a daily basis. When I work on a project, I make it my own for the time I'm working on it and it means so much when a client comes back with "good job" or "great master" once I have sent them the masters.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: I mainly get asked what my turn around time is. This varies depending on how busy I am. I can sometimes turn around a master in 24 hours and sometimes it might take a couple of days. I spend a lot of time in the studio, so I always try and turn around my masters in a good time.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That all mixing issues can't be fixed at the mastering stage from a stereo interleaved file. Some mix issues can be fixed at mastering but depending on the issue, if you bring out a certain frequency in the mix it might bring out other instruments as well as the one you are trying to enhance. In this case it is always best to go back to the mix engineer and get them to bounce a new mix with the instrument at a higher level in the mix.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Are you happy with the sound of your mix? What is your vision for the finished master? Do you have a reference you have been working to when mixing?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: It's important that final mix bounces are listened to before submitting to a mastering engineer. Clicks, clipped starts and ends are quite common, so it's well worth a final quality control listen before sending. Also, notes on the direction you would like the mastering to take, along with references or a self-mastered reference can be helpful too (in WAV files format).
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Monitoring is very important, so I would take my B&W 801 S2's, a power amp, Pair of Beyer DT 990 Pro Headphones, Lynx Hilo and SADiE 6 DAW. On the island I would have to work in the box but I have some great sounding plugins for that!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My career working in the music industry started at The Decca Record Company, duplicating master tapes for artist approval and for the Polygram (Now Universal) tape library. The master tape formats ranged from their in house IVC digital format, 1/4", 1/2", U-Matic and DAT, so was a good chance to learn how to use and line up these machines. Sadley the studios closed in 1997, but I went to work for The Exchange Mastering Studios, where I worked for 17 years. At The Exchange I worked as mastering engineer and technical manager for the first few years and then went on to also be studio manager. The owners of the building wanted to turn the studios in to flats so we all saw it as a good time to close the studios and set up on our own. I set up my own mastering studio at the beginning of 2015 and this is what I've been doing since. In total I have been working in the music industry for 25 years. In this time I have met some amazing artists such as Mike skinner, Dizzee Rascal, Basement Jaxx, The Chemical Brothers, The Darkness, to name a few.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I try to work as close towards the Artists vision as possible, but if the mix allows, I add my own flavour where necessary.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to work on a Fleetwood Mac record. I'm a big fan of the music and love the production and the sound they achieve on their albums.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Make sure your mix is dynamic, especially in the low end. A little compression is good but not too much. This enables us space in the mix to add EQ and compression, if required, and means we have more flexibility with the mix to get the most out of if it, both frequency and level wise.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I have mastered for most genres in my time. Currently I'm working on a lot of Disco / Nu-Disco music. I love to work on different genres of music as my own music taste is very varied.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Being able to listen to a mix and identify what needs to be done to get it sounding great!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A fresh pair of experienced ears and monitoring that has a frequency response of 20Hz - 20KHz. I always try to retain the dynamics and energy of tracks that I master, along with enhancing the clarity and excitement in the stereo image to make a bigger, airier sound, if that's what the mix calls for. If I'm provided with a good sounding mix then only a subtle touch may be required or maybe just some loudness to bring the level up to match similar tracks in the genre.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I start my sessions by listening through the unmastered audio, taking notes on the positives and any areas which need work. I read any notes and listen to any references provided. If no references are provided I use my own references in the same or similar genre. In the case of a session with multiple tracks like an album or EP, I would decide which track I would start with and then build the album around that. Once I have carried out the mastering process I send files for approval. I take detailed notes so if a client requires any changes I can recall my settings and make any adjustments as required.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: The start and end of my mastering chain consists of two DAWs, Reaper and SADiE 6. I use Reaper to play unmastered audio through my analogue mastering chain and SADiE 6 to capture the final mastered audio, carry out compiling and running off files for digital download and DDPI CD Masters. I have two Lynx Hilo's, using one for D/A and the other for A/D duties. These are very transparent and the routing is very versatile. My analogue chain consists of two DAV Electronics BG3 EQ's, Maselec MLA-2 Compressor, DAV Electronics SIPP for stereo width and parallel processing. Occasionally I use a BSS DPR 402 Compressor and hardware WAVES L2 Ultramaximizer, depending on the style of music I'm working on and what needs to be done. In the box I have a selection of software limiters, compressors, EQ's which I use in conjunction with my analogue equipment. For monitoring I use a pair of modified B&W Matrix 801 S2 Loudspeakers. These are amazing speakers which I have had for 25 Years!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Listening to CD's growing up I loved the sound of albums mastered by Bob Ludwig, George Marino and Ted Jensen. This is when I knew I wanted to get in to mastering.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: So far, I have only been offering Mastering services, although I do like mixing and have been asked to do this for some sessions I have done. I prefer mastering as I like to oversee the final result and run production masters for digital download and CD.