Hiltongrove Mastering

Hi-End Audio Mastering Studio

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270 Reviews (266 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, Thermionic Culture, SSL, IGS, DAV Electronics and TC Electronic, all feeding a SADiE workstation.

Also available are Cedar processors, Cedar ReTouch software and Izotope RX. 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.

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.

270 Reviews - 71 Repeat Clients

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  1. Review by Eagle Studio - Jonathan Wagner
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    It was the first time with Dave. Easy communication, quick response and great result!

  2. Review by Daniel P.
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    Amazing quality! Thank you Dave!

  3. Review by Mike A.
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    Dave at Hiltongrove did a great job mastering a song for me. I like to listen to a master on multiple speakers/systems of varying quality so that I know if it will work for all the different ways people listen to music. I got COVID when he sent me his first draft of the song, so I only got to hear it on headphones. Dave was super patient and gave me several days to recuperate and listen on all the systems I wanted to. I asked for a minor revision and a day later got a perfect final version

  4. Review by Tom K.
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    by Tom K.
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    Amazing master, delivered promptly, no revisions necessary!

  5. Review by John R.
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    Highly recommended. Takes your mixes to another level and the result is warm, solid, detailed and punchy. Great communication and always very helpful.

  6. Review by Laurent M.
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    Very happy with the result, would highly recommend!

  7. Review by Rasul K.
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    Amazing job, Dave's work gave our track even more style :)

  8. Review by Áine W.
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    Fantastic service and great master by Dave Blackman. Would highly recommend and will look forward to returning again.

  9. Review by Michael M.
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    Easy to work with, fast turnaround, great master.

  10. Review by Erik D.
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    GREAT WORK! Didn't need any revisions!

  11. Review by Jason O.
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    Sounds great, high quality master and very friendly!

  12. Review by Joe M.
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    by Joe M.
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    Hiltongrove has provided consistent quality and timeliness with masterings in a variety of styles, from symphonic to accoustic to rock/metal.

  13. Review by Gordon G.
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    10/10 recommend! technically excellent, aesthetically on-point, flexible, good communication and quick turnaround

  14. Review by Paul R.
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    Dave never disappoints, he is patient, friendly and always delivers high quality masters. We have completed several projects, short EP's and full-length albums with Hiltongrove and will continue to do so.

  15. Review by Marc T.
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    A great job from Dave producing a professional mastering of my song. Thanks!

  16. Review by Aidan B.
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    Dave is professional and friendly, happily fielded all my questions and requests, and most importantly did an excellent job mastering my track. All this at such a reasonable price! I won't hesitate to work with him again.

  17. Review by Fine R.
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    I have come back to Dave multiple times for mastering and will continue to do so. Outstanding work and very easy to work with.

  18. Review by Lazy G.
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    There are people out there knowing exactly how your tracks have to sound. This is one of them and as it concerns us, also for future albums :) and not to forget, also very fast :)

  19. Review by neo g.
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    by neo g.
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    very professional, for sure I'll work with Dave again.

  20. Review by Dan G.
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    by Dan G.
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    Dave is without a doubt, the best in the business.

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
  • Barry Porter custom EQ
  • Thermionic Culture Phoenix Mastering Plus
  • DAV Electronics BG3 EQ
  • TC Electronic S6000
  • B&W 801 Nautilus monitors
  • Crane Song Avocet monitor controller
More Photos