Clemens Schleiwies

Radio-Ready Major-Label Sound

Clemens Schleiwies on SoundBetter

Request a Free No-Obligation Mix Consultation! Find out if your mix is "Mastering-Ready" or if anything needs to be improved to achieve the best possible result in final mastering.

Is the loudness war over? Do I need a loud or not so loud master? The answer is:
You need BOTH! And that´s the reason why you will receive two different masters.
The first master is called "Mastered for Loudness" (MfL) and it delivers that attention getting loudness, competing with the loudest commercial releases. It´s LOUD but it’s like a billion pixel photo, with every single little detail still crisp, full, rich and warm. "Mastered for Loudness" masters are intended for CD production, Soundcloud, DJ playlists and label shopping.
On the other hand you have streaming services, television and radio stations using their own loudness normalization. So there is just no need to over-compress in mastering to squeeze out the last db of loudness. Their normalization will just turn down tracks which are too loud to make all tracks play at the same volume. You will be happy to have a second master called "Mastered for Fidelity" (MfF) which is mastered at lower integrated loudness, is more dynamic and fully complies to the "Mastered for iTunes" (MfiT) standard. This mastering is intended for streaming services, television and airplay, High Res Download and Vinyl release.

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  • English
  • German

Interview with Clemens Schleiwies

  1. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  2. A: Absolutely both! Combining the best of both worlds is the key!

  3. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  4. A: My mastering speakers!

  5. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  6. A: I´ve been doing this since 1999.

  7. Q: How would you describe your style?

  8. A: My style and goal for every song is the radio ready major label sound. It may sound a bit cheesy, but I mean this expensive, fat, warm, wide sound which sounds like a hit!

  9. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  10. A: Have a great monitoring situation. I have all this great gear in the studio but my most important gear are my Lipinski 707 Grand Mastering speakers which give me an accurate representation of what's really there.

  11. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  12. A: In mastering you are not so much tied to one genre but I am mostly requested for acoustic music with mostly real instruments like rock, singer songwriter pop and

  13. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  14. A: I feel my mastering is somewhere between mixing and mastering, because I definitely add a sound to the end product.

  15. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  16. A: As most mixes are in the box these days, I bring a lot of real analog goodness to the track by transferring it to 1/2" analog tape and using vintage outboard by Pultec, Helios, and API. My mastering definitely has a sound.

  17. Q: What's your typical work process?

  18. A: I usually offer the client a free mix critique and let him know if the song is ready for mastering or if something need to be improved in the mix! That is just the right way to achieve the best possible result in mastering.

  19. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  20. A: I got the vintage Helios console from Hansa Studio Berlin which recorded his Berlin albums Low, Heroes and Lodger. I also got Telefunken and Studer tape machines and nice outboard gear like vintage Pultec Eqs and compressors from Neve, Api and SSL. The most important piece of gear however is my Lipinski 707 Grand Mastering monitors.

  21. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  22. A: As a mixer I like Chris Lord Alge for his hit-sound and as a mastering engineer I like Big Bas Gardener from Bernie Grandma Mastering.

  23. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  24. A: I do analog mastering with real 1/2" tape compression for that radio ready major label sound!

Gear Highlights
  • Vintage HELIOS Console
  • TELEFUNKEN M15 1/2" tape machine
  • vintage PULTEC Eq´s. API
  • NEVE
  • SSL
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