Are you an artist or label and currently looking for a mastering engineer? I decided to put this article together in order to save you the time and trouble of looking for one.
If you are starting out and/or planning to release your first single or album you might be asking yourself the following question.
“Where can I find a good mastering engineer in South Africa?”
Well this blog post will answer that.
I will be focusing on the top (by the way, this is just my personal recommendation) five mastering engineers in South Africa.
And I picked the following based on my personal experience, relevance in the modern-day industry and research.
1. Static Plastic Mastering
2. Ryan Sullivan (Refine Audio)
3. Rogan Kelsey Mastering
5. Des Grey Mastering
But before we begin, let me first start by answering the following question for you.
What is a mastering engineer?
Mastering in a musical context means audio post-production. Each song has to go through the same process – programming, recording, mixing and then MASTERING.
This is the final step before the single or album is released and distributed to the marketplace.
A mastering engineer is a trained specialist so to say who is responsible for this task. And their job is to take completed mixes, adjust the audio levels, eliminate unwanted noise, and achieve the best overall sound quality.
Of course a mastering engineer does not work in isolation so as an artist its best to explain to the engineer beforehand on the type of sound you would be striving for.
Now that I have explained to you what a mastering engineer does, let’s take a look at some of the best engineers in South Africa right now. In no particular order, they are as follows.
Static Plastic Mastering
Petro Stathoussis also known as Static Plastic is one of the best sound engineers in South Africa. He has been in the game since 1996 and his track record speaks for itself.
Static Plastic Mastering is best known for mastering for dance music or house music rather artists and has worked with big name acts such as DJ Oskido, DJ Christos, Vinny Da Vinci, DJ Tira and Afrotainment and House Afrika Records acts.
According to Static Plastic Mastering website, they charge from as little as 250 ZAR (13 USD) per track with reduced rates for big projects like an album.
Ryan Sullivan (Refine Audio)
Ryan Sullivan of Refine Audio is also another seasoned campaigner and his work dates back to the late 90’s.
He first worked under the guidance of legendry engineers such as the great Chris Palmer and Jasper Williams. His catalogue includes the likes of Black Coffee, Medicine Boy and opposite the other just to name a few.
Refine Audio is also trusted by big brands such as Nike, Universal Music, Red Bull Studios and Capitec.
Rogan Kelsey is the owner of Kelsey Mastering is based in Sandton, South Africa and comes highly recommended. Kevin Grenfell, the head of A&R at Universal Music stating that Kelsey is the mastering supplier choice for Universal Music South Africa.
Chymamusique is well known as a house music producer and DJ. But these days his name seems to be synonymous with mastering.
Everyone is talking is taking about Chyma and everyone seems to be going to him for mixing and mastering. The likes of Moflava, Da Capo and King Monada have recently vouched for Chymamusique.
He is active on social networks and engages with fans all the time. So you can either get a hold him on Twitter, Facebook or via his music website
Des Grey Mastering
Des Grey mastering is a specialist audio mastering engineer in South Africa. Des Grey’s clientele is mostly made of Independent artists.
Notable names that have enlisted the services of Des Grey includes Naima Kay, Bongo Beats (Open Mic Productions), Manqonqo (Eyadini Fame) just to name a few.
So there is my list of the mastering engineers in South Africa that I would recommend for any independent artist or label.
But don’t just take my word for it because Mastering is very subjective because everyone has a different opinion on great mastering. Instead you should make enquiries based on the above list and find out for yourself.
I have also included website links so you can personally find out more in order to make an informed decision.
If you have any questions, thoughts you can comment below.