Mastering is a word that is thrown around a lot these days, and very often has a whole ton of different meanings depending on the engineer you are working with. There are basically two ends of this: Aesthetic and Technical. Aesthetic concerns itself with the final sound of the finished product, and final decisions are made with regard to frequency spectrum and dynamics. Technical concerns itself with the bits-and-bytes level of the finished product files, and their fitness for replication and online distribution.
Our facility concerns itself with the aesthetic side of things, and is one of many such operations that offer the idea of stem mastering. This concept has become widespread with the advent of digital, the idea of taking group stems such as vocals, drum group, keyboards/synth pads, guitars, bass etc, and running them all through an analog console with a master bus compression and equalization chain at the end, and sometimes, to tape.
While production ready DDP masters can be obtained at your replicating facility for a small fee, there is a lot you can do with the setup we have here.
Lines are blurry in that sense between mixing and stem mastering, but specifically transfer consoles were designed and built to offer a maximum of transparency while still being able to make deep changes to the frequency response of individual tracks, and what originally was a setup for managing turntables, magnetophones, telephone line inputs and live studio microphones turns into a whole new beast altogether when you apply it to your drums, keyboards, guitars and vocals, and then exit through the gift shop into the solid-state analog mastering chain on the Summing Bus.
Schedule a half day session to try out a track and discover what is possible when you run your mix through full analog. We dare you, it's fun :)