Thanks so much for the feedback from everyone over the past few weeks (mostly in PMs). There were a few questions which came up a lot in messages and some other things which I think should be clarified so I'll try to cover them all here:
Pricing, philosophy and discounts:
The price I gave earlier for mastering a track was $50/£35. This is subject to change depending on demand and exchange rates, or whether you want a turbo fast turnaround, but for the most part I'm trying to keep it low to make it affordable for anyone regardless of their background. There is already a huge divide between those who can and can't afford the often crazy prices that chart toppers pay to get their tracks mastered, and I'd like to make sure everyone can afford to get experience working with a mastering engineer without having to pay $200+ for a single track. I'm also trying to sway people away from being tempted by cheaper "Instant Mastering" services as for the most part, I think they're perpetuating a low sound quality of music in the industry. You wouldn't ask a machine to write your song, so it seems strange that many people will pay for a machine to make the final decisions on how a track will sound before it goes into the world. When working with a human mastering engineer, you'll have the chance to discuss changes, and have a chance to express what you'd like to get out of the mastering session. I know many people won't take me seriously because of the low prices, but that's their loss. I don't want to discriminate against people who are still new to the industry, and want to give people the chance I think many people want but can't currently afford with the current average prices of music mastering.
Onto pricing discounts for shorter tracks. I quoted $50 based on a 5 minute track length. Since mastering is mainly to improve the overall sound quality of the music, most of the work I do is independent of the overall track length and so requires the same amount of work and time for each track. The last little bit of work is time dependent which is to make sure that the track sounds the best it can at all points and check the tracks for errors on export. This can take a shorter amount of time for short tracks, or much longer for long tracks. For this reason I wouldn't charge only $30 for a 3 minute track for instance. The pricing comes down mostly to common sense, but roughly, I'd be happy to do anything less than 2:30 minutes for only $40. Tracks above 6:30 I'd probably charge $60 for. These are just estimates, but for the most part I'll stick to the $50 per track price. I'll give an individual assessment on each track's pricing when I'm given it to master :3
Multiple track discounts: I'm definitely grateful for the larger amount of work you're providing if you'd like to get multiple tracks mastered at once, so I'll start considering discounts on multiple track when I receive 5+ tracks to master at once. Since the amount of work is mainly dependent on the number of tracks, the discount given will be dependent on the total length of all tracks to be mastered. For example: If I receive 5 tracks with a total length of just over 25 minutes I'll likely only give a small discount of $25 (effectively the last track at half price). If however the total length is only just over 20 minutes, I'd be happy doing giving the last track for free. Discounts will be assessed on an individual basis when I receive the tracks to master :3 Multiple track discounts are geared towards multiple track releases such as EPs and Albums. To bring out the best in lots of Singles, requires more thought as I have to assess each track individually thinking "What's the best overall sound for this track" multiple times, rather than "What's the best overall sound for this album" (assuming you want the tracks in your album to sound consistent XD).
What mastering can and can't do:
There's been some confusion as to what mastering can and can't do for your music, so here's a little disclaimer: Mastering is not a magical fix-all service for your music, and I while I aim to make a track sound the best it can, this is very much dependent on the mix I receive. I will always aim to make it sound better, but if I receive a bad mix/performance, I'll only be able to make a mediocre master. I will however be able to make a good mix/performance into a great master. I'll always remain neutral on a performance level, though I will let you know if there are any issues in the mix that I think will prevent me from creating a great master.
If you aren't mostly happy with the way your mix sounds before you send it to me, there's nothing I can do which will fix that for you. Think of mastering as developing a photograph (and apologies if the analogy has some inconsistency with actually developing photographs XD). I can't change what's in the photograph, where people are, whether they're wearing hats, what the background looks like, etc... because the picture has already been taken. What I will do is make sure the overall colours look right, it's not too bright or dark, and crop it to remove any unwanted or unnecessary parts, then format it for the frame you want to hang it in. That is essentially what I do as a mastering engineer. (No smart answers about Photoshop XD)
I hope that clarifies some things, and please let me know your feedback and comments. If you have any further questions, I'll be happy to answer them :3