Attention Studio Owners: Our rules to rate a DMS studio changed on April 8, 2017 and this is no longer a free service (one time payment of $25):
1 star = Decent service.
2 stars = Good service.
3 stars = Very good service.
4 stars = Outstanding service.
5 stars = Top of the line service (top tier).
These are our guidelines as of 2017:
1 star (modest/decent service). Any service that has at least one (1) piece of gear (e.g. equalizer, compressor etc) characterized to be fairly commonly used in mastering. A professional set of mastering speakers could also be considered to meet this minimum requirement.
2 stars (good service). Any service that has in addition to mastering equipment one (1) dedicated mastering room.
3 stars (very good). Any service that has at least one (1) mastering engineer providing services in the business for at least five (5) years (verifiable via Allmusic.com).
4 stars (outstanding). A service that meets all the requirements for 3 stars but had at least one (1) artist who is considered to be "A List", and/or had at least one (1) of its clients nominated for a music award (e.g. Grammy, Oscar, Dove, etc).
5 stars (top of the line) A service whose work has produced at least one (1) accolade for its clientele (e.g. Grammy, Oscar, Dove, etc) and it can be verified by the usual channels, for example, Grammy.com.
All studio owners requesting star rating are advised to provide via email or PM any links and/or attachments that might help confirm any claims made on their websites.
In addition, the guidelines above are not ironclad rules to rate mastering studios. Feel free to open up a new discussion for our community consideration
- What is the difference between studio stars and the starred ratings I see next to studio reviews?
Studio stars are paid reviews of your studio service by The DMS based upon a set of rules (see above), while the stars next to reviews are free reviews by your own customers.
- What if I don't have a dedicated mastering room (I am am mixing facility) but meet all other requirements?
You simply don't get all 5 stars.
- What if I don't have acoustic treatment in my dedicated mastering room?
At this moment we don't have strict rules on room treatment but this could change in the future. You may lose a star when this happens so you should finally start thinking about investing in room treatment in the near future.
- What if my website doesn't have gear and room photos or award documentation to back up my claims?
It's OK. Just send whatever you think it can help your claims. However, there are no excuses for not taking pictures and attaching them into an email. We will rate you according to what you provide, or what we can find written about you online by reputable sources. Remember, once you make a payment for a star rating there is no refund.
- What awards are accepted as proof of successful work?
Any institution awards recognized by the music industry community (e.g. Tony, Oscar, Grammy, Dove, MTV, People's Choice, etc).
- What if one of my clients win an award after I get rated?
You will have to submit documentation to prove your claim along with another payment in the amount of $25.
- What if I am not happy with my star rating?
If you are not happy with the number of stars for your studio, ask for their removal at no extra charge. Once you make a payment for star rating there is no refund.