The following is no longer relevant and the content has been deprecated:
Nothing says more that you are the real deal than your verified badge with your star rating on your profile page. The D.M.S. has a new verification system and the actual process has new rules as well!
Effective April 26, 2016, and released as part of DMS version 3.1, our star rating system has been merged into the DMS verification process.
All services will continue to be reviewed by an unbiased professional mastering engineer who will generate our 'verified' badge, then rate your service according to a simple set of rules and guidelines which will continue to be discussed and debated here.
Disclaimer: The star rating system is not an indication of a mastering studio quality results but a combination of elements and criterias proprietary to the DMS co-admins. For example, a 3 star studio rating (3 of 5) is considered a high score while one star (1 of 5) is viewed as a modest but decent service.
Even when there are no stars in a studio profile page, there is no such thing as a bad service here at the DMS. There are only legit or fraudulent mastering studios on the web, in which case it would have neither a badge, nor stars to show for at the DMS.
If you are a mastering engineer or studio owner, feel free to join in the discussion to offer new ideas or propose changes.
Attention Studio Owners: Our rules to rate a DMS studio have changed (revised on April 8, 2017) and are no longer a free service ($25):
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, or more (verifiable via Discogs or 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 on, for example, Grammy.com.
The purpose of the D.M.S. is twofold; build the best directory of mastering studios in the world and help empower the general public to find their ideal mastering service by offering them total transparency of the music mastering online market.
Most importantly to you, the studio owner, we are building the first true support system for all the mastering engineers of today and the future generations of tomorrow.
The following are the old rules to rate a studio and no longer apply:
1 star (modest service). When admin finds errors with an url website and/or contact information and is unable to contact the studio. Also, when it is assumed that you are a new studio service or someone with no previous mastering work history.
2 stars (good service). A studio that has a verifiable online service without a website, and otherwise has filled out everything else (e.g. a physical legal address). Special precaution will be taken with a member using a country, a region, or a province location in the world as an official studio address.
Though sometimes this could be unverifiable, a member simply doesn't realize the importance of having a legal or physical address listed on his own web site. A co-admin could investigate and probably fill that out after taking it from social media pages (e.g. Facebook) or the member's web site, but they are not required to do that.
3 stars (very good). A service that has filled out at minimum our 3 required fields when publishing a studio page and has a verifiable physical address.
4 stars (outstanding). A service that has filled out all our primary fields (the navy blue areas of the form) and has included gear list and pictures. A service that a co-admin considers, in terms of presentation and professionalism, outstanding.
While we won't rate based upon the quality of the gear, there should be at least one piece that is fairly commonly used for mastering. A professional set of mastering speakers could also be considered to meet this minimum requirement.
5 stars (top of the line) Admin discretion only. A service that a co-admin considers, in terms of presentation and professionalism, outstanding and has either the an acoustically designed room, top of the line mastering gear and/or A-list clientele to boot.