Another busy few months at Benchmark has seen new albums by Mark Seymour, Art of Fighting, fresh work from James Reyne, and the latest “12th Man” instalment from Billy Birmingham. Recent additions to the studios equipment list is an original Neve 33609 Compressor/Limiter and after a lengthy testing process at ATR Services Santa is finally bringing the long awaited Ampex ATR-100 ½” complete with Class A pre-amps from the U.S.A. Benchmark also achieved its first number one for mastering Australian Idol Damien Leith’s new single “Night of my Life”.

July 2006

Don announces opening of Benchmark Mastering in July 2006. Please visit the official site for further information. 

         Benchmark Mastering official site


 April 2006


Mastered by Don for Capitol Records for International release April 2006.


January 2006 

THE BEATLES Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

During Don's 20 years of vinyl mastering, one project still rates today as a masterpiece.
In 1982 EMI requested Don to produce an Audiophile version of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. For more information, please see eil.com website and an e-mail from an enthusiast and Don's reply.



March 2005

Anthony Callea

Don is very proud to have mastered Anthony Callea's 1st single, "The Prayer". Since its release in December 2004, it has stayed #1 on the ARIA charts and has now been registered as the biggest selling Australian single in history. 

Don has also mastered Anthony's second single "Rain/Bridge Over Troubled Water" which topped the charts this week, and his album "Anthony Callea" (release on March 27) which is also expected to go to the top of the album charts.

Anthony Callea Official Site 

November 2004

ARIA Award

At the recent Australian ARIA music awards, Midnight Oil's "Best of Both Worlds" won the ARIA for Best Music DVD. Don is very proud to have been part of this project and congratulates Midnight Oil and all who were involved in this historic music event.


Number One Selling

Powderfinger's Music DVD "These Days" (mastered by Don) remains the number one selling music DVD in Australia since it's recent release. Don is very pleased with this result and has also recommended just released Powderfinger best of compilation, "Fingerprints" also mastered by Don and destined for the top of the chart.


October 2004

Mastering Pierrot from Japan

Don had the pleasure of mastering Pierrot's latest album, "FREEZE" for Universal Music Japan. The session was attended by two members of the band, Aiji the guitarist, Takeo the drummer and the band manager, Mr. Obata, representing Sweet Child Co., Ltd. The album consists of 11 powerful tracks and Don commented on how he is always amazed at Pierrot's unique style development and he said this is another Pierrot album destined for the top of the charts. So watch out for this one!

September 6, 2004

The Saints "All Times Through Paradise" box set has finally been released by EMI. Don has been working on this project spasmodically for the last 12 months. Three of the CDs in this box set were fully restored and remastered from the original masters. The fourth Album is an unreleased live album recorded in London in 1977 and was mixed and mastered from the original 16 track Abbey Road recordings by Don and produced by Ed Kuepper. Here are some notes from Don that are included in the booklet.

"The brief for the whole Saints project was to enhance the sound in such a way that it would allow the listener to experience the music as it was heard in the studio at the time of the original mix down session. To achieve this we had the luxury of having access to the very original quarter inch stereo masters that were kindly loaned to us from the vaults of Abbey Road. All tapes were 'baked' to remove the moisture from the oxide (which can become 'sticky' after years of storage), reducing the risk of damaging the magnetic surface . The tapes were played back on the highest quality Studer tape machine which was specially set up for these tape's azimuth and line up tones. Ed Kuepper and I then listened to the 'flat' mixes as supplied and made decisions on the processing required. We based the processing on comparisons with other product and vinyl pressings of the same albums. Ed and I found that the 'flat' masters sounded very 'clean' but at the same time 'small and narrow' without sonic depth and harmonic response. This sonic depth and harmonic response was apparent on the vinyl pressings and other product that we were using as comparisons. We used the locally modified EMI Abbey Road analogue TG mastering console in Mastering Suite One at Studios 301 to carry out all the enhancement required. The unique stereo processing available with this console allowed us to 'open out' the mixes introducing detail and warmth that has never been heard before on these mixes but at the same time maintaining the integrity of the original analogue recordings. The mastering process for this project is designed for listening pleasure and excitement and I believe we have achieved that. Enjoy. Don Bartley"

August 23, 2004

Don has had a busy year so far, mastering many Australian and International singles and albums with some chart topping projects such as Paulini and Missy Higgins.

Don had the privilege to master a special antiwar/peace CD for Japan's top music production team, Fairlife. Fairlife is a collaboration between Don's good friend Kimio Mizutani, Japan's music icon Shogo Hamada and poet/writer Shunran.  Fairlife has decided to donate royalties from this CD to the support of people in distress, threatened by conflict, poverty, or other turmoil through Non-Governmental Organizations such as MSF and Peace Winds Japan. All at Don Bartley Mastering and 301 support this cause. See link in Japanese page and Don's peace page for free peace song download.
This is the power of music!

Don has also noticed an increase in music DVDs with the success of the Silverchair, Shogo Hamada (Japan), John Williamson and Midnight Oil DVDs. He has just completed the soon to be released Powderfinger DVD, "These Days" so watch out for that one.  Powderfinger official site 

January 2004



Don has mastered live tracks for the legendary American metal band Metallica. These tracks are to be included on their new single "The Unnamed Feeling" to be released late January, early February, 2004. The tracks were recorded live at the Brisbane "Big Day Out" concert. Visit - www.metallica.com/index.asp 

Hoodoo Gurus rock again. Don was asked to master the Hoodoo Gurus latest single "Nothings Changing my Life". The single, taken from their forth coming album which has also been mastered by Don, has been picked up by radio throughout Australia and is predicted to be a huge hit. Visit - www.hoodoogurus.net

Midnight Oil - "Best Of Both Worlds" 
Don recently had the pleasure to master the historic 1980's Sydney Harbor Goat Island Live concert CD and Stereo DVD soundtrack to be released in the very near future. Visit - http://www.abc.net.au/oils/ 

Richard Clapton - New Album. Richard Clapton (Australian rock icon), has been mastering his new album "Diamond Mind" with Don and is looking at a February/March 2004 release. Watch out for this one! Visit - www.richardclapton.net 

Slim Dusty's Last Album. Don has had the privilege to work on the Late Slim Dusty's last album. Slim past away while making this recording and for all involved this album has been a very emotional experience. The last song Slim recorded is a Don Walker song and is a very special moment. Visit - www.slimdusty.com.au 

July 2003 

Remastering Shogo Hamada

Remastering of three albums for Shogo Hamada, one of Japan's top rock musicians, was carried out with the project team visiting from Japan for the session. The albums will be reissued as hybrid SACDs, which is a dual layer disc containing both normal CD format and SACD format. The equipment used to record the session was a Sony "SONOMA" DSD hard disc digital workstation which was air freighted to 301 in Sydney specifically for this session.

The comparison between the normal CD and SACD was quite stunning. The SACD format sounded smoother, more dynamic and atmospheric than the normal CD. This SACD - DSD format takes the listener to the highest possible emotional level ever achieved, as if attending a live performance.

Click to see more photos

June 2003 

Mastering of The Church new album called "Forget Yourself" has now been completed. This new album will be released in 36 territories around the world. For more details, please go to the official site of The Church at: http://www.thechurchband.com/index.phtml

June 10, 2003

The Japanese popular rock band called "Pierrot" visited Don at Studios 301 for mastering of their new album "ID ATTACK".  It is a 12 track CD and includes 3 singles that Don has  mastered earlier for their single releases. For more details, please visit the official site of Pierrot (Japanese only) at: http://www.pierrot-web.jp/ 

May 2003

The song "JUSTICE OR NOT" is now available for downloading on our Music For World Peace page.

The song is written and performed by Kimio Mizutani, one of Japan's top music producers, arrangers and performers. He has given his song to the world in the hope that it will stir the conscience of many, to stop any further wars and the destruction of our planet.

January 2003

Mastering MA-YA from Japan

Kimio & Don at 301

Don and Kimio Mizutani working on MA-YA's new album "FLOATING"
  "FLOATING" will be released on April 23, 2003 in Japan.


Remastering INXS

Meeting with INXS

 Don and Andrew Farris plot their next move at 301 Mastering

Why did you decide to use Don Bartley for the remastering?

Andrew Farris:
I think because we realized this particular project was going to need good communication - we needed someone who could put it all together. I think Don is very aware of the significance of the projects he's doing for us. He fully understands what we are trying to achieve - and that it's going out into the international domain.

Are you in there making lots of decisions during mastering or do you mainly trust Don's judgment in these matters?

Andrew Farris:
Yeah, to a certain degree I let Don have his own space. I've done quite a few things with Don over the years and I know, in a sense, where his ears are at. I trust him and I think he's very good at what he does. He's a professional ...An expert.

(Interview quoted from Audio Technology Issue 21, 2002)


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