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Welcome
Serious Mastering is a Dutch independent mastering studio located in Eindhoven.

Providing mastering for single tracks and albums.

Additional services are:
stem mastering
mixing
courses in audio mastering.
No fancy stuff
Actually the name serious mastering is chosen a joke in itself. It comes from the fact that tons of people think mastering engineers are some kind of wizards. They are just people like everyone else, except for their exciting job.

A joke? You're not serious?
Yes I am. But mastering to me is not about inflated egos or mysterious voodoo rituals in a holy chambers using sacred equipment with prices of small or even bigger cars. It's about getting the best possible sound for your production. I'm serious when it comes to handling your material since your commercial and artistic future might depend on it. Maybe I'm too serious on this site as well, but that's because I'm also giving courses in mastering so it's a bit of a deformation.
 
Setup
The equipment used is a hybrid of A-class analog hardware and high-end software plugins.

Hardware:
API, Cranesong, Hypex, Prism, Manley, Scanspeak, SPL, TFPro

Software:
Fabfilter, Izotope, Psp, Softube, Steinberg, UAudio, Voxengo

More
 
Get in touch
You can e-mail or phone me and we can get things going. You tell me what you want done and send me the tracks by post, e-mail, FTP or Internet sharing. You'll get a honest evaluation of the tracks and an indication on how long it will take to have it ready. For details visit the contact page.
Mastering?
For those who aren't fully informed about mastering a quick explanation:

Mastering, a form of audio post-production, is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source (file) containing the final mix to a master (file). This end result can then be used for copying and distribution as CD, vinyl, mp3 and other formats.

Company

Start
It all started for me in 1999. (Prince has nothing to do with that.) The band I was in needed to prepare the recordings for a demo. Somehow the job appealed to me and I started working on getting it sound brutal. To be honest the other band member didn't think that much of it but I thought it sound fairly OK. It taught us how you could use the technical aspect of mixing and mastering to create a more professional sound. Unfortunately the band broke up and we went separate ways. But still to this very day we're still friends.
Next step
Next step was to start mastering demo's for friends who even got noticed by the A&R people from labels. And ending up doing sessions for commercial releases. From singles, 12" to EP and later on whole albums. I even managed to get a deal for becoming the preferred mastering engineers for several people. From there my career kept on growing and I have the privilege to learn new things every day.
 
Advancing
Somehow the work of mastering other mixes was becoming a great way to learn a lot aspects of what mastering really was. Thanks to the rise of new breed of tools called software plugins I managed to quickly pick up the extra technical skills. Not unlike many other mastering engineers I'm also a engineer in the field of electronics and digital techniques.
Drive
As long as I can remember I always liked music. Playing organ and piano as a kid and later on getting into keyboards, synthesizers. Hooking it up to the Atari ST and explore the world of sampling. The fascination with music and tech sticked and will last forever.

It's the biggest challenge to try and get the best out of the mixes for clients. Constantly raising the bar and stay in touch with the newest technical developments. Not being about loudness or technical perfection but making a song work as it was intended by the people who created it.
Music is art and emotion.
 
Experience
Mastering is more than knowing lots about technical details. But also experience and training your ears combined with specialized tools and a acoustically optimized room. For 5 years I was practicing as much as possible with my own music and others. Even grabbing every mix from the Internet to try the impossible. Fixing up a badly mixed and mastered song which taught me a lot. I ended getting up more and more compliments from the people I helped with their mixes.
 

Services

Mastering
By using high-end hardware, software, an acoustic optimized room as well as custom build monitors I aim to get a constant high quality. Keeping up with commercial trends, constant training and learning plays an important part too. And of course the love for music itself and getting the best out of it making you go 'Wow!' is the aim. What is most important is that I can give you the result you are looking for and walk the distance for that if I have to.
Album mastering
If you have your songs mixed and need to them get mastered into an album it's a bit different than just a single song.
I usually start with the first single of that album and take that as an starting point for the rest of the songs. When all songs are done they have to be put in the right order with the right pauses between them. If needed adding ISRC codes and/or CD text as well and it can be written on a master CD or DDP file. These results then can be shipped to the plant for CD duplication.
 
Stem mastering
If you need a more tailored approach with your mixes and are stuck with it you can give me the stems of the partially finished mix after we talked it through what needs to be done. For instance having a mix of the music and the vocals and transferring it to me so I can finish it. I even can make a master of the song and make a master of a stage mix if you'd like. Or have a mix with kick, bass, synths, fx, and the rest that I can finish for you.
Other services
I also can perform:
audio restoration.
sound design
midi programming
remixing
live-mixing
 
Multitrack mixing and mastering
If you would like me to mix your entire song or songs that's also possible as long as it's clear what you expect from it and we look at it together. If need be the mix can be made in a 5.1 surround format since my studio is equipped for that as well. If you send me next to your separate audio tracks some reference tracks I can get started on getting the mix done. You then can listen to that result and decide if you want me to master that as well.
 
Condition
When I have a cold or are otherwise unfit to be at my best I don't even try to master because the results will be insufficient. When this happens you'll be warned as soon as possible and we can look for a solution.

Mix/Mastering courses

One day
A typical mixing course lasts one day of 6 hours in my studio in Eindhoven and will cost 179€.

A typical mastering course lasts one day of 8 hours in my studio in Eindhoven and will cost 249€.

The content of the courses is agreed on with the student before it starts but it's not set in stone.
The goal is to teach you to become better at creating your mixes and to see what is done afterwards with them before they are put out there. You can book additional days if you like to.
Courses
Since a lot of this knowledge about mastering and mixing is fairly unknown to musicians and producers I've started to give courses to those people.
This to prove it's not some kind of black-arts but a craft anyone can learn and it's nice to get paid for it as well.
I let the people decide what they want to learn and anticipate on that with explaining theory with giving examples.
 
Mastering
What is audio mastering?
Wikipedia says: Audio Mastering.

My answer would be that mastering is preparing music for being played via any media just like any music that is out there. This explanation does sound easy. But doing this is rather difficult. The more you learn about it the harder it gets. Which is the fun part.
The term audio (pre-)mastering itself has eroded for several decades from creating a master discs for vinyl cutting to whatever the crazy kids mean by it today.
Bring your own material
The studio is more than decent equipped to create a song (EDM) on the fly but often people bring their own material they have been working on as audio tracks.
It helps a lot when people get their tracks heard outside their own studio and get the perspective from someone who has a bag full of tricks and can teach them a thing or two. For learning tricks you don't need a course, but explaining them with use of the theory will enable you to come up with your own tricks as well and to keep developing yourself.
DIY mastering
Since DIY mastering is quite the hot topic nowadays it's helping when you are able to get some basic knowledge about it. Many of these people think with using the Waves L2 or Izotope Ozone they can master themselves but they often lack the deeper understanding in what they are doing. If you don't trust someone else to handle your music for you it can make sense. But you might consider brushing up your own skills before you realize you're the weakest link when it's too late.

For basic mastering duties all you need is a (mastering) EQ for subtle EQ tweaks, a (mastering) compressor to slightly glue your mix and a (mastering) limiter for adjusting your end gain of the track. Using anything more is a sign on the wall that your mix is flawed and you really should ask yourself if your mix holds up or that you may need some help with that.
Mixing
Before you start mastering you need a mix which is sometimes also referred to as a 'master' which often is short for a 'master mix'.
Since the mix is the starting point of finishing a song it's vital that this mix is the best end result possible. In fact the perfect mix doesn't need any mastering whatsoever.
Previous to the mastering assessing the mix is vital so it makes sense that the person who does this is a veteran in mixing.
Tools
Just like mixing there are a lot of tools for mastering. They don't have to be expensive but they often are because they are specialized for a purpose. Just like any special tool it doesn't make sense to use it if you don't know how to use it. In addition combining those tools is like a chain where the weakest link will determine the end result.
Knowing to use which tools at certain points will save projects, downtimes and missing deadlines. Keeping up with the development of those tools is a smart thing to do. Especially in the digital domain the developments have been revolutionary the last few year.

References



Artists
Black n Gold
Digital Operation Theater
Leo Bekker
Artefact
Patrick Meis
Goldrush
Guy-Lian
Static-g
A fine mess
Wave & Glider
Lost Angeles
Timejuicer
DJ Conflict
Kimanski
Moldano
RonnyV
DJ Schulten
Mindcrawler
Jan de Bruin
Laurent Bruning
Beyond Violet
MarcE
Danny Da Costa
Jay Delano
Marvel Child
R-themus
Times up
Nemesis
OSM&DOT
Whyte
Nickotine
Edwardo
PRM project
Sonix music
Lessismore recording
Kandylee
 
Labels
ProSession recordings
Digital records
Stichting Opus Leo
Majestix
Patrick Meis
Airmass records
Nodisko records
G records
 
Examples
If you're looking for sound bites I've not put them on this site because it's a lot of work of keeping those up to date. To that regard I'd rather value that you contact me about what type of sound you're looking for and I can come up with some relevant snippets of previous work so you may hear if it's relevant to you.

Pricing

Tracks
Price per track is 45€
Deliverance on CD will cost extra.

If you would like to have a demo mastered you can contact me and we can see if I can help you out. If you're not sure if my sound is what you're looking for I'm willing to help you out with that but I don't do freebies.

If you want to have more tracks mastered we can arrange on a discount.


Albums
Pricing for an album is 300€.
If the format of your album differs don't be shy to ask me what can be done with it.

If you would like to attend the mastering session in person keep in mind it will take longer to complete and I will charge per hour. Not that I mind the friendly chat and precise customization of the mastering session.
Current hourly rate is 60€

Album mastering includes 2 error-free copies of the master CD or DDP file ready for the processing plant.
Courses
Invest in yourself and sign up for a course which will be helpful the rest if your life.

Price per day is 249€.
So that's 8 hours of you deciding you want to learn including lunch and a neat studio to play in.

For details contact me and we can discuss what you would like to learn about audio mastering.
 
Stem mastering / Multi-track mixing
If you have trouble with your mix in getting it just right you might consider delivering your mix in parts to me and we can discuss what needs to be done.
After that we can assess how much time it will take and that will be translated to an hourly rate of 60€.
Payment methods
You will be billed in Euros. All other currencies will be calculated to euro with current currency exchange rates.

All prices include BTW/VAT. No BTW/VAT will be charged for clients from the European Union with a valid BTW/VAT-ID Number or clients from non-EU countries. Clients from the European Union with no BTW/VAT-ID Number will be charged 21% BTW/VAT.

Shipping and extra copies are charged extra.
We accept payments via (international) wire transfer to our (Dutch) bank account. This service is often available free-of-charge from European Union financial institutions.
We also accept pay by cash when you attend a mastering session personally.
Other services
If you need help with other things like audio restoration, sound design, midi programming, remixing, mixing, live-mixing, surround mixing or mastering feel free to inform.

Contact

Questions
If you would like me to master your music, want to discuss your project or have any other questions, just contact me!

E-mail: info@seriousmastering.com
Phone: +31 (0)641317827


Address
Wouter Veltmaat
Johannes Vermeerstraat 9
5642 KD Eindhoven
The Netherlands

Commercial
Commercial registration no: 17185292
VAT/BTW registration no: NL178225563B01
Regiobank:
IBAN: NL96 RBRB 0917 6350 86
   
Developers
If you or your company is developing mastering hardware or software and would like to have any input just contact me. Just as I like to help customers with putting out great songs I'd like to help out for the industry to put out great tools to make it a better place for all. Provided I have the time available to help out of course.
 
Tips
If you want to have tips about gear or software to use to improve your work or just have some more fun I'm always willing to help a hand. Provided I have the time available to help out a fellow musician. Especially about mastering is a lot of knowledge that can be very useful for your tracks. If you really have a lot of questions you might consider following a mastering course.
Sellers
If you're selling mastering hardware and/or software chances are that I already know about it and have checked you out before. Adding me to your emailing lists isn't something I look out for. If I'm not responding at all I really don't want to.

Delivery

Format
When you send over a track the preferred format is:
A stereo track (wav/aif) at 44.1kHz with 24 bit depth.

In case of a surround track all channels as an interlinked file or all separate at 96kHz at 24 bit depth.

Higher sampling frequencies or bit depths are possible.
No mp3 or mp4 or any other lossy audio format.
Fades
It helps when every song has enough room left in front and behind of the song so there is enough room to make the fades that are desirable.

When the song has a high level of noise it doesn't hurt to leave some extra room in there to sample that noise for creating a noise reduction profile.
 
Master compression
You make my work harder if you put a master bus compressor on your end mix and use more than just a gentle glueing. Especially when you're working for a longer time on your mix the ears get fatigued and you might end up making wrong decisions. You still can use that compressor on just your monitors and send me the clean end mix if you like if that helps you.
Mix errors/glitches
Every now and then the mixes I receive have been rushed and still contain errors.
Or during creating the mix some equipment went haywire without you noticing it.
Myself I'm allergic to digital clicks and pops and know to get rid of them most of the times. But I prefer not to do that too often because it's time consuming and often avoidable.
Own master
Every now and then somebody will send me their own masters with the mixes to indicated what they would like.
I'm open to this because it can be very helpful but it's not a must. I can use that master as a starting point and see where it goes from there.
Master limiting
If you like to use a mastering limiter on your end bus as a safeguard it's advisable it has to do as little as possible.
Ideally a mix should be fine when it's between -3dB and 0dB and not clipping.
Exceptions are mixes that rely heavily on acoustic instruments and/or classical music. In those cases check the noise ceiling isn't too high so it may need denoising and causing unwanted artifacts.
Reference material
If you haven't used any reference material during creating (which is advisable) your mixes I'd appreciate it when you send them to me along with your mix.
It explains a lot about the sound you're looking for. And as well I'm always very open minded when people are taking the time to explain to me what they are looking for. To that extend it's more efficient to spend time communicating about what needs to be done than having to redo a song and sending it again.
Not that I mind but from my experience you are usually the one that is pressed for time.
Tip
Take some time away from your mixes and check them after a day or more time so you get a fresh listen to them once again. If you can you can use your car, an iPod or some crappy boom box.

Creating your mixes under the influence of alcohol can degrade your auditory senses. And drunk people are easier satisfied.

Mastering room


Analog hardware
Cranesong Ibis Equalizer
Cranesong STC-8 Compressor/Limiter
Manley Massive Passive
API 2500 Compressor
TFPro P38 Compressor/Limiter
Software
Main DAW and backup system are both PC with an quadcore I7 cpu.
The main DAW used is equipped with a UAudio UAD Quad DSP processor card.

Main program is Cubase 8 (because of the routing)
Gear pro is used for creating CD.

Plugins
Brainworx
Elysia
Izotope
Fabfilter
PsP
UAudio
Slate Digital
Softube
Sonalksis
Sonoris
Sonnox
Voxengo

CD burner
Plextor PX-860SA

 
AD/DA converters
Prism Orpheus for monitoring.
Prism Orpheus and UAudio 2192 for the analog mastering chain.
Behringer ADA8200 en ADA8000 for hardware effects.
Rosendahl nanoclock is the master wordclock.
Additional connected audiocard is RME Raydat via ADAT/spdif.
Additional equipment
Outboard:
Apex 104, Behringer Autocom, Ultrafex II, Ultra-dyne pro, Mic 200 (x2), Boss VF1, Erica Synth Acidbox, JoeMeek C2, Lexicon MPX-1, Ibanez UE400, Strymon BigSky, Strymon Timeline, Yamaha 01v96 mixers (x2).

Synthesizers:
Access Virus TI Polar, Alesis Andromeda A6, Elektron Analog4, Fender Rhodes Chroma Polaris, Moog Voyager RME, Moog Voyager OS (+expanders), Mutable Instruments Ambika, Oberheim SEM Pro, Korg Kronos, Roland TR-808 (met midi), Roland XV-5080, Sequential Prophet-6, Sequential OB-6, Yamaha EX-5, Yamaha SY-99.

Software:
Ableton Live, Native Instruments Machine, Moddart Pianoteq, Samplitude, Softube, Voxengo R8Brain, Winlame
Monitors
5 x Scanspeak A4 Reference monitor
Each powered by a Quad 303 amplifier
2 x Maxima subwoofers with Scanspeak components
Each powered by a hypex DS4 amplifier

All monitors are controlled by a SPL Volume 8 passive volume control directly from the Orpheus.

Gear fetish

Analog hardware
Since I've started to master with plugins only I don't have the typical stance that for mastering you need analog hardware. But after having tried out and working myself with various analog compressors and EQ's I do believe they still are a vital part of the toolbox I couldn't do without. The main reasons for this because there is analog hardware out there that simply cannot be emulated (yet) and has unique characteristics for processing audio. Another thing would be that while you are working with analog hardware you notice that it's designed with that particular function in mind. So the workflow and ease of use contribute greatly to getting good results fast.
The digital counterparts often are designed by techheads that aren't always fully aware of the usability and musical aspects. So often the digital emulations based on existing hardware are quite easy to use in comparison.
The development cycle of analog hardware is rather long so there is not much new stuff coming out so keeping up with developments is fairly easy. Still the last few years there has been an increase in hybrid hardware that uses a mix between analog components and digital techniques which is interesting.
Digital
Working in a hybrid format enables you to work with the best of both worlds. There are most certainly plugins that have a certain appeal that analog hardware has as well. Like phase neutral EQ are very useful in daily life. The analog counterpart would be incredible expensive and never deliver the same quality.
The digital domain has a much shorter development span so the changes that are going there are much faster. This means you actively have to keep up with technical developments and cherry pick from that.
There are a lot of plugins that in my opinion simply don't meet the requirements for mastering at a professional level. Separating the wheat from the chaff takes it time but is rewarding in the end.

Speakers
Any serious masterer will make sure to use decent if not brilliant speakers. If you need to make small adjustments to the audio you need to hear what you are doing. Downside of that is that often the costs will increase exponentially with better quality. Of course those speakers only perform like intended in an environment that is acoustically fit.
Picking out those speakers is about as personal as it gets and taking your time is advisable. I chose the Scanspeak A4 MkII because they are fairly well know in audiophile circles as reference speakers and has one of the best price performance ratings in that price range. Later on I added two Scanspeak Maxima subwoofers because I needed to be able to monitor the lower frequencies better as well have a bigger sound pressure for the room they are used in at higher levels.
 
 
Selection
Because specialized analog hardware is rather expensive it's rather rare in the common shops. And even the specialized shops have a limited number of brands and models you can try out.
So finding the units that are interesting in a setup will take time and dedication. The funny thing is that while you are trying out a new piece of equipment with stunning specifications it still may turn out you simply don't like it.
 

Loudness wars

What is this all about?
Every now and then a new discussion about the loudness war flares up.

In short: music is getting louder at the expense of the quality of the sound and the dynamics.

The reason behind is fairly simple because human ears are more susceptible to a louder sound.
This race already started before the CD in fact with the 12" records getting louder songs than the versions on the album.
There are different opinions about how bad it is and what can be done to minimize it. I will try to be as clear as possible about it in my explanation.
Industry
The awareness in the industry is growing.
For classical music the loudness war hardly has affected this because it has pretty much nothing to do with digital processing. For other genres the awareness is growing and artists are starting to turn back the level and focus their effort on sound quality and dynamics.

In the pop and electronic dance music scene the loudness war still is raging at full strength and is so obvious now everyone notices this. The funny thing is that to achieve this new ultra loud level it actually can be quite challenging to get it as loud and try to minimize the negative artifacts.

There are efforts to nuance the discussion like this: 'Dynamic Range' & The Loudness War.

There is a market for quality audio which in the end the industry will have to serve. There even may be an interference of governments extending the loudness requirements of the ITU loudness standards to all audio as well even though that standard isn't 100% watertight.
 
CD
With vinyl there were physical constraints for the loudness that became obsolete with the introduction of the CD. With the CD also came digital brickwall limiting allowing the level going up further with seemingly minimal drawbacks.
A lot of people blame the loudness war to the commercial motives of the music labels. Radio stations introducing dynamic processing and making songs sound louder also play part in this because people got used to a more 'hyped' sound.
 
Audience
The general public certainly has mixed feelings about this. A lot of people complain about this but a lot of them continue to buy what they consider as bad sounding songs.
A lot of people don't put up with the distorted sound and only buy songs that they consider normal. Maybe that last group hasn't been outspoken as much but it seems the numbers are growing and getting acknowledged by the industry itself.
Mastering
In common the most critique was pointed to the mastering engineers because they made the music so loud. Fact is that they did what they were told otherwise they would lose their business to another mastering engineer.

What I am trying to do here is to educate people try to reduce the damage done as much as possible. To that extend I have no objections against creating a 'hot' master and one that sounds 'normal' compared to old vinyl so you can compare it for yourself.

I do support the effort made by Bob Katz with his K-system.

I also support the Pleasurize Music Foundation for trying to increase the dynamic range of music.
Hearing aids
The next few generations will suffer increasingly from hearing problems and will need hearing aids. I state this as a fact because this problem isn't addressed accordingly in my opinion. In the field of digital hearing aids there is still a lot of uncovered ground but expectations are that it may be possible to use surgical implants in combination with current technology to cure even the worst cases of hearing loss or even deaf people. What you can do about it to avoid this possible problem is to watch your levels in your studio and don't go near any stage/club without any ear protection.

Online mastering

Online
While in the good old days audio would be sent by mail on reals, DAT or CD is pretty much everything now is sent via the internet. Except for the reals of course. I don't have a tape machine so I don't have to bother about that. But I'm still handling mail.

But transferring files via the internet has drawbacks. I will explain some of the worst case scenarios.
E-mail
Fairly easy and to the point. Drawbacks are that the size of e-mails may be limited so sending large audio files will fail. Another one would be that e-mails are easy to copy when it's being transported by a chain of e-mail servers. Also that emails from services like Google and Outlook are being scanned as well meaning that a 3rd party will look into your e-mail.

FTP/SFTP
An oldie but still a goodie is the file transferring with FTP/SFTP. SFTP is the encrypted version of FTP which stands for File Transfer Protocol. For this you need a file server which I have set up. The person who wants to send files then needs a client program to log into that file server. For that you need an account which I have to set up for you. The younger generation often doesn't know how to use FTP so that's a drawback I guess. But it's fairly easy to learn how to use it. Another drawback would be that FTP servers are open to the internet and are constantly being scanned by bots for vulnerabilities.
 
Public file sharing
Most simple would be using one of those public file sharing sites. But being public it also means that someone else may guess the url and download the files themselves and doing the heck they want to do with that. I've worked with these services for various customers because they preferred it. It's fast and easy.

Private file sharing
Private file sharing to that regard is safer because you have to author users to upload and/or download files. For testing purposes I have made an Dropbox account.

The drawbacks of this are that your account can get hacked. Usually that's a keylogger if your system gets infected. Another one would be that (US) law enforcement has the right to search your files and remove them if they see fit. Or there have been too much copyright infringements in general on that file sharing site that it will be taken down and you lose all your files. Mind you that this even can happen if you paid for that account and to every filesharing site out there, even the Apple iCloud one.
 
Developments or alternatives
There may pop up new possible alternatives every day. If you prefer one I'm open to try it.

If you would like to have a way to upload files with your browser to me I can look into it. This will need some special programming on my side but it should be possible.
Need to know
We should be able to inform each other on a need to know basis.

Not putting any information online about my server or other details is part of keeping a low profile to avoid attracting attention to malicious people.

Itunes/Radio ready

Radio ready
This term itself is quite old and can be traced back to the times where vinyl reigned. Usually from an album a few songs were selected to be put on a single's A or B-side. Those singles often were meant to be promotional for the album and to be played on the radio. There is also the link with the loudness wars. If a single wasn't as loud as all the other songs it might be perceived as a weaker song and not sell as well as hoped. Especially if the radio would be in an environment with lots of exterior noise like in a car or a factory hall. So radio ready simply means loud enough for being played on the radio for the marketeers.

To that extend it hasn't changed much in comparison with today. What has changed is that all radio stations use extensive dynamic processing to try and be just as loud as its competitor. Also the fact that all those years of loudness wars cause an increase of the general volume of 9dB.

Funny is that the hyper compressed sound of popular music in fact clashes with the dynamic processing from the radio stations and causes the decrease of overall volume of the song to be lower as songs from decades past. That would imply that radio ready now means softer as on the album.
What happens next will take it's time when we see how the loudness war is progressing.
iTunes ready
At first glance this may seem to be related to the radio ready term but is it? The iTunes ready to me seems to come as a reaction against the loudness wars and the need of consumers to want higher quality audio.
Apple has release the initative 'Mastered for iTunes' which in short is a guide line for mastering engineers. It also allows you to upload the lossless audio in a 24 bit 96kHz format but that audio will be encoded in a lossy format for consumers how Apple sees fit. It also includes ways to check audio files by encoding them yourself and see what gives.
To that extend it doesn't say anything about loudness of the songs in general. But hyper compressed at 24 bit sounds just as bad in a 16 bit format despite the encoder you use. You also don't know when the lossy format will be changed or rather 'upgraded'
So in short at foremost it's a marketing thing but may have it's advantages in the future.

Not futuristic are sites that currently allow digital audio in lossless formats like FLAC or plain audio. Or even having the lossless audio in 24 bit 96kHz format.
I don't know about the 96kHz format but it's to be expected that 24 bit audio will be become the new standard.