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MASTERING & MIXING

F.A.Q

 

Why the mixdown of every music recording should be properly mastered? 

CD recordings should always be properly mastered, that is finished and polished, because after this surgery they sound much better. Even when mixdown is very good, mastering can almost always improve the sound quality of each recording. Improvement in sound quality can be very big for the weaker or less pronounced mixes in the case of mixes well made. However, if the mix simply does not contain needed information there can be some problem in obtaining great sound out of it. In such case we recommend to come back to mixing or recording stage. The mastering always adds the splendor, power and transparency to your recording, and we will do anything to make sure it sounds better than others, unmastered recordings. Effort and expenses involved while recording in the studio, deserve high-class mastering, accentuating everything that has been worked out and developed during hours, days and months of recording in the studio and it makes a last phase of work on the production of your music, providing an ideal balance of quality, transparency, volume and stereo panorama for your music.  

What kind of sonic improvement gives the mastering ? 

In today's world music industry is very demanding when it comes to the quality of sound recordings. It is also very competitive.. well, it has always been:-). Obtaining the highest possible quality requires high-class equipment and the latest technology, and above all it requires a very considerable level of experience and ability to take responsible decisions with regard to the treatment which the recorded music requires. These decisions must be taken individually depending on the recording and there is no common rule for any recording, nor ever had been. Mastering is therefore something on the borderline of science and art. Improving the sound, making a big difference between "before" and "after" mastering can be compared to the difference between an unpolished and polished diamond. It can be huge, depending of the source material. If the source s good mastering will bring out all of it's qualities to shining level. If the source material is not so good mastering will improve it very significantly bringing it to another level of quality. However, the rule is that to obtain an ideal master the perfect mix is needed.   

Can the mastering do any harm to my recording?

No. Unless a person performing mastering is a freak:-). Properly performed mastering never destroy the recording. On the contrary, it makes it sounding much better in every respect. Mastering must be made by a competent person, because this is a different area of knowledge on the production of music than, for example, mixing. It requires great level of listening skills, knowledge of the current trends and market, a sensitive soul and technical proficiency equal to a rocket scientist (well, almost ;-)).

Should the mastering be performed at the same studio right after recording the tracks and making mixdown of them? 

No. Mastering should always be performed by a specialist dealing with this area of music production all the time. That gives the advantage of objectivity. do not waste time trying to do it yourself- you will loose you energy needed for working as an artist, a performing musician, composer or arranger. the mastering specialist has experience and objectivity when it comes to mastering, and his objective look at mixdown is very important. If for example, the same person does tracking, and then mixing, there always will be some kind of subjective perspective on such material. Therefore, the best mix should be ideally made by a different person than musicians recording a song. This is all about team work and concentration on own thing, the more you want a really good mix the sooner you should pass it into hand of a mixing specialist. Trust him. He will know what to do and will help achieving your music a new, better dimension. In case of the mastering the best benefits also come from passing the mix to a specialist.  

How to properly prepare my material for mastering?

When preparing your material to mastering you should observe certain rules, which should be used with a view to achieving the best results for your audio CDs.

1 When performing the final mixes, resolution 24-bit recorded on CD-ROM gives the surest, error-free results. This is better bit depth then 16 bits and s especially important if your music contains a lot of quiet passages like for example acoustic jazz trio music or a string quartet. Quality mixing with a resolution of 16 bit 44100 kHz (CD quality) is rather satisfactory, but in order to achieve optimal results it is desirable to take advantage of higher sample rates and bit resolution. A resolution digital of 32 bit and sampling frequency as high as 96 khz are also acceptable. Noteworthy is a fact, that the bit resolution gives you better sound when the music is really quiet, while the higher frequency rates give you more of a frequency response. For example, the CD quality of 16 bit 44 100 Hz gives you the theoretical frequency response of 22 050 Hz which exceeds human hearing range by good 2 or three thousand Hertz, but sometimes the higher frequencies can influence the sound of lower frequencies anyway. 96 000 Hz sampling frequency gives much more headroom here (48 000 Hz, that is).    

2 Make sure that all the mixes are accurately described and include all the required notes on the special version, fades and the order of songs. Make you special wish list and we will be happy to do it for you.

3 It is best not to try normalize, as most renowned mixes were not normalized them or not processed by any programs or devices of limiter type, a compressor, level maximizer, enhancer, etc. Such treatment makes it difficult to work at the mastering stage of final recordings, and often means that its final quality  will be lower than it would be if this was not done. Just try to mix the vocal or a leading instrument volume in relation to other tracks fairly high (loud), and if the recording is purely instrumental make sure these instruments on which the music depends most are not buried deeply in the mix.
 

4 In the case where you do not know how to mix a track we are willing to do it for you. We offer affordable mixing-mastering packages that will allow your recording truly shine. 
 

5 And the last note: Always remember that mastering is as good as the mix allows it to be. In the other words, the improvement of sound after mastering will always be huge, but to do a premium master that compares to the best works in the world we need to work on a premium mix.

What is "brain stimulation" using sound waves and  how does it actually work?

This is a relatively new theory (and practice) coming from scientific research on the brain and various electrical aspects of it's functions, using the phenomenon of induction the brain into various states or modes depending on current needs by way of acoustic impulses in the form of properly modulated frequency sound. As a first the phenomena was addressed by the Monroe Institute in the U.S., now the use of this method is becoming more and more common in Europe and the world. This is very promising, as brain waves can be used therapeutically for treatment of countless disorders and for self development.      

The theory behind brain waves and sound stimulation of them: 

Human brain can be stimulated both visually and by audible acoustic signals in order to achieve a result for example, of calming, increased concentration, better ability to learn or release tensions. The key is the appropriate frequency and the dynamic changes in the distribution of these frequencies over the acoustic spectrum in time. Such wave may be mixed in music material (the appropriate mood music) which increases the effectiveness of such treatment.

When we connect the human brain to electroencephalograph, we can see the parts of the chart of it's work contain some prevailing frequencies, which are dependent on the state, in which the man is currently functioning. And so, for deep sleep Delta waves prevail (0.5-4Hz), for a light sleep or drowsiness the Theta waves (4-8hz), the normal functioning of awareness correspond to the Alpha waves (8-14Hz), while encouraging energy and a strong focus is accompanied by Beta waves (14-30Hz). For deep relaxation and concentration and the regeneration of mind and body  especially beneficial are Theta waves in the vicinity of about 5-6 Hz. The brain can be stimulated by external incentives, such as flickering light, if properly modulated sound-it has a tendency to adjust to these incentives. Theta state, and also  other states can somehow be implemented to our brain by the sounds, and even by visual flashes of light or colors. The theta state is very beneficial for synchronization of both hemispheres of our brain which leads to much more effective using of it. 

Marius' album "The Heavens" which is available via this site not only assists in entering into our relaxed state of Theta mind, but is also beautiful music with the highest degree artistic quality, providing a deep artistic experience and emotional thrills. The synchronization of the brain hemispheres by Theta waves, which is a wave of deep relaxation and regeneration of the body is actually a by-product of this music. Systematic listening to the  Heavens album will help you to obtain the optimal state of your mind, peace and SOOTHING of your psyche. It also helps in the development of personal abilities, intelligence and self-esteem. The precursor of the application of brain wave stimulation was Monroe American Institute located in Roberts, Virginia, where the very big progress of knowledge of psychology and neuroscience at the subject was obtained. During the research the Institute has shown that the best results give both synchronization of the brain hemispheres through properly modulated sound stimuli, and flashing with corresponding frequency which results in much more efficient and stable operation of our brain. 

 

 

For all your questions and inquires please contact us at:

info@studiomastering.net

 

 

 



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