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 MASTERING


Today mastering is much more important a step in music production that ever before. The best sound can be found on those records, which were professionally mastered by mastering gurus such as Bob Ludwig, Ted Jensen or John Vestman. A truly big difference in sound quality can be obtained during mastering process, which raises the recording up to completely different level. Mastering audio is actually not a skill, it is something more of a gift, a special talent, that gives a mastering engineer an ability to hear, what is needed in a recording to improve it. Then he or she uses his gear and applies all the tricks to the recording, giving it a new sense of dimension, space and artistic articulation.

Mastering is actually an art.

Mastering - what is it
Mastering is the final, last work aimed at maximum improvement of the sound before the reproduction of recordings in thousands of copies on compact discs or cassettes. The aim here is to obtain the highest possible technical quality of the material contained on the media so that it can compete and win over other recordings already present in the market. Actually, the mastered recording must shine not only in technical way, but also emphasize the concept of an artist in an optimum manner. Only a combination of those two factors, the technical and artistic, makes a mastered recording into a true work of art on a CD or some another media, time-frozen for the future listeners, able to move every nuance of emotion in the artist's vision far into the future.

While mixing is all about individual tracks settings, setting volume levels and stereo panorama between them, mastering is taking action on the whole mix. Anything we do influences every instrument and voice in the song. Those to areas of music production complement each other. The fundament for a great master is a solid mix. And no mix can sound as good without mastering as after it is professionally mastered.  


Mastering - its purpose
In contrast to the mix mastering is done on the already finished, balanced material called mixdown or mix. The aim is to obtain an optimal sound, the highest average volume without an appreciable decline in the quality and superior tonal balance of recordings before any series production in thousands of copies of the CD's. Properly performed mastering may very considerably improve the quality of your music, especially if you mix using cheaper equipment and your CD have not been done professionally. In addition, professionally performed mastering preparing the CD contains some technical elements, as the PQ lists, ISRC codes, CD text, etc. (the so-called Red Book Standard, according to which every commercial CD is made). Companies are interested in pressing the best possible quality recordings of artists for one most important reason: they want to sell as many as possible excellent sounding records, which translates to their profit.

Mastering - between art and science
It is said that mastering is as much science as art. There is a lot of truth  in that statement, because so much depends here on experience of the person taking decisions throughout this process. The technology involved here is extremely important, but even more important here is experience, intuition and artistic taste and ear of the mastering person. It's like placing an inexperienced fighter pilot at the controls of a modern jet fighter aircraft, the mere possession of the excellent plane at the disposal does not make him a master ace between the pilots, and may become in his hands simply very, very dangerous.

Mastering has one fundamental objective: to make music play great on any kind of equipment from cd player,  the Am and FM radio, on headphones of mp3 player, the home 5.1 Pro Logic theater to the most esoteric, audiophile systems costing a small fortune and to make it sound as good as possible. This is also of great importance before presenting material in record company, they want to hear something that they like at once. Great mastered sound is also very important for radio broadcasting or, of course, duplication in serial production of  thousands of copies. Pop hits occupying the first places on charts, commercial recordings on the radio or on factory CD sound generally excellent, they are loud, they have a lot of bass and high tones, sound uniformly and at the same time mightily. They simply impress. This is because they have been properly mastered by a professional mastering artist. Your music does not have to deviate from them in volume, detail, the definition or overall artistic impact. After the special treatment in our studio Emotion Converting Plant, it will become absolutely comparable to the best recordings on the radio or commercial CD's and cassettes in music stores and so it will give your music a strong edge over the competition.

 

For all your questions and inquires please contact us at:

info@studiomastering.net

 

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All articles are covered by International Copyright Laws.
Copyright ® by Mariusz Wojto˝, 2007-2008. Copying, the use of excerpts for any purpose without the agreement of the author prohibited.
Emotion Converting Plant is a registered trademark of Mariusz Wojto˝.





 

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