What Is Mastering? [#djtonyhcom]
You’ve poured your heart and soul into your music. It deserves that huge sound you’ve been dreaming about.
So what is mastering? Every major label release is mastered to prepare it for radio play and retail sale. The reason? In the studio you record one song at a time, resulting in songs that all peak at different levels and have different EQs. A mastering engineer can unify your album with skillful use of EQ, gain, and compression to give it a consistent sound from track to track. This process also allows the mastering engineer to pump up the volume of your overall album so it’s as hot as can be and make it sound unbelievable.
A fresh pair of ears can be the difference between a good-sounding CD and a great one. A real advantage of audio post production is that an unbiased sound professional has the opportunity to evaluate your master and determine how to get the most out of your production. After you’ve spent weeks or even months in a recording studio listening to your CD over and over again, a fresh pair of ears of one of our mastering engineers can put the project into perspective for you, and let you know whether or not your CD will benefit from audio post production. After all, you only have one chance to make your music sound its best. The choice is up to you.
To improve your recording the mastering engineer can:
- Raise the overall level.
- Even out song levels and EQ individual tracks for cohesion.
- Correct minor mix deficiencies with equalization.
- Enhance flow by changing the space between tracks.
- Eliminate noises between tracks.
- Make your music sound great on any sound system.
- Add your ISRC codes.
- Add CD-Text information (Artist, Title, and Track Names that can be displayed by some CD players).
Making a CD generally involves four steps:
This is the process of capturing your performance onto a physical medium like tape or a computer’s hard disk.
This is the process of blending together multiple recorded tracks using a mixing console; the usual result is a two-channel, stereo performance.
In this phase, your audio recording is balanced, equalized, and enhanced so your finished product will be both more musical and more competitive in the marketplace.
In this final step, your digital audio master is transferred to a glass master and thousands of copies are made.
If you’re not mastering your audio recording, you are leaving out what could be a crucial step in the making of your CD. Your master is the template for thousands of your CDs to be produced for commercial release. CD mastering enables your recording to faithfully reproduce your vision, making it the most musical and commercially competitive it can be, by bridging the technological gap between the artist’s recording equipment and the listener’s stereo system. CD mastering can make a huge difference in the competitiveness and musical value of your product – and it is also the greatest bargain in the entire workflow of making a CD.