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Technique of Audio Mastering

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What is audio mastering? Audio mastering is the process of transferring a recorded audio track from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device, also known as master. This source can then be used for developing copies using duplication or pressing. Why audio mastering is essential? Audio mastering should be done on tracks to ensure professional sounding tracks. Mastering involves offering the tracks the finesse and the polish that only professional tracks have. By mastering the tracks, the following measures are achieved:

Volume Leveling: when there are multiple tracks in an album, the mastering ensures that the volume of each track is in level with the rest. It also maximizes the volume to increase the clarity of the track.

Ensuring that the noise is reduced to the minimum. The master engineer uses a number of devices to reduce the noise from behind to make the song clear.

Balancing the frequencies: All the frequencies are taken into account in a song while mastering. Every portion of the song needs to have a balance of bass, mids and treble.

Encoding the song is accomplished by the mastering services.

Mastering also accomplishes error checking in the songs.

Mastering has become very essential and that is apparent in the fact that the services of a mastering engineer are now available online as well. Online mastering services are as good as attended mastering services in terms of the quality rendered to the track and the equipments used for the same. However, the online audio mastering services are much less costly and highly convenient.

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Mastering and Mixing are both skills you can never learn from research... the only way to become remotely adequate is to mix over and over, and master over and over... It's not a by-numbers skill, you only get good with practice, and some people just have the ears for it.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi koer, I enjoyed reading your post about mastering. I like to make guitar tunes with my band and I usually use my soundcard and laptop to make the recordings, it has 8 audio inputs and 8 audio outputs. Many time I have made the recording and mix myself and I get semi pro results I guess. i tend to use the equalization and compression that is inside the software that I use which is Cubase. I like Cubase because it sounds decent and has plenty of functions many of which i doubt I will ever use but it is a good software for audio recording that is for sure. I also mix the multitracks I have recorded inside the software and not using a mixing console. I have wondered if an analogue mixing console it would make a better overall sound, you know a "warmer sound". Not sure Do you think that online mastering can make a a warmer sound as well. What kind of results could be expected from sound mastering in a pro studio. I appreciate your post and I am glad I joined I have stood on the side lines for a long while, lol.

Edited by Granger24
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  • 2 weeks later...

When it comes to mixing and mastering, your only going to sound as good as the equipment you use. You may have some skill, but if your using low quality equipment, you will ultimately have a low quality recording. A computer sound card isn't going to have great quality. You might get some crackling and poping, depending on how fast your computer is. But when you start getting into Pro Tools and Logic (which is what most studio's use) the cream will rise to the top. The more things you know the better it will should sound. However no matter how good your ears are, and how much skill you have, nothing can really compensate for a bad recording. But just to make some decent demo's for like the internet or friends, make sure you record properly, and cubase will get the job done, just don't expect it to sound like a studio quality production.

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I wouldn't put much stock into online mixing and mastering companies. Nor, would I invest into anyone who boast of being a soundclick engineer, or these people on youtube who will mix for a cheap rate. Let's face it the more you transfer an audio recording, to different formats, or upload it as a copy in and out of a software program, the lower the quality of that audio gets. That's why professionals keep the audio on one drive or maybe a dvd, and pass that drive or dvd, and not the file to be worked on.

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