AUDIO MASTERING - REFINEMENT OF SOUND MATERIAL

What is audio mastering? audio mastering or just mastering called, is the last step in the post-production or audio processing or refining of audio material after mixing your tracks. The aim of mastering audio material is to create a balanced frequency response in all frequencies so that the song or track can be played on many playback sources sounds as good as possible. Individual frequencies, dynamics, loudness and energy distribution in the track or song must be taken into account here. An appreciation of the existing sound material is often, after Mixing, he wishes. In many cases, it is not only the task of the Mastering Engineers to make the song as compatible as possible with the various playback devices in the recording studio, but also Mistakes in the mix to reduce as much as possible and a good one stereo image to accomplish.

The Music production is it common practice that mix or that Mixing and the mastering are separated and each one different Recording studio is used, which specializes in the challenges of the individual sub-areas within music production. So find yourself more and more providers for the so-called Online mixing or Online mastering. The song is edited online by a mixing engineer and sent digitally to the artist for approval.

WHAT IS PROCESSED IN AUDIO MASTERING?

Audio mastering typically involves the following steps:

  1. Stereo image optimization: The stereo image of the piece of music is optimized in order to create the most three-dimensional soundscape possible.

  2. Correction of frequency imbalances: The frequencies in the piece of music are optimized to achieve a balanced sound.

  3. Volume optimization: The volume of the piece of music is optimized to make it sound as good as possible for different playback systems.

  4. Limiting and Compression: Limiting and compression are used to optimize the dynamics of the piece of music and make it louder without clipping.

  5. Metadata: Finally, metadata such as the title of the song and the name of the artist are added to prepare the song for release.

Both Center and side signal, left or right channel, can and will in Audio mastering often edited separately. The possibility of influencing the signal or sound of the music is therefore greater, which in turn leads to better and cleaner results that can be used when mixing erroneous use, e.g Compressor were caused. Interfering signals, unwanted noise, crackling and crackling, deessing, as well as dynamics and levels are optimized in different sequences in the editing process and unwanted ones are largely reduced in order to get the ideal sound out of the mix.

When audio mastering is always to consider between the reduction of interference frequencies and the preservation of the basic sound and dynamics within a song, sound, entire music or track. Of course, different versions can also be made. A version with a stronger compressor setting would be possible. Also a live version for performances or a club version. Therefore, handling the compressor or equalizer is particularly important and requires the greatest precision when mastering a track, because the mix should ultimately sound good!

WHAT IS NEEDED FOR EDIT IN THE AUDIO MASTERING PROCESS?

For the processing of the material to be mastered, a DAW is first required to play the song and to be able to assess the sound. There is software specially developed for audio mastering, such as “Wavelab” from Steinberg. However, it is also possible to carry out an audio master in any DAW (e.g. Cubase, Logic or ProTools) and get missing functions using third-party plugins. But not only the right DAW is needed for editing. External hardware processors designed for mastering, e.g EQ or Compressor, ensure a well-rounded track sound and ideal processing of the raw material after mixing. A good selection of high-quality plugins are also used in the music master.

More factors like that studio acoustics, the right monitoring monitors, cabling or the choice of the right one devices, are just as important in audio mastering as a good ear and the necessary genre experience of the material to be processed. So knowledge is also power when it comes to mastering and dealing with frequencies within your studio.

How well the track or music can be edited in the master depends not only on the recording (Recording) but also on the quality of the sound in the mix. These are all part of the music production.

Audio mastering metering with Izotope audio mastering software

WHAT IS MASTERING IN THE RECORDING STUDIO?

In the recording studio, mastering refers to the final step in music production, preparing the final version of a piece of music for release. It involves optimizing the sound and volume of the piece of music to make it sound the best for different playback systems and environments.

When mastering in the recording studio, special mastering software and equipment are usually used to optimize the piece of music. This includes, for example, equalizers, compressors, limiters and other effects used to edit and enhance the piece of music.

The settings and processing of the mastering software and equipment are carried out by a professional Mastering Engineer carried out who has the necessary skills and knowledge to optimize the piece of music in the best possible way. The mastering engineer works in close collaboration with the artist or producer to ensure the final result is as intended.

Mastering in the recording studio is an important step in music production as it ensures that the piece of music is at a high level of quality for release and sounds the best possible across different playback systems and environments.

DOES ONLINE AUDIO MASTERING MAKE SENSE?

Thanks to digitization, more and more audio mastering studios are now offering their services online. The so-called "e-mastering"Or"Online mastering".

But does this really make sense? How was mastered in the past?

Before digitization, artists and bands searched for you with great difficulty Mastering studio where you personally took part in the mastering session to give your tracks the necessary finishing touches.

Any changes to individual parts of the audio material or the songs of the musicians and artists could be examined and heard directly in the studio and the track could be judged good or bad.

A targeted implementation of the sound ideas of the individual songs was therefore no problem. Should changes in the mixing be necessary, everything could be initiated directly with the musicians, so that all the individual elements in the music production could run smoothly together and you could quickly go back to mastering with a new version and the changed frequencies in the sound image.

Nowadays, this is solved using so-called "versions". After completing the online audio mastering, the artist gets his audio material back for assessment and has the opportunity to have corrections made to the master version by the mastering engineer by means of change requests.

AUDIO MASTERING FOR YOUR TRACK

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