Monday, March 15

Mastering Your Music

Mastering is widely misunderstood, often mangled, and sometimes mistaken for mixing. So, what is mastering? It's the audio step that comes just before manufacturing a CD. Some people would even say it's a crucial step. Once you have finished recording and mixing your songs, the tracks are shaped, sculpted, scooped, equalized, compressed, and finessed into sonic splendor (well, you hope) through the audio process known as mastering. Mastering is what gives depth, punch, clarity and volume to your tracks. It is part science, part craft, and part alchemy. . . just like songwriting, singing, performing and recording.

"Loud vs. Proud."
Contrary to popular belief, mastering is only a little about making a hotter sound. While it's true that the gain, or volume level, is boosted during mastering, it may be that raw decibels are the least critical aspect of the process. What's important is the way mastering makes songs sound. Because in the end, mastering is less about "loud" and more about "proud."

Mastering Engineers Speak Out.
"Mastering is the crucial, critical, and final creative step in the process of making an audio recording," states Art Sayecki of Burbank, California's Art Mastering. "When your work is in the hands of a mastering engineer, that is when all the ultimate sonic judgments are made, all necessary aural enhancements are applied, and the definitive content of your project becomes a coherent and sophisticated artistic creation. When a mastering engineer does the job properly, it can literally separate the hits from the rest of the market."

What's your take... leave your comments below.

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