Audio Mastering…What is it ?
Mastering is the final critical step in the audio production process. It is the bridge between mixing and final distribution.
Although considered by many to be a somewhat mysterious art or science, the truth is that audio mastering is a process that relies on a combination of real world experience and knowledge while working closely with the artist/producer on their sound. Mastering is the last opportunity to enhance the sound, repair any issues, sequence your body of work for albums, encode metadata and produce production masters for replication or duplication.
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 raise the level of your overall album to make it sound unbelievable.
To improve your recording a mastering engineer can:
- Raise the overall program level
- Even out song levels for cohesion
- Correct minor mix deficiencies and musical balance
- Album sequencing
- Enhance flow by changing the space between tracks
- Eliminate noises between tracks
- Make your music sound great on any sound/playback system
- Input provided ISRC codes
- Add CD-Text information (Artist, Title, and Track Names that can be displayed by some CD players)
- Add metadata information to digital outputs mediums (mp3, iTunes, WAV, ACC, etc.)
- Produce the master CD for replication and/or duplication
- Mastering for vinyl pressing