|The music mastering studio is very different from a normal audio recording studio. In fact, all the equipment and gear found in most recording and mixing studios can actually hinder the acoustics of a room to accurately monitor sound. Thus, the correct room acoustics and arrangement of the equipment inside a mastering studio is an important factor since the mastering engineer (ME) needs to hear each mix in detail. This room design should be non-environmental or with a minimum room interference. By working with an experienced mastering engineer, the recording artist is also open to alternative opinions and technical advice.
Mastering, or finalizing, is the last stage of the process of making audio. It is the final high resolution version of the production, the one from which you will spin off red book copies for cd and mp3 files for the internet. When you have a great, not just a good, song you hear the advice to get it mastered professionally. Dude, do it. They have the gear, a specially treated room, and excellent monitors that most of us could not afford. Plus it is always a good idea to have another set of ears that can listen to the piece more objectively.
|Your playback system embodies the critical listening environment. Room/speaker interface non-linearities can result in unacceptable recordings and mixes. Producers and engineers need to know that the work they take out of your room will translate to playback systems in the consumer world. Whether you have a multi-room professional facility, a small project studio, or a home theater, sound fidelity could be improved with acoustic treatments or equalizer voicing.
But for many of us who have yet to discover our magnum opus, we may want to try our own hand at it, to make the cd for friends sound better, or to make the demos we hand out sound great. Or you may be a working towards becoming a sound designer, or building material for radio shows, or as an indie film composer who has to produces volumes of material so fast that mastering is out of the question. Thanks to developments in plugin technology over the past few years, we can now turn our computers into home mastering labs. While the result will not match that of an experienced mastering engineer with tens of thousands of dollars worth of hardware, with practice and a good ear you will be able to dramatically improve your production.
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