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Whether one is producing music, podcasts, game sounds, or film sound effects, Digital Audio Principles provides the tips and techniques that will make the project a success. Author Dave Schroeder explains the basics of digital audio production techniques and covers the essential hardware and software. He also discusses sound theory, frequency response, the range of human hearing, and dynamic range.
The last thing we want to talk about in terms of mastering is preparing your file for the world and then exporting it out. It's good to trim the heads and tails after you do the sonic maximization because a lot of times when you go through that process of turning it up and then compressing it and doing some of the things we did in the last movie, what seems like a silent head or tail you will find actually has some noise there. So it's good to do it after you make your final volume adjustments. So let's zoom in and take a look at our final mix here. We will go ahead and just crank it way up and take a look.
I will actually make this is a little bit bigger for all of us, and we will give a listen. This is probably fairly silent. (Audio Playing) Great! So we can get real close. So we want to trim that just before the sound starts. Now sometimes it's nice to leave a little bit of breath at the beginning, but most often you kind of want to let your CD burning software, or whatever it is that you are going to be used to kind of create your final master CD image and use that to kind of set the timings between tracks.
But if you are making something that might go right to MP3 or right to the web, it's nice to give it a little breath there. And if you are making something that's streaming, it's not bad to leave even a little bit more of a head there than usual so that it can buffer a little bit more of the sound, and it starts to stream a little bit smoother. I am not talking about adding ten seconds of silence, but maybe one second, two seconds of silence before it starts to stream. That may actually improve the way it streams. (Music playing.) So that's trimming the head.
We are going to go ahead and draw a little fade there for extra special security so that we know we are starting this file from zero. Now let's go and check out the tail. See how this ends. (Music playing.) So you can actually hear, there is actually a little bit of sound there beyond what we can see.
Let's zoom up and see if we see any of it. No, not a whole lot. It's hard to see, so - [00:02:34.1] (Music playing.) So there is a little bit of ring out seems like to about there or so. So I am going to go ahead and trim her up. And if I go ahead and cut it too close, we will probably be able to hear that difference a little better. (Ring.) Yeah, you can hear that little, that ring. So we want to get it out.
We want that ring to go away on its own. We don't want to be the ones doing that, and we will leave a little extra tail here too. But again, we want it close to where the sound ends. That works. Then we will draw a little fade there to make sure that we get out on zero as well. (Music Playing) Great! So now we have trimmed it, and we have got our file, and the next step to do is either bounce it out or export it.
But before we export it, we want to apply a little bit of dither because we are working in a 24-bit session and I want to export it out to a 16-bit format. So we have trimmed the heads and tails, so now the CD is ready to go. We are starting and stopping nice and clean, no extra noise, and a natural decay there, a nice, natural ending to the sound. So at this point, we can bounce it out or export it out, but one of the things we want to do first is apply dithering, and the reason we want to do that is because we are in a 24-bit session and we want to get this down to a 16-bit depth resolution.
So that means we are going to dither, or add a little bit of noise, so that when it re-samples or down-samples to 16-bit, there is some information for it to have there, which will reduce the potential for little artifacts or little bits of distortion. So we are going to go ahead and we will select the whole monster. From our AudioSuite, we will go to the Dither menu, pick our Dither option, and now we will go ahead and pick our dither rate, and we will go down to 16 Bit, hit process, and away she goes, and we have got our dithered file.
So now, here in Pro Tools, we have two choices. We can bounce this out, which means we go ahead and say Bounce to > Disk, which will send it out and play it in real- time and bounce it down to a format. We have a few choices we can make. We can pick what file type we want to bounce to. AIFF, WAV, SD II, MP3. I am going to stick with WAV because I want to put this on a CD-R. We can go to multiple mono which would be two tracks. We can go to summed mono which would take the stereo mix and make it one mono mix, or we can do stereo interleaved.
And that's what you want to use if you want a stereo file. Also, we have got resolution of 16 bits and that's our target and a sample rate of 44.1, which is the sample rate of the session but also the sample rate that I want to use because I want to burn this on to a CD and not as an MP3, as a full-fledged uncompressed audio file. So we can go ahead and bounce this out and set a destination and send it. The other option is we can just export it because it's already a digital file. So we can go over here, Export Region as File, and we will get a lot of the same options, it's really the same menu, and just choose the destination and the same settings.
So, those are two ways we can get it out and send it out into the world. So I will go ahead and send this baby out into the world, and now that's it. We are done mastering, we have got an audio file somewhere on our hard drive - wherever I just sent that - that we can drag into a CD-burning program. We can drag it into something like iTunes and convert it to an MP3, send it to our mom or our friends. We have got a nice file that's mastered, that's going to be plenty loud, and it's going to start and stop nice and clean because we trimmed the edges. So that's mastering.
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