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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.
So after you've done all your mixing and you've gotten your music into a mixdown, the next step is to look into mastering. So what is mastering? It's the process of taking your final mixes and making the last round of tweaks and enhancements to make sure that your sounds sound as good as possible. We want to make sure that when they go out there into the world and they sit next to other recordings, they seem as loud, and as full range as those recordings, and we want to make sure that if they're in a digital file format going out to be burnt to a CD, they are in the right format and they are trimmed and tidy.
It's also the process of trying to get those files out of our dock and onto a drive, or into some other world. So after you've completed your mix, the next thing you want to do is take your final mixdown files and master them. So what is mastering? Essentially, it's the last step. It's taking your mixdowns to the next level. You are not thinking about individual instruments at this point. You want to prepare it for the world. You want to make sure it's as loud as it can be in the digital world. You want to make sure that, as a file, it works in different systems. It's ready to be burnt onto a CD or sent out to a CD production place.
And that involves preparing the audio files and exporting high quality masters. So, in this chapter, we'll look at a few of the things that go into mastering. I should also mention that mastering is also an art as well as a science, and that it has a huge impact on your final production, or it can, at least. If you pick up any record cover and thumb through it, you'll notice someone in there has a credit just for doing the mastering. That's because it's that important. In the big record labels, and even now the small labels, everyone's getting to know this. So, a lot of times you'll find things aren't mastered by the people who do the actual recording and engineering.
It's handed off to someone else who's a specialist, or just does mastering. So sometimes it makes sense to take stabs at mastering yourself and spend time to try and learn it and do it. But it also a lot of times, having someone else who's really skilled at it and trained at it can pay off big, too. It all depends on what the application is. If you are just working on podcasts or making a few things for yourself, it's not that big a deal. But if you're trying to make a record that you want to get out to the world, having it mastered by a professional can really make the difference between it kind of sounding homemade and being on the professional level.
It can really take it up another notch to that pro-level, so to speak. So it's worth looking into, and maybe shelling out the coin for.
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