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Mastering audio is the final stage in music production, where the final set of mixed songs are turned into a cohesive album through a variety of processes that make the music sound the best it can, wherever it's played. Join author and producer Bobby Owsinski in this course, as he teaches essential mastering concepts and techniques used by experienced audio engineers. Follow along as he works at Oasis Mastering, a real-world mastering facility, and learn how to apply these techniques to your home or studio setup and make your projects sound better than ever.
First, discover how to configure your monitoring setup, optimize your listening environment, and prepare and print alternative mixes that will allow you to make quick fixes during mastering. Bobby then reviews a selection of dedicated mastering tools that give you precise control over select signal parameters, from compressors to de-essers. He'll discuss the differences between mastering for CD, online distribution, and specifically for iTunes, and how to achieve the best results for each medium. The course wraps with lessons on mastering for high-resolution formats like Blu-ray, as well as delivering and archiving the master recording once the project is complete.
Mastering is best done with monitors, but sometimes it's just not possible to listen to your monitors when you're working on music at home. When it's late at night and your kids, significant other or neighbor is in the next room separated by only paper thin walls, you have no choice but to try to work on headphones. Working on headphones does have three significant downsides, though, your ears get tired, you can't wear them for as long as you need to which might be as long as 8 to 12 hours, because your head and ears get tired from the extra weight, it's easy to get ear fatigue.
You have a tendency to turn the phones up, which can lead to some quick ear fatigue again limiting your ability to work for long periods. You get a false sense of what the mix is like, because most professional headphones really sound great compared to ear buds, you get a false sense of what the mix is like, especially on the low end. This causes you not work as hard getting the frequency balance of your mix right, it might not translate to speakers. If you mix or master something only on headphones it might not work when played back on normal monitors.
The balance in EQ may be much different when listening to the song with tiny speakers pinned to your ears versus listening on monitors which are some distance away. Although it's really helpful to know what your master will sound like on headphones, you still need to do most of your work on speakers to be sure that it'll translate to a playback medium of any type. If you have no other option aside from using headphones then make sure to follow the steps for the basic listing technique as outlined in the previous video.
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