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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.
The term Mastering is either completely misunderstood or shrouded in mystery, but the process is really pretty simple. Technically speaking, mastering is the intermediate step between mixing the audio and preparing it to be replicated or distributed. But it's really much more than that. Mastering is a process of turning a collection of songs into a record by making them sound like they belong together, in terms of tone, volume, and timing, which means the spacing between songs in an album. Here's what mastering is not. It's not a plug-in that you run music through, and it automatically comes out mastered.
It's more of an art form that mostly relies on an individuals' skill, experience with various genres of music, and good taste. Just to be sure that we are clear on what you are trying to accomplish by mastering, you are trying to raise the level of the song so that they are competitive with others on the market. Make a group of songs all sound the same in relative level and tonal quality. Finish them by editing out count-offs and glitches, fixing fades, adding PQ and ISRC codes and creating spreads for CDs and vinyl records.
Mastering is a simple process, but like most simple processes, it's a lot more involved than it first seems, once you really get into it. As long as you know all the things that go into the mastering process, you can make your song sound as finished and complete as others on the market. That's exactly what we will be covering throughout the rest of this course.
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