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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.
Mastered for iTunes is a program that Apple introduced in 2012, where the iTunes Store accepts high-resolution master files and provides higher-quality AAC encodes as a result. Music files that are supplied at 96 kilohertz/24-bit will have Mastered for iTunes icon placed beside them to identify them as such. Although any sample rate that's 24-bit file will be considered. Mastered for iTunes does not mean that a mixer, producer, or mastering facility does anything special to the master except to check for what it will sound like before it's submitted to iTunes and then check it later again before it's posted in the iTunes Store.
All encoding for iTunes will be done by Apple, not by the mastering house, record label, or artist. The reason for this is to keep the encodes consistent and to prevent anyone from gaming the system by hacking the Encoder. This also avoids any potential legal problems that might occur when a mixer, producer, or mastering house sends the files directly to iTunes without the label's permission or uses different submission specs. Mastered for iTunes is only an indication that a high-res master was applied, it's not a separate product. There were always be only one version of the song on iTunes, and it will be available at the same price regardless of whether it's mastered for iTunes or not.
Mastered for iTunes doesn't mean that the song will cost more in the iTunes Store or doesn't mean that iTunes will charge you for the service. Everything is like it was before, you just supply a high-res master so it ultimately sounds better to the listener.
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