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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.
Even though the mixer or mastering house doesn't do any encoding directly, Apple has provided a set of tools that can be used to hear what the final product will sound like when it's encoded. That way any adjustments can be made to the master before it's submitted to iTunes to ensure that it sounds its best. We're going to cover most of these tools separately in the following movies, and you can find them at apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes. Along with the mastering tools, be sure to also download the AU Lab tool as it acts as a host for one of the most important utilities, AURoundTrip.
Included in the mastering tools are two utilities: AFconvert, and AFclip, that can only be accessed via the Terminal program in Mac OS X. The vast majority of mastering engineers don't find these tools particularly useful since they require some UNIX command line knowledge, so we're going to skip them in our movies.
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