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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.
There are a number of online databases that store album information that is accessed by such programs as iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Winamp to display album and song info on computers. Perhaps the best known is CDDB or Compact Disc Database, which is a database that allows a music player application to look up audio CD information over the Internet, which then displays the Artist name, CD title, track list, and some additional information. CDDB is a licensed trademark of Gracenote Incorporated.
The information in a database like CDDB is linked to CDs that have had CD text embedded in the masters by their mastering engineers. And that info appears on the manufactured CDs. The artist is totally responsible for all information for the CD text and the mastering engineer simply inserts the information that the client provides for the text. There are other online databases besides CDDB, including Muse, freeDB, and MusicBrainz, and although the CD identification process used by these databases may differ from the original CDDB process, the concept is the same.
You can submit your album data to CDDB using iTunes by naming the CD tracks and then using the Submit Track Names option under the Advanced menu. Once your CD is imported into iTunes, click into a track name and select Get Info. On the Info tab type in the Track Name, Artist Name, Album name, select the Genre and Year of release. The Next button will take you to the next track. Continue until all the tracks are titled. Go to Advanced and click Submit CD Track Names.
Within two or three days, place the CD back in the CD-ROM drive. Go to Advanced and click Get Track Names. This is a Requery button that clears your local cache and shows that your CD information now comes from CDDB. Since identification of CDs is based on the length and order of the tracks, CDDB can't identify playlists in which the order of the tracks has been changed or compilations of tracks with different CDs. CDDB also can't distinguish between different CDs that have the same number of tracks in the same track list.
If you need more information on CDDB submissions, fixes, or the service in general, go to gracenote.com/about/faqs.
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