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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.
One of the most important duties of the mastering engineer is fixing the frequency balance of a project if it's needed. Of course, this is done with an equalizer, but the type used and the ways it's driven is generally far different than during recording and mixing. Well, in recording you might use large amounts of EQ anywhere from 3 to 15 dB at a certain frequency. Mastering is almost always in very small increments usually intents of a dB to 2 or 3 at the very most. What you will see is a lot of small shots of EQ along the frequency band, though, but again in very small amounts.
For example, this might be something like +1 at 30Hz, +0.5 at 60Hz, +0.2 at 120, -0.5 at 800, -0.7 at 2500, +0.6 at 8K, +1 at 12 notice that there's a little happening at a lot of places. Another technique that's used frequently is known as feathering, this means that rather than applying a large amount of EQ at a single frequency, you add small amounts at the frequencies adjoining the main one.
An example of this would be instead of adding +3 dB at 100 Hz, you would add +1.5 dB at 100 and +0.5 dB at 80 and 120. This lesson's any potential sonic side effects brought about when using large boost of equalization and results in a smoother sound. Mastering is one area where large amounts of EQ are an indication that there's something wrong with the mix. Top mastering engineers will frequently send the mixer back to redo remix, and that's something you should consider as well. In mastering equalization, less is definitely more
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