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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.
If you've ever tried to export a number of songs from your normal digital audio workstation timeline, you know that what you get is a single large file instead of individual song files, like what we're used to on a CD. That's because you need a special editing workstation for making CDs that does what's know as PQ subcode editing. PQ subcodes control the track location and running time aspects of a CD, enable the CD player to know how many tracks are present, where they are, how long they are, and when to change from one track to another.
Editing software applications like Waveburner, Audio Architect, Peak, Wavelab, DSP-Quattro and Sound Forge, all have the ability to place these codes as needed. When the CD was first developed, it had 8 subcodes labeled P to W, and there were a lot of uses intended for them, they just never came to pass. Today the only subcodes used are P and Q, but these contain other information like ISRC and UPC codes and CD text, all of which we will cover in future movies.
Most PQ editors also allow PQ log to be printed out which is then sent with the master to the replicator, as a check to ensure that all the correct data and information has been provide. The ability to add a PQ code is essential in the process of creating a CD and only certain apps are capable of doing this. That said, an app with the PQ editor can give you much more power and precision than you ever thought possible on a CD.
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