AUDIO MASTERING

Mastering is essential in attaining commercial and broadcast quality for music, or any audio product. Currently, with home studios everywhere, radio stations and record companies receive thousands of CDs for consideration. Whether you seek airplay directly, or are submitting a demo, you are likely wasting your time if you do not have the material professionally mastered. Competition alone assures that even if your idea is good, it won’t matter if the product is badly produced or mastered. Every commercially released album has been mastered, because it must be.


"When I worked in Radio, often I would receive an independently produced record or CD, to be considered for airplay. More often than not, we could not even consider playing the material, due to technical quality issues: low or inconstant volume, bad eq curves, rough sounding mixes, etc."

WHAT IS MASTERING?

Mastering is the final process to attain commercial quality.

Results to be expected are:
Smoothing and blending of rough or harsh sounding mixes
Correcting discrepancies from track to track in loudness, bass, and treble response
“Fattening” and “warming” thin sounding digitally recorded music
Adding “life” and “power” to music
Removal of clicks and pops
A sound that can best be described as “professional” or “commercial”
Assurance that the CD MASTER will be acceptable at any duplication plant

Adjustments that may be used to attain the above are:
Equalization correction
Compression
Limiting
Dithering
Harmonics generation
Editing

HOW WE DO IT

We use a combination of digital and analog equipment in the mastering process. We have a vast array of digital plug-ins that give us exact control of the process, as well as analog outboard processors, including analog tape mastering decks designed for this purpose. As of this writing, over 60 percent of all commercially released albums were mastered using analog tape, which is preferred for its warmth and “punch”.