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What audio mastering can do for your music

Audio mastering is a process that can sometimes be misunderstood, musicians and producers should consider audio mastering as being an essential procedure before their musical productions are released.

The audio production process has a number of procedures associated with it, recording, mixing and mastering.The audio mastering studio is a fascinating audio production environment. Everything in the studio will be carefully calibrated and maintained and only the finest sonic devices will be present. Choosing the equipment for a mastering studio is very subjective however there are certain aspects that every online mastering studio must have put in place. The studio must have very good acoustic conditions as it is only then that the mastering engineer can make the correct decisions on peoples musical productions.

Additionally very fine audiophile reference speakers and high power, low distortion amplifiers will be in use. This means the audio which is presented to the engineer is detailed, accurate and undistorted. The engineer will usually have an arsenal of equipment such as analogue and digital equalizers, compressorsFree Reprint Articles, stereo tools to tweak the stereo image and tools which assist with increasing the perceived volume of the music if this is deemed important. Equalizers are like highly advanced tone controls that you may find on a domestic audio amplifier (bass and treble). The difference being that the quality of the electronics will be very high indeed and the controls on the equalizer will afford much more in the way of control over the frequency bandwidth of music.

These small equlaization changes can bring the sound into focus and assist it's presentation and reproduction over the wide variety of speakers it will be heard on. The electronics in a typical stereo mastering equalizer will be very closely matched between the left and right channels to ensure that exactly the same changes occur across the stereo image. An eq can be clean in nature or have a special colouration which can be useful on some material. In general clean eq is preferred for mastering and yet on occasion a coloured eq is exactly what is necessary. Compressors can be used in mastering to adjust the dynamic range of the material and also add a special tone to the mixes.

Again the analogue variants are preferable as they often sound a little better than the digital counterparts. Analogue equipment is revered because it has a long history of being able to produce very fine recordings when employed correctly. Many of these analogue devices use valves and audio transformers in their circuits and these are in part responsible for the character that can be imparted on the mix. Online mastering is a convenient and lower cost method of ensuring that your musical releases receive the quality control they deserve. When you choose online mastering do so with care to ensure that your music gets the attention it deserves.

Article Tags: Audio Mastering, Mastering Studio, Online Mastering

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Barry Gardner is a mastering engineer and has created a website to answer many of the misconceptions regarding audio mastering.

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