Mastering

Have you ever wondered why your self produced audio CDs sound 'weedy' when you compare them to a commercial recording?

The reason for this is that commercial tracks have been "mastered" which means that they have more impact and are generally more 'radio friendly'. To understand how this works you need to know a bit of history.

Back in the 'good old days' of vinyl records, the last stage of the production process was to hand the master tapes to the cutting or mastering engineer. Their job was to take the tapes from the final mix-down session and use a cutting lathe to get the audio onto a cellulose nitrate disc called a 'Lacquer'. This would then be sent off to the record pressing plant to fabricate the metal stampers that were used to press the records. But they did much more than this...

As well as handling the purely technical side of the cutting process, a good mastering engineer would also 'sweeten' the mix, effectively getting the best possible result from the final mix session. A good mastering engineer - like Bob Clearwater - could take a good mix and make it into a hit. Mastering engineers who could achieve this were much in demand and could charge high fees to 'cut' an album. These days the techniques that they developed for getting the best possible sound on a vinyl disc can help you get the most of the CD-DA (Compact Disc Digital Audio) medium and for MP3/AAC encoded releases for download.

We can help you get the best possible quality from your recording when it is put onto CD. We can also maximise the impact of the soundtrack for other audio applications such as audio for video and multimedia. The basic idea with mastering today is still the same as it ever was, to get the audio maximum quality out of the playback medium. While the underlying quality of the CD-DA system is much higher than a bumpy groove stamped into a plastic disc, it still has limitations of which you need to be aware. This also applies to Audio DVD when it takes over the commercial music patch so the 'mastering' stage will be with us for a while yet.

We can help you get the best out of your recording whether it was recorded in our studios or somewhere else. We have experience in mastering tracks for a wide range of music styles an applications such as video and multimedia soundtracks and games.

Call us today to discuss your mastering requirments.