Here's a long winded definition:My question is rather broad...what is "mastering"? Without going into all the how-to, could someone please define what the action or process is? I understand it's near the end of a road that looks something like this:
Musician(s) perform > we record on one (or more) tracks > the tracks get augmented (adjusted levels, effects, basic EQ, whatever the situation calls for) > the tracks get mixed and combined (bounced) > the bounced tracks get mastered > the final mastered product gets formatted > the albums are printed > the band develops addictions > they somehow live forever (see McJagger and Steve Tyler)
Different mediums have different limitations -- Vinyl especially -- Excessive lows in the side component and your needle pops right out. Excessive sibilance in the mid component and you skip right across the surface. Excessive volume and -- and just forget it.But it still confuses me when they ask about whether it's being mastered for vinyl or cd or digital
Thanks very much guys! Appreciate the help.
one more quick question!
If I was to be putting out cd's and vinyl, would it be advisable to have two seperate masters done, or would it suffice to have it mastered for vinyl and use it for both vinyl and cd? I noticed rayc mentioned some of the first albums mastered for cd from the original masters meant for vinyl turned out pretty bad.
When we put out our first album we had our friend master it and it was his first time doing such a thing. We used the same master files for both vinyl and digital download with decent results, albeit, in retrospect not exactly the best.
I wasn't even thinking of that route, but while we're on the subject, no - Numerical values mean little compared to perceived volume.so you are inferring that there is no way to actually monitor for a precise output level say numerically track to track rather than just doing it by ear?