Top 8 Mastering Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
Even expert mastering engineers can only accomplish so much, and it’s largely dependent on the raw materials they’re given to work with. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the top mistakes people make in preparing their mix for mastering, according to Pete Doell, a veteran engineer of Universal Mastering Studios West.
Analog Tape Recording Basics
These days, owning an analog tape machine is somewhat akin to driving a classic car, with ongoing maintenance, scarcity of parts, and exotic fuel (analog tape) that's expensive and hard to find. So while a handful of top studios still offer those classic spinning reels (and the engineers to maintain them), the good news for the rest of us is that there are now more convenient ways to achieve that classic magnetic sound.
Understanding Audio Data Compression: MP3s, AACs, and more
Data compression schemes like MP3, FLAC, AAC, and other relatives have fundamentally changed music as we know it. Daniel Keller breaks down the different formats, and how data compression can change the music you make, and how you listen to it.
The Basics of Reverb
From Bill Putnam Sr.’s legendary United/Western echo chambers to modern digital units, artificial reverb is fundamental to modern recording. Learn how this remarkable effect came to be, and how its use — and abuse — can make or break your tracks.
Studio Acoustics & Soundproofing Basics
The science of acoustics is something that tends to alternately baffle and intimidate most of us. Outside of a handful of highly trained individuals, the aspects of what makes a room sound a certain way is looked upon as a sort of black art. Performance venues and upscale recording studios routinely include acoustic designers in their construction budgets, spending considerable sums of money in pursuit of sonic perfection.
Audio Mastering Basics: Taking Your Music That Extra Step
No one will argue that digital technology has done much to empower musicians to take control over their recordings. Today’s artists are far less dependent on high-priced recording professionals, with many great-sounding projects having never even seen the inside of a recording studio.
Using Multiband EQ to Fix Common Mix Problems
In the never-ending quest for the perfect mix, EQ is one of the oldest tools we have, and still one of the most powerful. Used in moderation, EQ can add clarity and definition to a crowded soundscape. Used with precision, it can remove offending sounds we wish we hadn’t captured. As a strategic tool, a bit of EQ can make all the difference needed to separate dueling guitars, scoop the mud from your drums or make a vocal shine.
5 Things You Need to Know About Mastering Your Music
The mastering engineer is the last step of the artistic phase, and the first step of the manufacturing phase. It’s the final opportunity to listen, polish, and make a change in the sonic presentation. It is also the first step of the manufacturing phase, because it prepares the master in the way that best suits the needs of the manufacturer. The goal is to listen to the broad picture; the actual content is immaterial. The mastering engineer is paying attention to EQ presentation, to level presentation, to dynamics presentation.