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.
Audio Compression Basics
Compressors and limiters are specialized amplifiers used to reduce dynamic range — the span between the softest and loudest sounds. The use of compressors can make recordings and live mixes sound more polished by controlling maximum levels and maintaining higher average loudness. Additionally, many compressors — both hardware and software — will have a signature sound that can be used to inject wonderful coloration and tone into otherwise lifeless tracks.
Studio Monitor Placement — Finding the “Sweet Spot”
Of all the components that make up your studio environment, the two most important for producing high-quality mixes have to be, 1) your ears and 2) your near-field monitors. More specifically, the proper placement of these key components within your room will make all the difference in achieving accurate mixes that will sound good on the widest range of systems.
Where to Begin — 10 UAD Powered Plug-Ins Every New UAD-2 User Should Own
Are you new to the world of UAD plug-ins and not sure where to begin? Here is your starting point.
Stereo Miking Techniques for Acoustic Guitar
Learn the three most tried-and-true stereo miking techniques for recording acoustic guitar.
The Cooper Time Cube
The CTC was noted for its uncanny ability to always sit perfectly in the mix and was used on many hit records, such as “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus and “Low Rider” by War, for its spectacular short delay and doubling effects. Since its early discontinuation, the CTC has grown a very strong cult following and finds a home in such prestigious studios as Blackbird and Sunset Sound.
Total Harmonic Distortion
THD stands for Total Harmonic Distortion and can be used to estimate the degree to which a system is nonlinear. A THD measurement can be made by applying a sine wave as an input to a system, and measuring the total energy which appears at the output of the system at harmonics of the input frequency.
Mastering with the UAD-2
This video demonstrates using UA's Precision Mastering series plug-ins, along with some of the Precision Mix series plug-ins, to master a track.