DDP Mastering Explained

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by audiokid, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Well explained but have some questions:
    What is the file you receive?
    I always thought "making sure all tracks flow together as a playlist" was part of standard mastering.

    The mastering house I got this FAQ from only charges an extra $5 to do this. Isn't that really cheap to do all this extra work though?
  2. acorneau

    acorneau Active Member

    A DDP contains several files; a large ".dat" file which is the whole audio part as one long audio file, and then several other small files that contain the PQ code layout, CD-Text info, etc.

    Yes, the mastering studio SHOULD do the layout and spacing for the album, it's part of the job. Spacing of a full album (10+ songs) usually takes me about 30 minutes or so by myself or 45-60 minutes if the client is present and really picky about things. Adding $5 to create a DDP seems a bit low, but some folks factor the time and cost into their regular rate.
    audiokid likes this.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    I guess that's one reason why they don't allow the client to be involved.
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Funny this should come up today... Just added a page this afternoon about adding a DDP player that I can give to clients.

    I always prefer sending out DDP for several reasons -- 1) It's preferred by most plants, 2) It's absolutely bullet-proof, 3) It takes WAAAAAAYYYY less time to export and upload a DDP set than to author, QC, print and document a set of discs.

    My only problem was that few clients have any way to audition DDP, so I'd be running off discs anyway. Now I have an option where the client can audition the file *and* author their own reference discs from that file.

    I'm hoping to double my DDP output (and therefore, cut the number of discs in half).

    (Dead Link Removed)
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    John, very timely indeed. What is this player you are describing? This is all new to me once again. Last time I did mastering I was using Digi's
    MasterList CD. I've a lot to catch up on.

    I notice you also use Samplitude and like most,Wavelab. If you had Sequoia, would you not use WaveLab?
  6. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    There is also this cool APP for iPod/iPhone: itunes.apple.com/us/app/backline-ddp-mobile/id388817542?mt=8 . Really cool.

  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Richard, sorry to say your link is bad. I think it should be this.
  8. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

  9. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    The program is an OEM branded version of Sonoris' DDP Player (licensed for my own distribution, lined, logo'd, etc.).

    Haven't done this much DDP since Exabyte and want to do more (partially out of convenience, partially out of a selfish want for more time) but never had a way for the client to be able to audition the file, so I end up having to burn reference discs anyway. Now they can audition straight from the DDP, burn their own if they want and just upload the file to the plant. It's a big bonus that it'll actually author a properly formatted disc and export a PQ log... Would've killed for this kind of convenience years ago...

    Samplitude - I *use* Samplitude. I "have" Wavelab. Although I've been using Wavelab for DDP export since 7 (used other DDP software before). It's about the only reason I'd ever want from Sequoia that Samp doesn't have (and I didn't feel like dropping the extra $2k for DDP export when WL was about $500 or whatever it was).

    So if I had Sequoia, I'd use WL a little less - But WL is really there for its "Swiss Army" type stuff. Heck, you could probably open a JPG as an audio file with it. I'm sure it wouldn't sound very good though...
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Ah, I finally understand DDP, thank you everyone! So this is basically a complete file, for one song or many the we export from example: (WL or Sequoia) for the client and duplicating to use in place of the actual CD? It contains all the information, including the text needed for their purpose. Whom ever has this file can import that into a program and presto? Do I have it right?

    Is so, how do you encrypt copy protection?
  11. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    Chris, yes, the DDP file is the "image" of the Master CD including all of the Red Book standard specs. With the DDP player (from Sonoris for exemple), anyone could actually hear what will be on the MASTER "as is" , spacing between the songs included. A copy of the Master CD (reference) is exactely the same. I use Samplitude for everything and Sonoris DDP Creator for the DDP file.
  12. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Think of DDP as an ISO image of an audio CD. And if you have the right program, then yes, you can play it (or send it right to the LBR at the replication plant).

    Copy protection... No idea if that's part of DDP 2.0 -- That said, I never use it. It doesn't protect anything anyway...
    audiokid likes this.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Very cool. So obviously you don't release the DDP until you've been paid?
  14. acorneau

    acorneau Active Member

    Ah, checked their FAQ and it's $5 per track, not just $5. For a 10-song album that's an extra $50, which seems a little more reasonable for the time/effort.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yes, correct, thanks for bringing that to the front, Allen. Now that I understand this, approx 10% more for this seems better.
  16. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Geez, I'm probably going to start throwing it in with FTP projects (specifically, trying to turn "full service" projects IN to FTP projects)... With all the time I can save NOT burning, QC'ing, logging, printing, packaging, shipping (etc.) discs, maybe I actually wouldn't be so far behind.

    Authoring the master file (PCM/CUE) is part of the process in any case. Transferring that PCM/CUE to a pair of QC'd discs (along with all the extra stuff) takes a couple hours. Transferring it to DDP and uploading takes all of 3 or 4 minutes.
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    exactamundo or exactamucho $
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Looks like Sequoia 12 will have this. I'm so pleased. Here's some info:
    What's new? > Sequoia > Broadcast Audio > MAGIX Pro
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I always thought that when I created my mastering file through Sony Vegas, it renders as a single large file complete with all PQ codes, etc.? Is that not a DDP file with everything embedded into it? It's still a single file and even Adobe Audition recognizes the PQ markers when imported. But I guess you are saying that the PQ information is actually a separate file unto itself? Windows Media Player will play a ".DAT" file when instructed to do so. Generally those were MPEG 1 video CDs. I would assume it would also play audio only through Windows Media Player?

    I guess I'm not understanding quite everything?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  20. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Remy: I think I get a large .dat file plus a set of other smaller files if I remember correctly. I would have to check one of my projects to tell you an exact list (not at the studio right now).

    Reaper 4 now does DDP export by the way.

    Not really tested it properly yet: seems a bit fiddly to use at the moment. But maybe worth knowing about if you only occasionally need to create DDP files and don't want to shell out for Wavelab or something.

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