:!: Some Questions for my Essay about Mastering... :!:

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by gang-himself, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. gang-himself

    gang-himself Guest

    Hello Pro's,

    I have to write an essay about Mastering for my diplom at the school of audio technic in Germany.
    For that reason, I have some questions to the professionel Mastering Engineers out there.
    It would be great to get lots of answers, or at least some...

    If you answer, please write your Name and (if it exists) the name and location of you studio.

    Here are the questions:

    1. Which type(s) of Monitor-System do you have in your studio?
    (near-/mid-/far-field, no sub/mono-/stereo-sub; stereo/surround, price
    category)

    2. In which way and format do you get your mixes from your clients?
    (bitrate, samplerate, way of delivery(internet, audio cd, cd-rom, dat...)

    3. For which media do you have to master?
    (CD-A, DVD-A, DVD-V, SACD...)

    4. In which way and format do you deliver the masters to the plants?
    (CD-A, CD-Rom, DDP; Internet, snail-mail, client...)

    5. Which processors/processes do you need/use most in mastering?
    (Of course Limiting, Compression and EQ.
    But do you prefer plugins or outbourd; digital or analog, and which special things like M/S or very many bands, or multi-band phase-correction...)


    So far my questions.
    I'm happily looking forward for your answers...
     
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Hello Pro's,

    I have to write an essay about Mastering for my diplom at the school of audio technic in Germany.
    For that reason, I have some questions to the professional Mastering Engineers out there.
    It would be great to get lots of answers, or at least some...

    If you answer, please write your Name and (if it exists) the name and location of you studio.

    Here are the questions:

    [i]1. Which type(s) of Monitor-System do you have in your studio?
    (near-/mid-/far-field, no sub/mono-/stereo-sub; stereo/surround, price
    category)


    WE use Alon IVs in a midfield setup using the CARDAS setup procedure. The Alon IVs have very good bass response so no sub woofer(s) needed.

    2. In which way and format do you get your mixes from your clients?
    (bit rate, sample rate, way of delivery(Internet, audio CD, CD-ROM, dat...)


    Most of our mixes come in on CD DA or 24 bit AIFF or WAV files. We still get the occasional DAT and sometimes the client will bring in his all-in-one digital mixer/recorder and we will take the digital out and feed it into our DAW. WE have also gotten in some material via FTP but our cable Internet connection is limited by our ISP to about 75K so it takes for ever to download anything off the web.

    3. For which media do you have to master?
    (CD-A, DVD-A, DVD-V, SACD...)


    Mostly CDs with some surround but we never got the clients really into surround so most of them are happy with two tracks.

    4. In which way and format do you deliver the masters to the plants?
    (CD-A, CD-Rom, DDP; Internet, snail-mail, client...)


    Mostly it is CD DA given to the clients we have done some in CD-ROM and we do use FEDEX, USPS and even UPS for some delivery.

    5. Which processors/processes do you need/use most in mastering?

    Every song is different and the processing depends on the material so it is hard to say which processes we use the most. Most material does require some eq and some compression and limiting.
     
  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    this is what your essay is about?

    Most of the guys here that master for a living have full range monitors.

    Most of the guys master from file formats, tape, dat, CD's. not too many master from DVD-A or SACD. just not the kind of format you would deliver mixes on.

    Most ship their masters to plants. a few might upload a DDP image.

    most pick their processing based on what's needed, and what's available.
     
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Okay...here we go...

    1. Which type(s) of Monitor-System do you have in your studio?
    (near-/mid-/far-field, no sub/mono-/stereo-sub; stereo/surround, price
    category)


    NHT 2.5i in Front (very linear from 29Hz to 25kHz) with a REL Storm III for those last 5 notes. NHT Super Zero for center, Boston Acoustics for the rear 4 channels. I use these in the traditional far-field combination. Price range -
    Speakers - moderate
    Sub - expensive
    Surrounds - inexpensive (I get only a little surround work and I'm pleased with the balance of these speakers as surrounds.)


    2. In which way and format do you get your mixes from your clients?
    (bitrate, samplerate, way of delivery(internet, audio cd, cd-rom, dat...)


    I would say 95% of what I get is Red Book CDs. I occassionally get 24 bit WAV or AIFF files. Thus far, I have only gotten 1 DAT but several audio cassettes. I also do a lot of business over FTP and internet.


    3. For which media do you have to master?
    (CD-A, DVD-A, DVD-V, SACD...)


    Primarily CD-A. Occassionally DVD-A and DVD-V only SACD to date. Oh...cassette and vinyl too.


    4. In which way and format do you deliver the masters to the plants?
    (CD-A, CD-Rom, DDP; Internet, snail-mail, client...)


    To the plants.....I usually don't deliver them to the plants - usually the client does. However, I have done CD-A, ISO Image of CD, DDP, DDP2 and for clients who want a physical disc, I use FedEx overnight to get their material to them (only Continental US and only with a full album)


    5. Which processors/processes do you need/use most in mastering?


    Hmmm....tough one. I almost always use a digital brick wall limiter if only to protect the final output stage and keep a maximum -.3 dBFS peak. Rarely do I ever use the digital limiter to goose out more gain. EQ is a given - some digital, some analog. Limiting is almost always a given too, but not always (I do a LOT of classical mastering). Occassionally compression if the mix engineer didn't do such a hot job of keeping the mix cohesive. Occassionally some stereo widening and I'm finding that I do a LOT of M/S processing. (Seems like no one knows how to treat a voice anymore!)



    Good luck with your paper!
    Any chance you'll publish it once completed?

    J.
     
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    1). B&W Nautilus 802's. Full range, standard throw, standard dispersion, etc. No subs anymore.

    2). Almost always 24-bit PCM data. Usually on optical media (CD-R, DVD-R, etc.), maybe 20-25% via FTP delivery.

    3). Generally CD-Audio. A bit of audio for video (usually commercial spots) and other miscellany.

    4). CD-A for the most part. DDP here and there. Normally to the label or directly to the artist. Some FTP delivery, although I tend to discourage it to a point - The QC of the final production master is important to me.

    5). There are so many pieces that are "important" that I'm not sure how to answer that... Of course, you need a solid EQ, solid dynamics control and solid conversion. Or are you looking for specifcs...?
     
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'll play along too. :p


    1. Which type(s) of Monitor-System do you have in your studio?
    (near-/mid-/far-field, no sub/mono-/stereo-sub; stereo/surround, price
    category)

    A pair of passive Lipinski L-505's are my mains, with a powered BagEnd Infrasub Pro 12 for the low end, center, under the console. For surround, I have a variety of speakers (several of which I am usually testing for review), but the mainstays are KRK's, Klipsch and Focal S8's (powered).


    2. In which way and format do you get your mixes from your clients?
    (bitrate, samplerate, way of delivery(internet, audio cd, cd-rom, dat...)

    For mixes, we ask for the highest available format in raw wave files they have: usually it's 24/44 for audio, 24/48 for video. DATs are all but disappearing, and we try to get more than just a 16/44 Audio CD for any mastering work. (Again, we prefer 24/44 on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM.) We'll download something in an emergency from the web if time is crucial, but otherwise we'll wait for FEDEx or courier.

    For mastering, we prefer 24/44 or higher stereo mixes, but we've fixed tons of things from old reels, 16/44CDs, DATs, cassettes and vinyl transfers/rescues.



    3. For which media do you have to master?
    (CD-A, DVD-A, DVD-V, SACD...)

    The usual: CD-A for most projects, and DVD-A or sound-for-picture with DVDs. Occasionally we'll provide an MP3 but absolutely NO cassettes or vinyl anymore. (We will not be responsible for all the variations of those formats.)



    4. In which way and format do you deliver the masters to the plants?
    (CD-A, CD-Rom, DDP; Internet, snail-mail, client...)

    We deliver two redbook CD-As to the replicaiton plant in two different brands of blanks, just to be safe. We of course do error checking, but always assume they do their own as well before making the glass master.

    We also provide the same material on CD-ROM in a complete WAV file with track info should they ever have a problem with either CD-A. We also provide a frame-accurate TOC sheet in the package, too (generated via Samplitude/Sequoia). We take no chances because we do NOT want these things coming back, nor do we want a client with 3000 copies of one track hiccuping over and over again.... :x

    Most of our masters for replication go to Discmakers in Pennsauken NJ (we are a studio partner with them) and when they do, they are hand-delivered. (The plant is about 5 miles away, right over the bridge from here, in NJ.) They know us well enough to call immediately if there's any kind of problem with the masters.

    5. Which processors/processes do you need/use most in mastering?
    (Of course Limiting, Compression and EQ.
    But do you prefer plugins or outbourd; digital or analog, and which special things like M/S or very many bands, or multi-band phase-correction...)

    Most of our work is entirely in the box with minimal outboard stuff, as we do mostly acoustic - classical and jazz specifically - music. We also do some pop and rock material or "World" music, and when that's the case, 90% of our plugins and tools do the job wonderfully well. I primarily use and prefer the tools provided with Samplitude/Sequoia (limiting, multiband comp/limit, EQ, reverb, etc.)

    We also use Algorithmix's reNOVAtor for many cleanups and special fixes, as well as their noise reduction and EQ suite. (De-Noise, Declick/crackle, Red and Orange EQs.)


    Hope that helps with your paper.

    Cheers!
     
  7. iq

    iq Guest

    Hello,

    My name is Indra Q @ IQALA Mastering Indonesia
    Link removed

    1. Which type(s) of Monitor-System do you have in your studio?
    (near-/mid-/far-field, no sub/mono-/stereo-sub; stereo/surround, price
    category)

    I was using Tannoy PBM 6.5mkII w/ Crown DC300A. Now I'm using Focal SM8 mid-field & cardas setup. No sub.


    2. In which way and format do you get your mixes from your clients?
    (bitrate, samplerate, way of delivery(internet, audio cd, cd-rom, dat...)

    44.1k to 96k. 16 to 32bit. CD and DVD


    3. For which media do you have to master?
    (CD-A, DVD-A, DVD-V, SACD...)

    CDA only



    4. In which way and format do you deliver the masters to the plants?
    (CD-A, CD-Rom, DDP; Internet, snail-mail, client...)

    CDA, sometimes DAT

    5. Which processors/processes do you need/use most in mastering?
    (Of course Limiting, Compression and EQ.
    But do you prefer plugins or outbourd; digital or analog, and which special things like M/S or very many bands, or multi-band phase-correction...)

    50/50 hardware & software. Some EQ in sw, some EQ in hw (dig.EQ), comp/lim in hw, dither in sw.
     

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