Skip to main content

Anyone affiliated with a Mastering Studio?

I just have a few questions.

*Signal processors. When you receive someone's mix, how do you feed it back into the DAW? Do you go through a set number of compressors or EQ's first before you processes it internally or what? Where does the audio start from, from a CD source or from the harddrive? Then comes the editing, explain please.

*What if the original mix is reasonably big but you just want to add just a bit more on each band. What would you do? External compression, multi band widening? If so, wouldn't that allow the entire track to clip?

Please explain. I'd like to know :)


RemyRAD Sat, 05/06/2006 - 22:00
I think you will find that professional products are delivered on a myriad of different formats. Some come in on analog tape, 1/4", 1/2", 1 inch. Some folks even send their stuff in on CDDA audio CDs that are only 16-bit 44.1kHz but that does not keep a mastering engineer from optimizing that. While other type of data storage like DVD RAM, DLT, hard drives, etc. are also utilized, since they can handle higher bit rate and sampling frequencies, that cannot be provided on an audio CD. Although you can provide higher resolution audio as ".wav" and "AIFF" files that are stored on a CD ROM or DVD ROM, which the mastering engineer can also utilize.

If you are an actual mastering engineer and product comes in on a digital storage device and you dumped it into your computer workstation, you will in all probability also have a quality audio interface that is absolutely necessary when doing mastering and you would have the ability, if so desired, to feed those high-quality outputs into your hardware based compressor/limiters, equalizers and such and then loop back into your quality audio interface and finished within the software of the professionals own choosing. Simple, yes? No! Certainly not if you don't know what you're doing.

It is also not the mastering engineer's job to edit anything, unless so requested.

"add just a bit more on each band" I assume you mean band as in frequencies? Any competent mastering professional knows how to equalize whatever frequencies they wish without clipping anything. Frequently when you equalize things you are obviously increasing or decreasing levels at certain frequencies and so you have to also adjust the levels overall to prevent any clipping. This could cause a loss of level or an increase in level? Sometimes, artful intelligent clipping can be utilized under certain conditions but generally it is not a very nice sounding thing in digital unless it's done for a reason.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "multi-band widening"? If you're referring to multiband dynamics modifications, that is just another process of compression/limiting that is frequency weighted and as such is still compression and limiting that generally prevents clipping if it is properly adjusted and set up.

Bottom line is, if you don't know what you're doing you can clip everything. If you to know what you're doing, you won't.

I hope this answers some of your questions?

What's that wire do?
Ms. Remy Ann David

XTREEMMAK Mon, 05/08/2006 - 10:16

Sounds good to me. So (I'm guessing) it sounds like the best source for the loop back starting point would be on the DAW's harddrive (just rip the media from the CD....then again it may not matter)?

So to eliminate frequency clips that exist on the given track, you'd run it through an external EQ?