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Mastering Book

Audio Mastering - Essential Practices

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Author: Jonathan Wyner

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Table of Contents

A Brief History
How To Develop Golden Ears
What Is Mastering?
Learning To Master
What Is A Master?
The Contemporary Mastering Mindset
What Are The Goals Of Mastering?
Loudness
Tour of a Mastering Studio: Rooms, Gear, Software
The Mastering Studio
Project/Home Studios
Gear
Analog
Digital Vs. Analog: Does Digital Sound Cold?
The Mastering Process: Life Cycle of a Project
Deliverables
Project Assessment
Matching Gear To Projects
File Setup
DAW Session Setup
Project Assessment
Reference Recordings
Prioritizing Tracks
Adjusting The Sound
The Signal Processing Chain
Track Editing
Revisions
Metadata And Q/C
Maximizing Fidelity
File Types And Structures
Bits, Dynamic Range, And Dither
Sample Rate
Matching Levels: Volume, Metering, Limiting, and A/B Listening
How To Determine Level
0 VU Vs. 0 DBFS
Complex Signal Chains And A/B Listening
Compression
Noise Floor
How Compressors Work
Using Compression
Limiting
Determining Settings
0 DBFS
Distortion
Dynamic Range
Dynamic Range Over A Record
Is It Better To Compress In Mixing Or Mastering?
Customizing Gear
Specialized Compression Techniques
Upwards Compression
Upwards Expansion
The Sound Of Compression
Mastering With Presets
EQ: Corrective and Creative
What EQ Does
Types Of EQ
Fades and Sequencing

Time between Tracks
Denoising
Restoring Recordings: Ethics And Aesthetics
Quality Control and

Delivery Formats
Digital Data And Error Correction
Evaluating A Master For Errors
Metadata
Red Book Standard
Mastering For The Web
PQ Offsets
File Headers
Monitoring And QC
Case Study 1:

Big Money
Setup
Listening
Gain Staging
Tonal Issues
EQ
Stereo Image
Case Study 2: Continuity between Tracks
Analyzing Tracks
Transition Between Tracks
Plug-In Chain: EQ-Compressor-EQ
Specs of Common Delivery Formats
About The Author

Improve the sound of your recordings!

Mastering is the art of optimizing recorded sound, finding the ideal volume levels and tonal quality, and insuring data integrity necessary to produce a professional-quality duplication and distribution-ready master.

This book introduces the techniques and tools of audio mastering, suitable for commercial and home/project studio environments. Technical discussions address gear, studio setup, methodologies, goals, and other considerations for making tracks sound their best, individually and in relationship to other tracks.

The accompanying online recording has audio examples that support two detailed case studies where readers can follow a mastering engineer's manipulations step by step.

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