Tag Archives: mastering

Mastering basics

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The basic goal of mastering is to make the mastered sound feel as the artist or mix-down engineer listens think “It sounds better than the mix, although it is not much different from the mix.” Of course, if the mix itself sounds awful, this is not the case.

So, the most important of the basic techniques of mastering is listening to the mix you receive to determine what is extra and what is missing. Specifically, the following points are carefully judged while listening to the sound source.

・ Aren’t there any frequencies that jumped out somewhere?
・ Does unnecessary frequency do not pile up and muddy the whole?
・ Is the high end and the low end sufficient or not too high?
・ Is the presence of main vocals and instruments enough?
・ Is the spread of sound enough?
・ Is it necessary to apply a compressor all over?
・ Is the volume sufficient compared to commercial CDs?

At this time, the criteria for judgment also change depending on the direction of the song or artist, so it is necessary to closely check with the artist or producer about the target sound. In the case of an artist who is new to mastering, I always try to listen to a song that the artist likes and wants to make this sound.

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The Difference between Mixdown and Mastering

mix down & mastering by Yasuharu Nagura | the highest sound quality with 44.100 kHz, 16 bit, wav file

“Mixdown” is to adjust the volume and sound quality of each instrument in the song. It is like rasping on furniture. Because each musical instrument is played on a separate track, each unit can be raised and lowered. You can apply echo and other effects to songs. You can also adjust the pitch of the song.

Making the final polishing work is called “mastering”. Throughout the album, it is to match volume and sound quality so that you do not feel uncomfortable even if you listen to each song. It is like painting varnish on furniture. You can adjust the sound pressure using designated software. Currently, there are mastering service by artificial intelligence.