Working in a recording studio - Mastering

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In this section we will briefly describe the mastering process: the "trimming and perfecting" stage in a final mix. In other words, once the mixdown has taken place we act upon the Left and Right signal on the mix bus.

There are various possible operations that can take place. The following are the most important ones, bearing in mind that in order to master... mastering, a separate book would have to be written on the topic.

  • Noise reduction: applies noise reduction [Noise reduction ] algorithms.

  • Limiting: limits the signal's amplitude to never go over a certain threshold [Limiter ] .

  • Gating: application of a gate onto the signal to eliminate possible background noise when there is silence [Gate ] .

  • Differentiated compression for different frequency bands: every frequency band in the mix is compressed according to different parameters, so as to keep up with each band's transients. [Compressor ] .

  • Level normalization: adaptation of the original level so that the signal occupies all the available dynamic [Dynamic range ] on the support system chosen for the recording of the master.

  • Parametric equalization: fine adjustment of the equalizing curve [Parametric equalizers ] .

  • Format conversion: re-sampling at a different frequency than the original one, or also, conversion of the number of bits that determine the quantization intervals [Quantization ] .

  • Intervention on the stereo image: use of sophisticated algorithms to widen or simply enrich the mix's stereo image [Binaural reproduction techniques ]


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