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For musicians who want to release a single or an album to the general public, music mastering is a vital step in the recording process.  However, for those new to the recording industry this step can often be misunderstood or mistaken for mixing, a completely separate process.  The process of music mastering occurs right before you produce your CD or MP3.  It is the final music file that houses your completely mixed product.  CD Mastering is what makes the sound of your music perfect so it is ready for production and release to the public. 


Why is Music Mastering Important?


A musician starts with writing the music and lyrics to a song.  It is then performed in a recording studio and all the tracks are laid down.  The singer and each of the musicians record their part.  It is then mixed and finally mastered.  The levels of each track are analyzed and optimized for depth, sound and volume.   Once this is complete the entire song is improved and sounds better.  Mastering is a fine tuning process that takes the raw music and refines it so it is ready for distribution and broadcast.


Who is Responsible for Music Mastering?


A mastering engineer is the person who takes the raw music and refines it to ready it for distribution.  Most highly sought after and successful mastering engineers have a mix of both education and experience.  An engineer may go to school to learn about arrangement and production and some may possess an audio engineering degree.  They also have to have extensive knowledge of the equipment used and how to tweak the music using it.  But a mastering engineer’s most valuable tool is their ear.  They have to know what does and does not sound good and how to fix it.  Often minute tweaks are made to individual tracks that may not even be discernable by most but when taken as a whole the entire work is vastly improved.


Equipment:  The Final Aspect of Music Mastering


The artist and mastering engineer typically work closely together to get the desired result but the final aspect involved in making the master come together is the equipment that is used.  The engineer uses particular pieces of equipment to isolate and process the individual tracks and bring them together into the final product.  The equipment gives an added dimension to the aural skills of the engineer.  It will show levels visually so the refinement process can be as precise as possible so the finished product is as perfect as possible. 


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This entry was posted on Friday, June 25th, 2010 at 11:07 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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