CD MASTERING

The Acceptable Standard

The Following Steps

Adjust overall level to commercial standards consistent with good dynamics

Insure a consistent level from song to song

Signal processing (compression & EQ) as required

Stereo imaging/widening

Resequence songs

Spacing between songs adjusted for proper timing

Noise (tape hiss, clicks, pops, etc.) removed from songs when possible

Clean the beginning and end of each song as needed

Remove noise from spacing between songs

Digital Editing to correct various problems

Assemble and burn final masters to Red Book specifications (required by CD replicators)

The Following Options

CD Text

ISRC Codes

Universal Product Code/Media Catalog Number

Turn Around Time, Test CD, And Client Approval

Delivering Masters On The Standard CD-R Format

CD Mastering

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Compact Disc Mastering is the final and critical stage just prior to the point of disc replication. Mastering typically involves evaluating and making alterations to the overall tone and dynamics as well as attending to the sequence timing, noise removal, subcode placement and inclusion of CD text. Most mastering studios provides the perfect combination of high-end analog hardware as well as state-of-the-art digital signal processors to achieve the desired end result. Clients are welcome to be in attendance while the work is performed or material can be sent and received by mail or FTP transfer.

Compact Discs allow mastering in both audio and data formats, and also allow for remixing of the content. A master disc may also be referred to as a "Gold Master or "Glass Master" derived from the gold and glass presses that imprint vinyl LPs and silicon CDs respectively.

A Compact Disc or CD is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. The CD, available on the market since late 1982, remains the standard playback medium for commercial audio recordings to the present day, though it has lost ground in recent years to MP3 players.

An audio CD consists of one or more stereo tracks stored using 16-bit PCM coding at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz. Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 mm and can hold approximately 80 minutes of audio. There are also 80 mm discs, sometimes used for CD singles, which hold approximately 20 minutes of audio.

The technology was later adapted for use as a data storage device, known as a CD-ROM, and to include record-once and re-writable media (CD-R and CD-RW respectively). CD-ROMs and CD-Rs remain widely used technologies in the computer industry as of 2007. The CD and its extensions have been extremely successful: in 2004, the worldwide sales of CD audio, CD-ROM, and CD-R reached about 30 billion discs. By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide.

CD Mastering Presentation

Mastering determines the perception listeners will have of your CD. It's all in the presentation. Mastering glues everything together (EQ, dynamics, levels, fades, etc.) so your CD is presented as a collective work, not just a collection of individual songs. Mastering will enhance the presentation of your mix so it will make the best possible impression on the listener. Making a good impression is important, especially if the listener is someone who can help advance your music career to the next level.

Mastering is the process of transferring the final mix recordings of your music, spoken word, etc, into a "master" that is acceptable for replication or playback. Some of the steps of the mastering process are straightforward (sequence the songs into the right order, convert from tape or DAT to a Compact Disc, fade and edit songs, adjust levels so that one is not louder than another unnecessarily). However, making your recording sound like a master is a whole different ball game.

Mastering is usually completed within 7 business days. When mastering has been completed, clients receive a "test CD." The "test CD" provides the client with the opportunity to approve the master, or request changes.

Clients receive two CD-Rs after approving a "Final Burn." A replication master and a reference CD. Clients will also receive a "Master Track Log." The log references the CDs PQ Codes, required by replicators, and if requested, CD Text & ISRC Codes.