CHAPTER 1Overview of Mastering and the Typical Session

Overview of Mastering

It takes several stages of production to create the recordings we know and love. These include songwriting, recording/tracking, mixing, and mastering. Mastering, the last step, is the finalization of audio recordings and the preparation for their final medium. Where mixing involves working with individual tracks, mastering usually involves working with stereo mixes, which are just two channels, left and right. What exactly happens during mastering? There are three primary processes—equalization, compression, and limiting. Then, usually compact discs [CDs, or Disc Description Protocol (DDP) files used to manufacture CDs], MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III files (more commonly ...

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