With audio, as with computers, the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” holds true. The final audio quality of any production absolutely relies on the quality of the original recordings. Ensuring you have the best quality source material is the first and most important step you can take to guarantee the quality of the final compressed sound you serve on your web site. All web audio encoders produce better files when clean source material is used to convert. Finally, remember that every extra hour spent optimizing your recording environment or adjusting the recording levels can save you at least three hours in the editing studio.
After reading this chapter, you should know what equipment you need and how to avoid the pitfalls of poor-quality source material. Now that you have your audio source material, let’s take a look at how to optimize and prepare your sound files for the Web. Chapter 4 teaches you practical editing and mastering tricks to enhance poorly recorded sound files or to make a good recording sound even better.