Chapter 2

Listening Experience

The Mastering Engineer’s Primary Concern

Audio mastering embodies a discipline concerned with enhancing listening experience—how the music affects the listener viscerally, allowing them to experience it inclusive of its attitude, message, melodies, and rhythms. The Mastering Engineer’s adjustments to the audio and their sensitivity to the underlying song sections and performances ideally elevate the listener’s sonic journey. In that regard, final masters should possess, and be checked against, The Eleven Qualities of Superb Audio Fidelity: 1) level/apparent loudness, 2) image, 3) transients, 4) depth, 5) definition, 6) clarity, 7) detail, 8) extension, 9) correct dynamics (micro-dynamics and macro-dynamics), 10) ...

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