Chapter 16

In-the-Box Considerations

An all-digital in-the-box (ITB) mastering setup, whereby all processing is done with plug-ins, represents a worthwhile approach to explore. With an ITB system, you can work with one DAW that can function as both the PBDAW and the RDAW. Naturally, ITB mastering requires a digital source file. Benefits of ITB are: cost-effectiveness, easy recall, and a minimized mastering footprint on the source audio—as neither a DA converter (other than for DAW monitoring) an AD converter, nor expensive outboard equipment, are necessary.

Drawbacks

Among drawbacks are that the result may lack some depth, dimension, frequency extension, and vitality. My experiments comparing the same source file mastered through a hybrid digital/analog ...

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