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The Mastering Engineer’s Handbook, 3rd Edition by Bobby Owsinski

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6Mastering Techniques

NOW THAT YOU’VE SEEN THE BASIC PHILOSOPHY OF MASTERING, LET’S TACKLE THE CREATIVE ASPECTS. The actual mechanics of mastering can be broken down into a number of functions, namely maximizing the level of a song or songs, adjusting the frequency balance if necessary, performing any editing, adding fades and spreads, and inserting PQ codes, ISRC codes, and metadata.

What really separates the upper-echelon mastering engineers from the rest is the ability to make the music (any kind of music) as big and loud and tonally balanced as possible, but with the taste to know how far to take those operations. The mastering related DAW functions that they use, on the other hand, are somewhat mechanical and usually don’t get the same amount ...

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