[LAU] Linux mastering services?

fons at kokkinizita.net fons at kokkinizita.net
Mon Mar 29 15:38:53 EDT 2010

On Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 11:31:45AM -0700, Ken Restivo wrote:

> Ding-ding-ding-ding!! That's what I suspected all along, and my reading so far confirms it.

> So far, it seems like what is today called "mastering", is what back in the day, used to call MIXING. Keeping the levels consistent. Making sure all the frequency ranges are well-represnented. Hauling out any annoying peaks or resonances. Resolving conflicts between sounds in a frequency range. I believe this should all be done with faders and EQ and compressors IN THE MIX.
> And, yes, to do it properly, it helps to have years of experience and lots of expensive equipment. But that used to be called MIXING, and it happened before printing to 2-track 30ips tape and handing that to the mastering engineer (who would hand the mastered tape to a cutting engineer, who'd make an acetate test pressing and hand that back to you).
> So far, from everything I've read recently (and remember from way back then), mastering was just making sure the needle didn't jump out of the grooves when ths vynil LP was pressed-- squeezing the dynamic and frequency ranges to deal with the limitations of vynil.
> I suspect that once the CD era came along, mastering engineers found themselves more or less out of a job, until the home and project studio explosion, when people would walk in with all kinds of crappy mixes done by amateurs on lousy equipment, and the mastering engineers found a new source of income in trying to fix these lousy mixes at the mastering stage. Which I could imagine would definitely not be easy, and would require a tremendous amount of skill and expertise (and patience).
> And then of course we got into the "loudness wars" era, where everything is supposed to have all its sounds between -2 and 0 db. "Make it sound louder than so-and-so's record".
> But back to your point, I agree: if the mixes are well-done, mastering should just be maybe applying a final blast of compression using the engineer's favorite compressor-of-choice. Done, that'll be US$500 please.

Couldn't agree more.



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