Audio Mastering: Essential Practices is now on the shelves of the internet near you. I sincerely hope some find it interesting and informative. I've attempted to give some perspective on what mastering is (at least as I see it). In my mind it isn't mysterious, or magical, but it IS a discipline that requires practice and understanding. This is my contribution to help point people in the direction towards all the above.
If you are willing, I would be pleased to have reviews posted on Amazon and elsewhere and happy to receive feedback.
Once again the folks from the Dynamic Range Day website are doing the good work to make people aware of the damage done by applying hyper-compression and limiting to audio mixes, and reminding everyone that they have a level control on their playback system!
I applaud those efforts. To that end there are changes in playback tools and platforms that result in a ‘level playing field’ when it comes to matching level of various material. Those changes will require mix engineers to re-evaluate their work and reconsider what goes into making a track sound ‘good and loud’.
Back in the day, before the advent of the digital limiter, it was awfully clear who was good at making loud records. Hypercompression was obvious and brickwall limiting sounded terrible. I suspect we’re heading back in that direction so to that end, here’s a video with a brief overview of the subject. There’s much more to be said of course…..
What makes a mix good and loud?
My good friends and allies at iZotope care about making great tools to make great music. To that end they keep working at improving the products they create. They also are committed to education. They educate themselves about what is important to the professional production community, they are keenly focused on understanding best practices and making sure that the tools they develop honor those. They also offer knowledge freely to their users and that's where we come in.
In the course of working for almost 30 years as a mastering engineer I have developed my own perspective on the practice and had the good fortune to be able to teach at Berklee College and Berkleemusiconline.com and also write about it. When iZotope asked if I would help them refine some of the online resources on the topic I jumped at the chance and so, today iZotope is releaseing the new improved mastering guide. It's a free document that gives some tips on using their tools but more to the point, some good starting point information about how to think about using the tools to accomplish the task of mastering. These perspectives are generally applicable, not applying only to iZotope's Ozone.
I gratefully acknowledge a few of my mastering brethren who were gracious enough to offer some bits of wisdom that are included in the document: Scott Hull, Greg Calbi, Adam Ayan, Bob Ohlsson, Marc Dieter-Einstmann and Michael Romanowski.
You can find the guide and the announcement by following this link:
I hope you enjoy....and stay tuned for my book on mastering coming in May via Berklee Press/Hal Leonard.
Well it has been busy beyond belief. I'm not usually one for hyperbole but in this case I really mean it. Fortunately all this business is starting to bear some fruit. Two upcoming items:
I shot a video for iZotope offering some tips and perspective to the DIY crowd. I got a little help from a few of my mastering brethren namely:
Bob Ohlsson and
Marc Dieter Einstmann
I also helped iZotope re-write and reorganize their online mastering guide and
lastly but not leastly,
my book is coming out in May, published by Hal Leonard via Berkleepress. More news as each of these moments goes by. Needless to say it's pretty exciting!