– Mastering in a broad sense – the process of producing something, during which a copy of the product is created from the source materials, which is the standard when replicating, and therefore is also called a master copy.
Mastering in sound recording performs the important task of finalizing one or more tracks for the chosen sound concept. Such “adjustment” is carried out on the basis of:
– a specific carrier for subsequent reproduction. As a rule, for each type of mastering is done (for a cassette, “vinyl”, CD, broadcast on the radio);
– the required sound level: when mastering the entire album, all tracks will be adjusted to similar principles of sound, volume, frequency, bass, so that all the compositions of the album sound in the overall musical picture and are harmonious with each other.
Distinguish between analog and digital mastering, the fundamental difference between which is the way it is carried out.
In analog mastering, the entire editing of a sound track is carried out using special devices (premium compressors, equalizers, band-pass filters, etc.). This type of mastering undoubtedly has an advantage over digital, as it leaves the soundtrack “alive”, gives it a characteristic color and gives it a special sound.
With digital mastering, the entire editing is carried out in a digital environment, as a rule, within a computer system using special programs. This kind of mastering may not always please the discerning musician, as it often makes the sound “flat”.
Thus, mastering is designed to solve the following problems:
- The recorded and mastered track will sound almost the same on different equipment (on home speakers, in the car, etc.).
- The correct formulation of the sound concept is the readability of all instruments and their optimal placement in the track , as well as in the album as a whole.
- Achieve brand and quality sound.
However, with all the miraculous properties of mastering, you should be aware that some recording and mixing flaws cannot be corrected even by the best sound engineers and on the most high-class equipment: poor-quality recording; strong and excessive sound compression; information errors in the form of an imbalance in the balance of instruments; fake performance ..