Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pre-flighting an artist's mixes before they go out the door to mastering.

Burning a CD for review, direct from the final WAV 24bit/48kHz mixes.

At the Lantern Sound Recording Rig, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes nuts-and-bolts thoroughness the artist rarely sees. It's boring, tedious stuff, but totally critical to the overall health and sound of the creation. Take the pre-mastering phase of the process, for instance.

Before finished mixes get sent off to mastering, we run them through the pseudo-mastering "Waveburner" software, pictured here. This is a final check-phase where we examine levels, file integrity, sequence, gaps, and peaks to ensure we're giving the mastering house the best possible files we can. We also burn a CD from Waveburner and generate a list of files indicating bit and sample rates, formats, filenames and desired gaps. This is made into a PDF and sent with the files.

We deliver finished mix files, generally, in the original recording spec: 24-bit / 48 kHz WAV format. (CD spec is 16-bit / 44.1 kHz, and the mastering house is the best place to to that down-sampling gear-grinding).

We don't master stuff. We're not a mastering house, we can't generate DDP files. Besides, you REALLY want an unbiased, fresh set of ears with decades of mastering experience caring for your creation.

If you are mixing your creation on headphones, and then "mastering" things yourself, we may need to have an intervention; We have mastering houses we work with regularly.

Here's an interview with mastering icon Bob Ludwig:


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