Mastering continues to be one of the tantalizing pursuits on which musicians want to be dexterous. With decades and development of technology, the mastering procedure has been the subject to colossal changes that made it further impossible to delineate out a precise learning method. Yes, you can enroll in music mastering course or scour the internet to learn about the steps before mastering your own album but the professionals have spelled out the importance of ‘experience’ in mastering. Without extensive practice, it’s virtually impossible to master the processes, moreover, innate creativity is another prerequisite.
It is truly said mastering is the concoction of science and creativity, technology irrefutably plays an important role but the artistic feel, taste of the person is also crucial. While music is a pure art form, the way instruments resonate and the right application of compression, equalization techniques are deeply rooted in science or better say the understanding and knowledge of these technical forces. Being an enthusiastic musician, you must be eager to explore the art of mastering process but before you start investing your time, it’s important to weigh up the viability of hiring professional mixing and mastering service and learning the skill. As its mentioned earlier music mastering process has undergone myriad of changes let’s have a basic glimpse on them-
Evolution of Audio Mastering
Though the basic work remains the same that is to prep up the album but the methods, related technology and tools have undergone transition. Initially audio mastering was designed to ensure a set of mixes would work impeccably on the vinyl format and in addition to that the music of the album was sometimes be tweaked to make it compatible for radio broadcast that was crucial for the promotion of the artists and the record albums.
In the era of vinyl records, owing to the two sides of the vinyl disc the song order was a cautiously weighted decision. It was important to determine whether the song would belong to side A or B and the total running time, the sequence of the song was decided in several ways specifically considering certain vibe or feeling.
Nowadays, the final mixes need to be sent via a hard drive, data storage device or FTP, no matter whichever media you have chosen be sure it must be on a format on which the mastering engineer can work unhindered. A clearly perceptible sound will help them to discern the flaws existed in the mix. You must be wondering how people in earlier days brought the mix to the mastering studio before the invention of such advanced data transfer procedure, prior the advancement and widespread use of computer, analogue tape was the medium to record and store the final mix. In the era of 80, digital tape took its place; the final mixes were recorded in digital tape in Reel-to-Reel format. The transfer process has been simplified over the decades, a greater part of the final mixes is now sent as digital audio files storing a hard drive and this has significantly eliminated the necessity of analogue to digital conversion. The most remarkable change in mastering technology came with the launch of compact disc in the year 1982; it completely changed the customary mastering techniques. Now with the commence of mastering music online it’s better to discuss with the mastering engineer about his preferred medium or simply follow the instructions mentioned on their website before you send the mix.