Digital Audio Mastering with Ozone
Definitely, the process of creating good sound is a lengthy one; but with a great deal of patience and dedication, one would attain the final goal – mastering. In practice, mastering is the final step in sound processing – as you will find out in this book: Digital Audio Mastering with Ozone.
In fact, before anyone thinks of mastering, he should have already performed other important operations, such as microphone placements, recording, mixing and mix-down. There are many reasons why this final step, in sound processing, is required:
- The need to boost the overall loudness of the track without causing clipping as normalizers do. There is a need for tonal balance, significant loudness consistency across the entire album – from one track to the other
- The need to add brilliance and sparkle at the top of the mix. Using equalizers at this stage will only induce harshness and noise into the mix;
- The need to add more liveliness, fatness or fullness to the tracks to meet the commercial standards without squashing the sound. The tempting solution is the use of compressors;
- The low-end may require some punch. Equalization, in this case, will not give the desired results. It would rather add rumble to the mix;
- All the individual instruments have their sonic space, yet they need to blend together to sound as one entity. The time for panning is over;
- The need for the tracks to be duplication-ready, stored in the required delivery formats.
In this book, Digital Audio Mastering with Ozone, Izotope Ozone is used to illustrate some basic mastering skills and tricks. This mastering plug-in is very flexible and easy to use in the sense that almost all the mastering processors and effects are in the application module.
Before you roundup the mastering session, take note of the following:
- Listen to your mix from different positions of the room, even behind the doors.
- Make several master samples and then test them on different systems: computer speakers, loudspeakers, headphones, earphones/pods, car players, etc. This will give you the idea of how the final master should sound.
- Always check for mono/stereo compatibility; and find out what happens to the sound when you inter-invert the speakers’ polarity.
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