Mastering is the final phase of the recording process. After a track is mixed down from multitrack into a single stereo left/right signal, Mastering is used to adjust the final levels, EQ and sound compression.
This is crucial because the track will be played through many different types of speakers, headphones and radio broadcasts so the final product needs to have a great sound regardless of what sound system is used. Well mastered tracks that sound good on everything they are played through are called tracks that “travel” or “translate” well.
Quality equipment used is very important. If inferior sound equipment/speakers are used, mastering becomes useless as things will not “Translate” from your studio to other sound systems well. lets go over some gear, Much of it is very similar to those in the “Pro studio set up” ,just a little more high end since audio quality is so important when it comes to mastering.
The Jbl LSR series are highly regarded in the pro audio industry for their brilliant sound and exeptional value. Try your very best to find a bad review anywhere, you wont. LSR’s are simply stunning weather being used at home or in a commercial high end recording studio.
One aspect of successful mastering is having your monitors referenced to the room your in. These actually have an automated room correction system built in. this topic is covered extensively in our ebook
Featuring RMC Room Mode Correction, JBL’s exclusive technology that automatically analyzes and corrects the response of each speaker in the room for absolute accuracy at the mix position. The first studio monitors with powerful network intelligence built into each speaker specifically designed to deliver an accurate mix in any room, the LSR4300′s are the ultimate monitor for modern production studios.
The LSR4300 models feature stunning JBL sound, provide accurate mixes in any workspace, and are priced well within the reach of any project studio. The first self aware monitoring system, they’re the only choice for music, post, broadcast, Surround 5.1, and beyond.
- The first studio monitors that automatically analyze room acoustics and adjust to compensate.
- 8″ LF woofer, 1″ HF tweeter. Self-Shielded, Neodymium Motor Structures.
- 150 watts LF, 70 watts HF. +4dB sensitivity. Digital Processing 24 Bit, 96 kHz.
- Analog Inputs XLR, 1/4 Balanced, +4 dBU, -10 dBV. Digital Inputs AES/EBU XLR, S/PDIF RCA.
- Includes wireless remote and analysis microphone, as well as LSR Control Center software.
As with the LSR monitors, the LSR sub woofer knocks the socks off of everything else not only its price range but pro sub woofers costing thousands
Added to a stereo system, the JBL LSR2310SP Powered Studio Subwoofer extends the low frequency response of the system below 30Hz. In a surround sound system the sub provides stunning reproduction of the LFE (low frequency effects) channel. The LSR2310SP is packed with professional features including two sets of balanced XLR, balanced 1/4 inch and unbalanced RCA input connectors, selectable crossover settings and two sets of balanced outputs to allow connection of Left and Right main speakers. A detented level control allows independent adjustment of the subwoofer output to balance the subwoofer in your system. JBL LSE2310SP Powered Studio Subwoofer Features 180 Watts 2 sets of balanced XLR, balanced 1/4 inch and unbalanced RCA input connectors Magnetic Shielding Level Control
- JBL long-excursion 10″ woofer with high-flux motor for accurate, extended low frequency response below 28 Hz
- 180 watt internal amplifer provides high SPL (Sound Pressure Level) for demanding production applications
- Professional bass management system with selectable cross-over settings to optimize low frequency performance in a range of production environments
- Balanced XLR, 1/4″ and unbalanced RCA connectors with variable detented level attenuator allows interface to a broad range of signal sources
- Extends low frequency of any speaker system for deep accurate bass in stereo and surround sound applications
Premium digital audio interfacing is a must when using a pro top of the line monitoring system such as the LSR series, and benchmark brings it. Pro studios all over the world rely on the benchmark DAC series to produce those huge top 40 hits.
Benchmark’s DAC1 USB is a reference-quality, 2-channel 192-kHz 24-bit digital-to-analog audio converter featuring Benchmark’s Advanced USB Audio technology, UltraLock clock system, and HPA2 headphone amplifier. The pristine audio path of the award-winning DAC1 has made it the Benchmark of stand-alone D/A converters. It was a Stereophile Product of the Year for 2004. “You can’t find much more in the way of a high-end audio bargain than the Benchmark DAC1,” raved the magazine. The DAC1 USB looks sounds and measures the same as the DAC1 with added benefits of convenience, flexibility, and performance. In the January 2008 issue of Stereophile, John Atkinson reports, “Used via USB from my Mac mini and from its conventional data inputs, the DAC1 USB is a superb-sounding device.” And what about the built-in headphone amplifier? “The fact that it has an excellent-sounding headphone output with two choices of maximum gain makes it a bargain,” Atkinson continues. “Very highly recommended.” The DAC1 USB includes a unique USB input with bit-transparent native 96 / 24 capability, a programmable mute function, programmable headphone gain range, automatic standby / resume, and a high-current output stage designed to drive long cables or low-impedance loads, such as high-end power-amps. A true plug-and-play solution, the DAC1 USB begins playback immediately after the unit is connected to a USB port for the first time. A digital audio path can be tested to determine if the digital data is being modified or distorted in any way. This is done by sending a random sequence of bits through the path, and comparing the resulting sequence with the original sequence. If the resulting sequence is identical to the original, the path is ‘bit-transparent’. Benchmark’s USB technology is the first native USB solution capable of streaming 96 kHz, 24-bit audio with full ‘bit-transparency’.
- USB, XLR balanced, BNC coaxial, and TOSLINK optical digital inputs
- Compatible with Windows Vista/XP/2000 and Mac OS X without driver installation
- Advanced USB Audio technology supports sample rates up to 96 kHz
- Automatic “Standby Mode” – activated after 15 seconds of loss of digital input signal
- Front-panel volume control for headphone outputs
Though the price might seem high for only 2 channels of audio, the price is well worth the pristine signal quality offered. Compromise is not an option when it comes to your finished product
The Variable Mu Limiter/Compressor is the GLUE that holds the mix together and crystallizes it into a professional, final product. All-tube, all transformer, an all-American legend. High Pass Side Chain mod now comes standard.
- Fully differential all-tube circuitry, plus custom-wound Manley input & output transformers for that big MANLEY sound!
- Dual Input knob lets you find your favorite balance between cleanliness and full-on saturation
- Independently regulated B+ and heater power supplies for maximum performance
- Dual Input, Attack, Recovery, Threshold, Output, LINK, and High-Pass side-chain filter for versatility
- Unit is hand-wired with silver solder and audiophile-grade componentry
Two channels for stereo! Manley’s modern take on the Pultec EQ with extra frequencies the original never had; a vastly superior power supply and famous Manley line amps complete the package. Magic on kick drum, killer on guitars.
- Custom-wound MANLEY input and output transformers with nickel laminations in mu-metal cases for that big MANLEY sound!
- Vacuum tubes are hand-selected for low noise and excellent reliability
- Unit is hand-wired with silver solder and audiophile-grade componentry
- Can be used completely transformerless when purity and transparancy are desired
- Auto-Mute with warm-up delay to protect your valuable equipment (and ears)
For a comprehensive guide to mastering like a pro pickup a copy of the official recording secrets ebook.