CD mastering is the very important final stage and phase in audio production. This happens long after musician writes the song and records it and even has that song turned into a final mix and that final mix is sent off to the CD mastering engineer to be completed. There are so many different misnomers and misunderstandings about what goes into CD mastering which is why a lot of musicians overlook it and ignore it because they simply don’t know why it’s important.
Let’s talk about what goes in the CD mastering and how and why it will improve your recording.
First off, CD mastering is used to create the CD file itself which will get sent off for replication. This means setting the spaces between tracks, ensuring they flow into each other in the style and manner which the artist wants, and very importantly ensuring that the volume levels for all of those various final mixes which make up every song on the album are at parity volume wise with one another.
CD mastering also writes data to the album as a whole and every track which comprises the. This is information such as ISR or UPC codes and even copyright and artist information. Ultimately CD mastering exists to ensure that the final product which get sent off for replication is flawless so that there are no issues when you have that CD sent off to be replicated.
The most important aspect of CD mastering is in the touching up and enhancing of the audio itself. Once a particular song has been rendered into its final mix, that mix is sent the mastering engineer and further plug-ins and effects are applied in order to give it a more polished and professional sound. This includes using compression to give the entire song a more unified feel without sacrificing the extremes in the next as well as applying equalization to bring out different sections in that mix and make them more prominent.
The overall end result and effect can be likened to removing the shrink-wrap around the song which existed before so that the sound comes through more clearly and with more clarity and crispness. If you have never heard one of your songs after an effective audio mastering job, you won’t believe how much better it can make your audio sound which is what it’s all about, delivering the best possible final product to your listeners.