Jon Crowley, Joe Marciano, Max Ross
Blog #11 Mastering
Wednesday(4/29/09) I went in and we did all the mastering for the CD. Before doing this record I had always heard people talk about 'mastering' and honestly had NO idea what it really was.
Mastering is essentially making what will be the final CD. One thing done during mastering is the boosting of all the levels of the tracks to commercial standards(normal volumes you'd hear on a CD). All of the mixes and sample tracks I had been listening too, I was basically cranking my stereo as loud as it would go to get a normal volume. I'm not sure why the recordings are done at a lower volume, but boosting the volumes of the tracks is one thing that happens in mastering. We also made some small adjustments of volume on a few spots on the record(one song had a louder B section, so we boosted that).
Another thing that happens during the making of the final CD is determining the space between each track. Mike(the engineer) and I listened to the ends of each track and then the beginnings of the next track and 'felt out' what where to start the next song. This wasn't necessarily a scientific process, nor did it involve arbitrarily putting a 4 second gap between songs. Each space between songs was different and we adjusted the space in to make the tracks flow into each other the most naturally.
There is also some balancing done during mastering. Essentially the tracks are balanced to EACH OTHER, that way the listener doesn't have to keep turning his CD player up and down when the CD moves from quiet songs to loud songs.
After we finished all this, I had my final CD. I got a copy of the "Plant Masters" and a copy of the "Reference CD". The "Plant Masters" is what I will sent to the CD replicator to get my CD copied. But first I will need to make final decisions on my Art Work and wait to hear back from ASCAP about the publishing.
I'm listening to the CD right now and I can't say enough good things about Systems 2 studios. They did an amazing job with the recording, Thanks guys!!!