Stages of mastering
Professional audio mastering is traditionally considered to be final processing of music mixed beforehand and exported into a single stereo audio file to give a lot more sound purity and loudness. But this conception is one-sided as mixing service tasks are in fact much wider and include both the masteringengineer’s innovative take to idea revelation put into the music by an artist and strictly technical moments: loudness control, artifacts elimination, giving sound of united album, compilation to separated tracks. Professional online mixing and mastering engineer’s tasks also include even track placement as a fixed order requires and putting careful Fade Ins and Fade Outs and a pause between songs. And we get music in a familiar form exactly from his hands. An equalizer and a compressor are far from the first with which all starts during work on an album. To begin with, the professional audio mastering engineer along with the producer puts tracks so that it can constantly heighten listener’s interest to music – for instance, songs create crescendo throughout the whole album. Or he can put tracks in the same tonality successively for more coherent perception of the entire album. And only after the overall picture of the album has been ready, the turn of mastering services in the conventional sense actually comes. It includes the following key stages: noise reduction, multi-band compression of an audio, stereo field shaping, surgical equalization and volume maximization. Since different engineers frequently work on album tracks, professional mastering services tasks involve giving them similar sound through tonal equalization and compression.