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The Mastering Engineer’s Handbook: The Audio Mastering Handbook, Second Edition

Book Description

This completely updated edition of the bestselling Mastering Engineer's Handbook provides a thorough exploration of the mastering process for virtually any kind of audio program, utilizing insights from the world's top mastering engineers. The book is a treasure-trove of knowledge, with an overview of the history, tools, and philosophy behind mastering as well as complete reference information for all audio delivery formats in use today. Peek inside a top-flight mastering house and see how their methods can now be yours. Explore the secrets of making hot masters, the rules of compression and frequency balancing, and how to mix with mastering in mind. Investigate how optical discs, such as CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and beyond, work and how they're made. Discover the trick to making great-sounding MP3s and streaming audio. Examine multichannel surround mastering for film and television. You'll even relive mastering history with a separate chapter about mastering for vinyl and how records are pressed. Throughout the book, legendary mastering engineers share experiences, tips, and tricks with you through every step of the process. The final section of the book features interviews with mastering giants such as Bernie Grundman, Bob Ludwig, Glenn Meadows, Doug Sax, and more.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Introduction
    1. Meet the Mastering Engineers
  5. I. The Mechanics of Mastering
    1. 1. What Exactly Is Mastering?
      1. Some History
      2. From Vinyl to the CD and Beyond
      3. Why Master Anyway?
      4. Why It Sounds So Good When the Pros Do It
      5. Experience Is the Key
    2. 2. Some Digital Audio Basics
      1. Sample Rate and Word Length
      2. Standard Audio File Formats
      3. Data Compression
    3. 3. Tools for Mastering
      1. Common Elements
        1. The Signal Path
        2. The Digital Detangler
        3. The Monitor System
        4. The Acoustic Environment
        5. Monitors
        6. On the Bottom
        7. Subwoofers
          1. Single Subwoofer Placement and Adjustment Tips
        8. Amplifiers
        9. Converters
        10. Equalizers
        11. Compressors and Limiters
        12. Tape Machines
          1. Analog Tape Machines
        13. Digital Tape Machines
          1. DAT
          2. Sony PCM-1630
        14. Consoles
        15. The Digital Audio Workstation
          1. The Big DAW Players
            1. Sonic Studio
            2. Cube-Tec
            3. SADiE
        16. Other Devices
          1. Metering
          2. Sample Rate Converters
          3. De-Essers
    4. 4. The Mechanics of Mastering
      1. Level
        1. Competitive Level
        2. Hypercompression: Don’t Go There!
      2. How to Get Hot Levels
        1. Limiting
        2. Compression
      3. To Normalize or Not to Normalize
      4. Frequency Balance
      5. Frequency Feathering
      6. Processing on Load-In
      7. Editing
        1. Fades
        2. Fade-Ins
        3. Fade-Outs
        4. Spreads
        5. Edit Decision Lists (EDLS)
      8. Effects
    5. 5. Preparation for Mastering
      1. Interview with Gannon Kashiwa
    6. 6. Mastering for CD
      1. Dither
      2. ISRC
      3. PQ Subcodes
      4. Replication Master Formats
        1. The Obsolete Formats
          1. The Sony PCM-1630
          2. The PMCD
        2. The Current Standard Formats
          1. DDP
          2. CD-R
            1. Disc-at-Once Mode
            2. Recorder Speed
      5. Error Checking
      6. FTP Transmission
      7. Parts Production
      8. Multiple Masters
      9. Client Refs
      10. Master Verification
      11. CD Replicators
      12. How CDs (and DVDs) Work
      13. Scanning the Disc
      14. How CDs Are Made
        1. Step 1
        2. Step 2
        3. Step 3
        4. Step 4
        5. Step 5
        6. Step 6
      15. Of Additional Interest
    7. 7. Mastering for Vinyl
      1. A Brief History of Vinyl
      2. The Physics of Vinyl
      3. The Vinyl Signal Chain
        1. The Master Lacquer
        2. The Cutting Stylus and Cutter Head
        3. The Lathe
        4. The Mastering Console
          1. The Preview System
          2. Equalization
          3. The Elliptical Equalizer
      4. How Records Are Pressed
        1. Step 1
        2. Step 2
        3. Step 3
        4. Step 4
    8. 8. Mastering for Internet Distribution
      1. The Source File
      2. The Encoder
      3. Bit Rate
        1. Bit Rate Settings
        2. Constant Versus Average Versus Variable Bit Rate
      4. Other Settings
    9. 9. Mastering in Surround
      1. First a Bit of History
      2. Types of Surround Sound
      3. The LFE Channel
      4. Bass Management
      5. Other Types of Surround
      6. The Differences between Surround and Stereo
      7. Differences between Surround Mixes for Picture and for Music
      8. Different Perspectives: Audience versus Onstage
      9. The Center Channel
        1. No Center Channel
        2. Isolated Elements in the Center Channel
        3. The Center as Part of the Whole
        4. The Lfe (Subwoofer) Channel
      10. Surround Master Media Prep
        1. Slate the Master
          1. Master Tape Track Assignments
        2. Print a Test Tone
        3. Print Time Code
        4. Surround-to-Stereo Compatibility
        5. Document the Details
    10. 10. Surround Tools
      1. Monitoring
      2. Bass Management
      3. Test Equipment
      4. The Monitor Controller
      5. Converters
      6. Outboard Gear
      7. Software Tools
        1. Waves 360° Surround
        2. Stereo-to-5.1 Conversion
        3. 96/24 and Beyond
        4. Surround Encoders/Decoders (CODECS)
      8. Data Rate
      9. Dialnorm
      10. Data Compression
      11. Lossy and Lossless Codecs
        1. Lossy Codecs
        2. Lossless Codecs
      12. Surround Software Encoders
        1. Minnetonka Surcode
        2. Neyrinck Soundcode
        3. DTS Master Audio Suite
        4. Dolby Media Producer
      13. A New Way of Working
      14. What the Heck Is Authoring?
      15. Enter (and Exit) DLT
    11. 11. Mastering for Film and Television
      1. Mastering Music for Film
      2. Mastering for Television
  6. II. Audio Delivery Formats
    1. 12. Internet Delivery Formats
      1. Data Compression
      2. Lossy Codecs
      3. Lossless Codecs
      4. Streaming Audio
    2. 13. Optical Discs: CDs
      1. The Books
        1. Red Book
        2. Orange Book
        3. Blue Book
        4. Green Book
        5. Yellow Book
        6. White Book
        7. Photo CD
        8. Scarlet Book
    3. 14. Optical Discs: Multichannel Delivery
      1. DVD Basics
        1. Storage Capacity
        2. File Format
      2. The DVD-Video Disc
        1. DVD-V Audio Specs
        2. DVD-V Video Specs
      3. The DTS Music Disc
        1. DTS Music Disc Audio Specs
        2. DTS Music Disc Video Specs
      4. The DVD-Audio Disc
        1. DVD-A Audio Specs
        2. Scalability
        3. Playback Time
        4. Copy Protection and Watermarking
        5. Value-Added Content
        6. DVD-A Video Specs
      5. The Super Audio CD (SA-CD)
        1. SA-CD Audio Specs
        2. SA-CD Video Specs
    4. 15. Optical Discs: The High-Resolution Discs
      1. HD-DVD
        1. HD-DVD Overview
        2. HD-DVD Audio Specs
        3. HD-DVD Video Specs
        4. HD-DVD Additional Features
      2. Blu-ray
        1. Blu-Ray Overview
        2. Blu-Ray Audio Specs
        3. Blu-Ray Video Specs
        4. Blu-Ray Additional Features
      3. Alternative Disc Technologies
      4. Alternative Delivery Technologies
  7. III. The Interviews
    1. 16. About the Interviews
    2. 17. Interview: Greg Calbi
    3. 18. Interview: David Cheppa
    4. 19. Interview: Dave Collins
    5. 20. Interview: Bernie Grundman
    6. 21. Interview: Bob Katz
    7. 22. Interview: Bob Ludwig
    8. 23. Interview: Glenn Meadows
    9. 24. Interview: Bob Olhsson
    10. 25. Interview: Doug Sax
    11. 26. Interview: Eddy Schreyer
  8. Glossary