The Advantage of a Word Clock

What is a Word Clock? Every digital device, from a simple portable CD player to a Pro Tools HD rig, has a word clock. Not to be confused with sync clock (like MTC or SMPTE), word clock is what tells a A/D or D/A converter when to take the sample. It fires an impulse to the […]

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Mixing Tips: Creating Space In A Mix

I receive a multitude of mixes each month where the song sounds like a wall of instruments, unable to detect where some instruments begin and others end.  A muddy labyrinth of sonic confusion if you will.  Sure it’s sounds thick and full but it has no clarity and a complete lack of “space” within the mix and […]

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“Mastered for iTunes” What does it mean

I have been fielding more and more questions in the past few weeks concerning the “Mastered for iTunes” logo that is positioned on so many artist pages in iTunes.   Mastered for iTunes is a declaration by Apple that the “songs and albums for sale on iTunes are exactly as the artists and engineers intended […]

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Mixing a Song for a Vinyl Release

Vinyl mastering is an artform. It is an all-analog format and it sounds great.   But with that come some physical limitations. Digital formats like CD and MP3 can reproduce anything where as vinyl is more unforgiving. The last vinyl cutting lathes were produced in the early 80’s and it is  impressive that we are still […]

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RIAA Equalization

RIAA Equalization, there or Recording Industry Association of America, is a specification for the recording and playback of vinyl records (phonographs).  In general terms, the recording is boosted in the high end and reduced in the low end for the recording and the reverse happens during playback.   That is, the high-end is reduced and the low-end is […]

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Producing Great Sounding Records

(Why Records Don’t Always Sound Like the Master Tape)  BY: KEVIN GRAY 5/3/97 The following was written to aid engineers and producers who wish to release vinyl records. It is especially important for those who may be well versed in recording, but have not released vinyl records before. The paper is mainly about “pop” music […]

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Mastering To Analog Tape (Tape Mastering)

About once a month I am asked to master an album that was recorded on a digital audio workstation, like most albums are these days, to analog tape.  The idea is that recording the stereo mix to tape will saturate a mix with a sound that is consistent with a recording done entirely on 2″  analog […]

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(Checklist) Preparing A Mix For Mastering

This post is a general checklist –  preparing a mix for mastering.  It is geared for engineers with some experience and assumes a basic level of mixing terms and concepts. File types:  All files should be recorded as an uncompressed WAV or AIF file.  MP3,WMP,mACC files are not acceptable. File size:  The bigger the better! […]

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Mastering a Mix for Radio Play

Mastering a mix for radio play:  This post is written to clarify the compression process used by radio stations prior to airplay and discuss some mixing and mastering techniques to combat the unwanted effects broadcast compression. When a song is broadcast over FM airwaves it is first “run through” or processed with a transmission audio […]

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