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Mastering in an Ever-Expanding Universe

[Feature] Mastering is a process of “finishing” in audio production that aims to unify and improve the final quality of a project. In the age of analog audio it tended to involve optimizing the sound so as to overcome or accommodate the limitations of the delivery medium. With the advent of the digital age an apparently transparent delivery channel was offered, requiring mastering engineers to rethink some of their reasons for existence. Now, we live in a time of multiservice digital delivery methods that have a wide range of quality effects and limitations, giving rise once again to a challenge for mastering, albeit of a slightly different nature. A further factor in the equation is the inexorable rise of home-studio production, which makes new demands on the mastering process. These issues were discussed in a number of events at the AES 127th Convention by experts in the fields of studio mastering and processing for Internet streaming.

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JAES Volume 58 Issue 1/2 pp. 65-71; January 2010
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