AES London 2011
AES/MPG Event: Where Does The Buck Stop? QC in the Manufacturing Chain

Saturday, May 14, 11:15 — 13:00 (Room 2)

AES/MPG Event: Where Does The Buck Stop? QC in the Manufacturing Chain

Tony Platt, MPG Director
Karen Emanuel, Key Production
Ray Staff, Award-winning chief mastering engineer, Air Mastering
Pieter Stenekes, Founder of Sonoris Audio Engineering who are responsible for the DDP delivery software

We are all human and can make mistakes. It is also said that we do not recognize our own mistakes. In the video and broadcast world it is standard for the client to pay for an independent QC check at the studio and again at the broadcaster's facility. With vinyl it has always been normal to have a test pressing. All these procedures have been bypassed in CD mastering, and, in general, the passage of a master to manufacture is out of step with any QC that takes place. This can and has resulted in sometimes major and costly mistakes.

Our discussion will focus on the challenges posed by an emerging new shape of the industry where artists, small labels, and producers are dealing directly with manufactures. Furthermore, these problems are also common to downloaded products. The incidences that have raised the issue of QC during the manufacturing stage of CDs can only be exacerbated if consumer delivery moves toward high quality downloads.

The growing tendency to third party agents arranging manufacture and distribution also raise issues in respect of delivery formats to manufacturers and aggregators and with the upsurge in delivery via FTP we need to establish some good practice for checking that what goes to manufacture is correct and most especially who is responsible.

This discussion launches the Mastering Section of Music Producers Guild which will be headed by Ray Staff. They propose to outline what quality control is and where the responsibilities lie and to publish a specification that will be posted on the MPG website so that anyone involved in the process can refer to for good practice and guidance.

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