Audio mastering is the last stage of sound processing before it becomes available for display in the media. The mastering process is a very accurate process and requires a specialized engineer who has the experience and tools necessary to perform the mastering. It is the last chance to improve the technical work and fix any problems in the sound before it is broadcast or Publish it to the public
The mastering is the stage that follows the mixing stage, during which the final audio file that resulted from the integration of the tracks formed for work is dealt with. Full or the ability to control the sound completely, as in mixing, and precise tools must be used to get the result we want
The most important tools used in audio mastering
Our task in mastering is a therapeutic task and a cosmetic task at the same time, and it is supposed to first start with treatment to get rid of the problems that will affect the quality of work before using effects that add aesthetics and a distinctive character to the sound. It is also necessary to work on a good monitor in a well-equipped room in order to Ensures that the sound is heard well and therefore you can use the required tools well
It is rare to use Noise Reduction processors in mastering because the sound is supposed to be filtered during the recording stage and the mixing stage, but sometimes we have to use them
The Equalizer can be considered as one of the most important effects used in the mastering at all (and in the mixing), and through the Equalizer, it is possible to cut or reduce frequencies that exceed the required limit and that cause disturbance to the ear or reduce the clarity of the sound
After getting rid of the annoying frequencies, we will search for any frequencies that the sound may need, and then we will raise them a little, in order to increase the clarity of the sound when needed and give the sound the characteristics it needs, for example:
We may raise the low frequencies a little if they are weak in the first place, or we raise the high frequencies a little if they are weak, but we should be careful not to raise any frequencies too much.
The compressor aims to control the dynamics of the sound and the level of high and low volume, and it can greatly affect the details of the sound, so the sound can be compressed to sound strong and stable, as the difference in sound strength between the different clips and within the same clip also decreases, and this is known as reducing the level Dynamic range, but in most cases it is necessary to maintain the dynamic range so that the sound remains natural, and to balance the two cases, we will suffice with a small amount of sound pressure
Through which the sound dynamics is controlled so that each frequency can be treated independently and with different settings, and this includes sound pressure mainly, such as we compress low frequencies greatly, compress medium frequencies lightly, and do not compress high frequencies, for example, according to what each track needs.
Limeter or sound limiter – Limiter
The meter aims to prevent the sound from exceeding zero decibels, and it is usually placed at -0.3 or less than that because the sound must not reach the zero level, otherwise there will be a constitution and the sound will be cut off and become above the permissible limits in the digital world
The limeter also aims to raise the power of the sound, and this is necessary, especially in modern works that require a certain strength in the sound level. The limeter is suitable for this because it protects the sound from reaching the zero point.
Stereo field processor – Stereo imager
And through it, we can increase the width of the stereo field so that the sound looks more beautiful, and it is used when we notice that the sound looks like mono and that we do not hear clear differences between the right and left channels, so we can make a difference between the two channels by expanding the stereo field, but with caution that increasing The stereo field will make the sound seem weak in mono systems, and we do not always need to increase the stereo field when it is good, and this can be known by using a dedicated analog
Through the stereo field processor, we can also reduce the stereo field instead of raising it to low frequencies because these frequencies should not be in a wide stereo field and preferably closer to mono
Tube or Tap. Emulators
They are processors that simulate hardware devices that give distinctive sound characteristics that are difficult to obtain using an equalizer or compressor, and they control the level of frequencies and dynamics.