Talk:Audio mastering

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16 bit/44.1khz[edit]

I think a little bit on the role of mastering in sample rate and bit reduction/dithering to CD quality would be good information in this article now that 24 bit recording is a big deal. Any thoughts? Gamiar 23:37, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

I think it is critical to suggest that bouncing or recording mixes to as high a sample rate as possible and a minimum of 24 bit word size is critical for allowing mastering algorthyms the additional samples and bits for rounding and processing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pbr (talkcontribs) .
There's legitimate doubt that high sample rates are as important. Some processing, such as compression or EQ, can benefit from a somewhat higher sample rate like 96K, but 'as high as possible', probably 192K, is very likely unnecessary. I've seen people saying 192K converters sounded worse than lower sample rates. Besides, among professional MEs you are more likely to find them using analog chains and certain popular converters like Lavry or Prism, particularly those who make a practice of driving the D/A converters hard to produce apparent loudness- in other words, distorting them. Also note that fancy methods of wordlength reduction are not invariably chosen by professionals- simple TPDF dither remains popular due to a percieved lack of coloration. -Chris Johnson —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
Especially EQ and filtering tend to misbehave when approaching the nyquist frequency. This often happens gradually, which is why i think it does in fact make sense to go all the way up to 192 khz. Notice that this will only take the problem two octaves out of the hearable range. A typical example of the algorithm problem can be seen in the Sonic Timeworks equalizer, which actually reveals this issue on it's visualizer. I think the increased processing power in the future will raise the interest in having some headroom in the time domain. This will most likely be an important step in overcoming some of the differences between analog and digital sound processing in general. JoaCHIP 10:18, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I went ahead and wrote something. Feel free to hack it up in any way you see fit! Gamiar 15:23, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
In his book, Audio Mastering Techniques, Bob Katz proved through blind tests that there is no audible difference between higher sample rates when assuming perfect performance of converters. He posits that the reason that higher sample rates sound better is merely due to poor quality low-pass filtering prior to A/D conversion. In other words, using higher sample rates can push the phase degradation out of the audible range. But otherwise, there is no real practical difference. It's true that some filter processing can benefit slightly from higher sample rates, but all information about a sound wave can be contained at 44.1kHz, and the benefits are generally obscure. There's no tangible difference aurally. It looks like this section has been removed from the article though. Radiodef (talk) 16:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, his book is called "Mastering Audio: the art and the science". Radiodef (talk) 17:17, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Loudness War[edit]

Any issues with merging Loudness war into this article? It's not really it's own topic and is really a mastering issue. --Jgritz 22:18, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

It should be linked (and it is), but it's a big enough topic to have its own article. Merging is normally done when two articles contain the same information, not when one article is a subtopic of the other. Mirror Vax 22:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with the above posting. Loudness war should be merged with audio mastering, however, it is not a dire issue. I do urge whoever has power to merge two articles to do so as soon as possible.-- 00:44, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Please keep seperate. Loudness war is a bad enough issue that it deserves it's own article. That article needs some work, eg examples and a couple of helpful waveform images, not reducing to part of an article on a much larger issue. --Spod mandel 02:58, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Spod, the loudness war is notable enough to deserve its own article by the same logic that car and car accidents are seperate articles. -- Dept of Alchemy 21:50, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Dept of Alchemy and Spod too. Merging the rather large loudness war article into this article might confuse the reader more than benefit. Linking to an external article seems more appropriate. -- JoaCHIP 10:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
In theory, were there no loudness war there would still be an Audio Mastering article. The topic can have much more to it than simple loudness, for instance the need to produce audio that translates to many types of playback systems pleasingly, and the practice of sequencing (in some cases) album tracks or producing suitable timing for the pauses between songs, not to mention inserting ISRC codes, which is not a form of watermarking but a method of putting a unique ID on a CD track which can be read by some playback equipment to help in assigning royalties for airplay. -Chris Johnson —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I did a comment on the discussion page for Loudness war... anyone read that? Please feel free to rip me a new one if I'm out of bounds. I'm not a real wiki kinda guy. Wamnet 15:12, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with some other editor who said that you should write an article about clipping on various players, or at least you should incorporate some points here. I think the Loudness war article should also be part of Audio mastering article or at least we should have some cross references. And your point about using articles as sandboxes is right on the money. For example the whole RMS discussion is just sketchy. People don't realize that a straight line DC signal at 0db will have a maximum RMS but it will be inaudible, other then the initial loud pop. So here you go, maximum RMS but total silence :). Also what is louder a square wave at 0.001Hz and 0db or square wave at 1Khz and -60 db :). It amazes me that some people attempt to edit encyclopedia and have no knowledge on the subject. (This last sentence is just my rant and not addressed to you). Looks like you have spent a lot of time in broadcast environment so your point of view may be in contrary to some of the statements in the article and many comments posted on the talk pages, well...gooooood. --Mike Sorensen 09:02, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Bass punch, kick drum, bass drum, frequencies, waveform[edit]

Add pictures. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

The other loudness war is on FM radio![edit]

The other loudness war is happening in FM broadcasting. There are dedicated FM processors that would be of little use for CD production. See for example Therefore, I do not think that merging loudness war into audio mastering would be appropriate. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Jeffason's comments:
You gotta be kidding. Who created the movement to merge the two. They are totally different. PLEASE REMOVE THIS REQUEST TO MERGE THE TWO. It is blasphemy! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jeffason (talkcontribs) .

External links[edit]

Please refer to Wikipedia:External links before adding external links. I don't doubt that Artmastering and audioplexus are legitimate companies, but I'm sure there are 100s or 1000s of legitimate audio mastering companies and Wikipedia is not the place to list them all. Moreover, the links do not add useful information that cannot be covered in the article. I will give the article on MusicBizAcademy the benefit of the doubt - for now - but I think it is more helpful to use the information in MBA article to improve this Wikipedia article rather than merely linking to it. The MBA link could serve as a legitimate reference to facts in the Wikipedia article rather than just sitting there as a bare link. Han-Kwang 18:31, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

The interview at appears as useful external link to me. (talk) 21:54, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


From Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Art_Mastering:

Additionally, in the entire article about Audio_Mastering, this is the only section that actually has some support in the press as well as publically accessible pictures and references. Everything else has been contributed by various members based on their opinion rather than on notable facts or evidence and is placed there without any supporting evidence or references. If we follow your reasoning, then the entire Audio Mastering section should be deleted as "not notable", which would be a terrible waste! R. Watts
This is a valid point. This article could use some references. Han-Kwang 21:29, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
I suspect it would be considered generally valid to provide some links to Bob Katz's 'Digido' site. Bob is a mastering engineer who has written a largely well-recieved book and has some decent online material which I believe would be generally considered acceptable. The danger here is from the number of MEs who would like to present themselves as innovators. I myself have stuff up on the web, but I don't think my content is anywhere near as mainstream and doesn't belong on Wikipedia as written. It is at and if I see stuff from there up here as if it is authoritative I'll edit it out myself, or at least pull it back to commonly accepted information without any inferences or propagandizing. -Chris Johnson —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Lack of references for 4 years[edit]

This article was created almost 4 years ago on June 29, 2003, and in all this time we were not able to cite reliable references. The main reason for this situation is that most books and texts on this subject are written by mastering engineers themselves, or point to some mastering lab. Therefore, whenever any reference is being cited someone deletes it because it doesn’t fit his/her interest or agenda and presumably advance business of a competing audio lab or engineer. We have heard irrational arguments that all mastering engineers should get a link here or nobody does, but I hope that common sense and a little bit of courage will prevail. Since every editor that tries to propose a source here, is being continuously attacked as having hidden agenda, then please take this fact under consideration when analyzing proposed reference and distance yourself from shouting and accusation and focus on the subject. By no means I'm trying to indicate that the sources that I proposed, or any other for that matter, should be accepted for granted, just the opposite, they should be discussed, but they definitely should be examined with a calm mind before being dismissed. This is just an opening step in this discussion. Maybe in a few months :) we will be ready to have a vote on this subject and pick at least one reference for this article (most likely by a majority vote...). And on a personal note, if you don’t like any suggested sources, then propose a constructive alternative, rationally discuss it and let others decide before going on a rampage.--Mike Sorensen 05:27, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, that citable references are lacking in any diatribe concerning this subject, not only here... I will say (and I do not work for nor endorse) Bob Katz's book. I do feel his is the most unbiased but still, he does make opinions as to his beliefs. So again it becomes an issue as being citable. On another note, stub mixes that allow a mastering engineer the ability to process sections of a mix should be considered. I realize that it's a a fine line between mixing and mastering... a topic for discussion. Wamnet 16:06, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Hey Wamnet, nice disclaimer :) ,don't worry real editors will never attack you for speaking your point of view and the trolls are ignored anyway. As far as Katz is concerned I also think his book is valuable, and yeah he does speak out his point of view so one can call it biased, though this doesn't take away the value of the information that is being conveyed. And I think that in cases like this, where the reliable sources are hard to find, the spirit of wikipedia is to give us, the editors, a power to make some judgement calls and decide the value of the resources as to their inclusion. As far as mastering of stub mixes is concerned I also see no problem, it is a technique that was used for a long time, probably all the way back in the eighties, and it should be at least mentioned in Audio mixing article or here.--Mike Sorensen 22:22, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Yea stem mixes (why i call them stub's got no clue...) I tried it a few times with some recent acts (also tried it with the latest Twisted Tower Dire CD but never used it). I recall back in the day at Blue Diamond and Alphastar in Pgh. we did this for something.. went to 1/2" 4 track and 1/2" 8 track (that was noisy) with stereo subs for shipment to a mastering house the clients used. We just called it "mixing to multitrack" (real inventive)... No clue what happened after that. We'd always have a 2TR running tho...
But in my experience, it does allow for some nice things, such as fixing drum mix/rhy track balance after the fact (wish I'd have done Deadly by Desire like that back in 1988.. I just remastered that) as well as being able to process individual mixes in Wavelab using the individual effect bins, then glam it all together with processing in the main effects chain. Wamnet 21:27, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it all started when the first mixing boards with sub-groups came out. They allowed groups of instruments to be assigned to the sub-group faders as stems. Then engineers quickly discovered that they can also process the stems (sub-groups) individually, and compress them, EQ them and so on. Just like you described, many pro-studios use this approach in one or another way either for mixing and sometimes for mastering. I play classical so I don't have much use or experience with stems, but I can easily see that guys doing rock, pop or anything with drums, could find a good use for that. --Mike Sorensen 22:33, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
I noticed someone has a wiki for Separation mastering. How to handle it in wiki-dom I dunno... link to it? Wamnet 00:42, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
There was a controversy over this a while ago. Someone spammed this page with separations. I don't know enough about it, as I don't use it, so I'm a wrong guy to comment. At first glance though it sounds like a new term for an old concept of stem-mixing/mastering and I personally don't see a need for a new name. But maybe there is a difference. Maybe other editors know more on the subject and can comment. Also the article on separations doesn't have any resources either.--Mike Sorensen 03:07, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
After thinking about it maybe someone should create an article on stem mixing and mastering. Unless someone bits me to it I will do some research and write an article on stem-mixing and stem-mastering.--Mike Sorensen 03:23, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
This will remain a highly debated topic at WP for a few good years to come. As modern audio mastering progresses, new theories will continue to emerge. I am hesitant to say this, but Maximum Delivery Potential (MDP) a term made up by EdXXXX VinXXXX around 1995, which was mocked and ridiculed by other members at WP and dismissed as just spam, will emerge someday. I know this "MDP" techniques are for real, as much as Mike Sorensen, who swore and obsessively advocated for "Artmastering". I think artmastering and his creator are alright. The problem is, these are emerging theories and it will take many years too catch on and be notable. So for now, it only looks like editors promoting or trying to spam Wikipedia. If these new theories are any good, there will definitely be an "Artmastering" and a "Maximum Delivery Potential" or "MDP" section at the Audio mastering page. For now, I suggest and advise all members, to refrain from bringing controversial mastering theories whether or not are proven and tested, and also from making great claims, or the same thing that happened to me and Mike Sorensen, will happen again (Read the incident at the Community Sanction Notice Board).

Stem mixing and mastering[edit]

Thanks to suggestion by Wamnet and a few hours of reading, learning and work I created yesterday an article on Stem mixing and mastering. I managed to find a reference for it :) which wasn't easy. It turned out nicely and it may be a potential supplement for this article. There is still the question of separations whether they are really a new different technique or just a new marketing term for an old stem-mixing/mastering technique. Other editors may be better equipped to answer this question. Comments are welcome.--Mike Sorensen 09:03, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Wamnet, Mike Sorensen is temporarily absent and I would like to continue this discussion. How would you like to have a new section called "Mastering by Separations" or "Stems Mastering". If Mike Sorensen never comes back, it would also be a good tribute to his contributions. Although, I doubt that he won't come back to this forum. Anyway, I am studying with a mastering guy who told me that, it is another technique, but that he thinks it will probably never replace mastering from HD stereo interleaved audio files. What do you think?--Jrod2 13:50, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Article's Introduction Needed Correct Wording[edit]

I'm not sure the following sentence makes much sense:

A mastering engineer may be required to take other steps, such as the creation of a PMCD (Pre Mastered Compact Disc), where this cohesive material needs to be transferred to a master disc for mass replication.

"This" cohesive material? It's too far away from the beginning of the second paragraph, where this term is (loosely) defined. Also, this sentence has logical problems: steps -> creation -> needs to be transferred?

  1. An engineer may be required to take steps; (Okay, this is fine.)
  2. Which steps? Steps, such as creation of PMCD; (This is fine, too.)
  3. What is the creation of a PMCD? It's where this cohesive material needs to be transferred... <- Flaw in logic here.

Do you think it should be rewritten to sound more English and make more sense? UMRK 17:14, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Point well made. No opposition here, and unless someone else does not object to it, go ahead and revise it, Sir. BTW, I did try in the past to bring up a new page called "PMCD" (Pre-mastered compact disc) so as to reference it to the mastering page, but as some people know, I was viciously attacked and accused of having a hidden agenda to promote my studio with "keywords". That just killed my desire. Thus, the reason why it reads so disconnected. But, if you are interested, we should work on that. Cheers. Jrod2 18:23, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
A separate page on PMCD would be great. I'd be delighted to help, although I don't know much about PMCD, apart from the fact that not all disc burning apps follow the standards that are mandatory for creating a valid PMCD (such as Pre-Master cue sheet that specifies the number of channels, pre-emphasis, copy protection bit, ISRC, UPC/EAN, and so on). Right now I'd love to have the sentence fixed so it makes some sense. Problem is—I'm not sure how (i.e. I don't know what the author was trying to say). Any suggestions? UMRK 12:38, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I was the author. Some users reverted it and added several things (Some of which it was nonsense), I countered, and it went back and forth, etc. Bam! That's what was left. I will try a new revision and let you know. Is that OK? Thanks for your feedback! .Jrod2 19:06, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Oooh! I knew something was wrong here. So, something went wrong during "mixing and editing" that cannot be fixed by "mastering," eh? ;) Looking forward to your revision, Jrod2. UMRK 23:16, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Hi UMRK, I apologize, but I don't entirely understand your question. I would like you to start the PMCD page and then I will join you. What you said before about PMCD: as Pre-Master cue sheet that specifies the number of channels, pre-emphasis, copy protection bit, ISRC, UPC/EAN, and so on, would be a good start. Thanks for the feedback . Jrod2 14:20, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I just meant that the reason the sentence in question doesn't make sense is because whoever was editing it after you wrote it (even if you edited it yourself) lost a few bits. I know how it happens: you delete a word here, move another part there, and sometimes you just forget to reread the edit. This results in an (unintentionally) garbled text. I'd appreciate it if you would just reword that sentence, and we'll be done with it. Meanwhile, I'll start a new page on PMCD. Deal? UMRK 00:28, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Dear UMRK, sorry I didn't have time to respond before. I like what you are doing so far, and I will try to bring in a contribution to that page. If you want to reference it with links, please read my recommendations below. That said, there is the first link, "Greendot", that should be taken out. The reason is, we don't like to give companies free promotion. I'll be in touch. Regards. Jrod2 08:22, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Digital Mastering Section (talk section deux)[edit]

I altered the new information added a little bit, and took that unverifiable bit about getting the Grammy winning sound out, also provided references to prove notability. I re-added the information about new analog technology; that was interesting. I did however, take the company names out; they didn't seem exhaustive or necessary, but if you disagree go ahead and put them back in. What I would really like to see is some information about engineers that do in fact prefer DSP for mastering, to get both sides of the story. Maybe it's in that Mix article; I might check later. Illuminatedwax 04:16, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

The new analogue "technology" sounded a bit too much like marketing-speak IMHO. Too much effort put into hi-fi when 24/96 or even 24/44.1 would be enough... --Kjoonlee 06:09, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Kjoonlee wrote that 300Khz and 120V technology is unsourced. He was right, so I found some sources:
references for 120V signal rails with dynamic range of 150dB: [1] [2]
references for 300Khz frequency response: [3] [4]
And Here is an EQ with 450Khz frequency response: [5] There are at least 6 manufacturers of mastering and recording equipment that I know of that make devices with frequency response of 300Khz or more. This may be overkill but that is where the technology is going and digital boxes can't keep up with it at this moment. --VinylJoe 17:30, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

That's OR. Are there sources that describe these efforts? --Kjoonlee 18:25, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Please take a look at the following wikipedia articles, There are references at the bottom of these articles. The hypersonic effect is what is driving this trend of making audio devices that have a frequency response wider then human hearing range. --VinylJoe 22:50, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

You people continue to make the Audio mastering page into a showcase for mastering studios, "celebrity" mastering engineers, their equipment, and basically a handbook for mastering. Many of you maybe correct about the equipment used and the specs on them. But having the need to mention so many engineers, will only start a spam frenzy as we saw it between February and December 2006. This isn't a page for discussing digital and analog technologies, in the first place, and nor to discuss who is been nominated for more Grammy's. This page was created to explain the meaning of mastering and its most common procedures for achieving the end result: "the mastered source material". We could never possibly teach mastering or tell people what to buy to do so on this page, no matter how much we try. There are many audio pages already debating all these new emerging technologies, therefore, stick to the subject, PLEASE! Jrod2 14:52, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Audio mastering page's first image[edit]

This one is very important, I feel, as too many rookie studio engineers provide their artists, extremely loud mixes and thus, impossible to master. I tried to use layman's terms to the parameter descriptions. But, if someone thinks there are better or easier terms, please, let me know so that I can modify the image. Hope everybody approves that this image is very necessary. Jrod2 00:40, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Nice article[edit]

Nice article folks! I liked it! Geir 07:37, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Mastering studio picture[edit]

Some of you may have a problem with this addition, but it's time that the general public knows the look of a serious mastering studio. Please, refrain from deleting it if you suffer from uncontrollable jealousy, or if the look of your project studio where you do mastering looks like a dwarf by comparison (no offense to those people). The one thing that may need tweaking is the size of the pic which is at 500px right now. May be a little bigger or smaller? Let me know. Thanks. Jrod2 (talk) 22:27, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Many of you know that the audio mastering article is very close to my heart and I've been defending it passionately against spammers and other engineers that were just trying to promote their studios almost from day one (ironically I was accused of that as well). I want to thank users: Ap, Omegatron, Gamiar for starting it back in 2005 and Mirror Vax, Binksternet, Illuminatedwax, Kjoonlee and everybody else for making sure it stayed spam-free and keeping it real. I am proud of you guys, the article is beginning to take shape and pretty soon should be ready as a "featured" article at WP. I know many complain about citations and references, but come on, you know who you are and know what sounds true to you. The references are out there, it's just the articles that are hard to find sometimes. Thanks to all of you, again. Jrod2 (talk) 22:52, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I think the picture should be in better quality, because right now it looks like computer generated image and not like an actual photograph. (talk) 03:15, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

The object of having a mastering studio picture is to illustrate the look of a mastering studio, so even if it was a drawing it would have served is purposed. Jrod2 (talk) 14:52, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Audio mastering tools[edit]

This section lists both mastering software like Samplitude, software plugins for burning CDs (CD architect) one hardware compressor (the Avalon) and some very early development linux software that is hardly used in very many real life situations (Ardour).

  • Shouldn't we be a little more critical and only list software actually being used by a significant portion of the mastering industry?
  • I think this section should be divided into sub sections, if it really is meant to list both complete software solutions, software plugins and hardware devices.

JoaCHIP (talk) 14:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I've seen this comment for a long time now and since I have a minute or two, I will respond. Michael, Avalon equipment is pro gear and i doubt you ever owned one of those compressors ($2,300). The 747 SP ($2,800) is considered the best bang for the money and was designed for mastering engineers in mind. It's not only a stereo compressor but a 6 band equalizer to sweeten the music. Of course it can also be used in music production. Why would they put 2 analog processors in one? To reduce SNR! CD Architect is a great CD authoring program and although it may not be used in most mastering suites, it does the job 10 times better than the defunct MasterList from DigiDesign, which used to be the standard in mastering houses. You may have a point on Ardour and Samplitude, but on the others, you lost it. Jrod2 (talk) 10:45, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
A lot of good stuff has happened to this article since I visited it the last time. I still see some surprising entries in the Mastering Tools section. Does anyone actually use FL Studio, Jamin or Audacity for serious mastering of CDs and LPs and such? I'm under the impression that mastering is usually a process that takes place in pro studios rather than by hobbyists. I think this list should only include tools that are directly aimed at mastering, not just anything that could be used. JoaCHIP (talk) 14:02, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

This section should either be replaced by a listing of higher end pro equipment (i.e. what the biggest 3 master studios actually use, and nothing else) or trashed as almost anything can be used for mastering (indeed Audacity can do the job and Reason has 4 Master-class tools included, you'll just need to define what the job actually is). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:44, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Remasted not always better than original[edit]

Please mention why the remasted version is not always better than original. E.g.,

  1. Too much detail: now we can hear the singer's disconcerting breathing nuances.
  2. The engineer has now shifted emphasis to instrument A to the detriment of instrument B, thus tossing out the former balanced situation.

Jidanni (talk) 00:12, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jidanni, your comments only emphasize the importance of working with an experienced ME. Even on music mastering online facilities (MMOL's), the engineer makes sure what frequencies need tweaking and what not, keeping up with the overall harmonic balance. Also, if a re-mastered song now shows "breathing nuances", it means that the engineer was able to make the vocal performance and its presence more clear. That's a good thing. If you didn't like that, then the engineer who initially mixed the song should have cleaned up the vocal tracks before mixing. This is not a mastering error but mix. Hope this helps. Jrod2 (talk) 17:27, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Hey, I'm a mastering engineer and would say most of the software listed here is not often used for professional mastering, especially:

   * Audacity
   * Ardour
   * Cakewalk Sonar
   * Cubase
   * Digital Performer
   * Ableton Live
   * Jamin
   * Logic Pro
   * Nuendo
   * Pro Tools
   * Sound Forge   - this is the same thing as adobe audition!!!
   * Digidesign - Masterlist CD (Discontinued)
   * Universal Audio UAD 1073 Equalizer - this is not for mastering in any way!!!

In fact the only things used in mastering in any normal context are:

   * SADiE
   * Samplitude
   * Steinberg WaveLab

but consider adding:

   * pyramix
   * sequota
   * sonic studio - sound blade/premaster CD

hope this information helps, james kronier —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:18, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Not sure bout the others but ProTools TDM is used on many top mastering and post productions houses for their popularity among all these recording studios that mix as PT TDM session files...Jrod2 (talk) 21:01, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Hey Jrod2, Audio mastering is not the same as post houses that deal with film mixing etc etc. in a strictly (music) mastering context, you will always have a copy of Tools available for convenience, compatibility etc.... but because PT is a intended as a tape machine for recording and mix engineers. It's internal bit architecture isn't up to scratch for mastering - no real mastering engineer will work from Tools! You can reference this in Bob Katz's book on audio mastering if you want - also reference DAWs (as i suggested above).

Best, james —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

BK's book is just another good book about audio, that's all and it will never teach u mastering! Experience, state-of-the-art monitoring and an accurately treated room is what makes a ME and gives him the edge, not the gear used in his chain. the stuff u are sayin' is bogus to me and to thousands of others who have taken part in those heated debates all over the web about ITB vs. OTB mastering ( or any hardware based mastering chains)...I am NOT starting one up on this talk page. Jrod2 (talk) 13:33, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

hey, I dont know why you are going off on a tangent - my original point was to add pyramix sequota and sonic.... i wasn't initially arguing about protools - do you disagree with me that jammin and ableton are not used for mastering? BKs book on audio is highly regarded, are you saying it is an invalid reference for this article..??!! you need to chill out and think about improving the article - I think it could be better. JK —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

also, there is software in the hardware list. consider adding some cranesong, crookwood or cedar (on restoration) gear too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:32, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Hey man, add whatever you think is good for mastering aight? just don't tell me "what to think" or "what to improve". You got your own little fingers so write it up in the article, I am not gonna reverse anything. Happy now? Good. Jrod2 (talk) 10:59, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Half of Page Missing[edit]


I edited the page, clicked save, and how half of the page is gone - it is still in the editing box, but just does not show up in the actual article. (talk) 21:19, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Nothing was missing, it was just that you moved the 500 pixel wide image downward a few paragraphs. It was where it was to fill big empty white space next to the table of contents. Binksternet (talk) 21:38, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Proposed merger[edit]

I proposed that Mastering engineer be merged into this article. I don't see a reason for a separate page to exist. Most of the article actually describes mastering, not the engineer. (talk) 19:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I have mixed feelings about this idea. On one area merging may actually create enough content to propose it as a "Featured Article" , but on the other hand the term audio mastering and mastering engineer could be expanded individually, the problem is getting those friggin' references approved by every editor! That's my opinion on the matter. Jrod2 (talk) 17:18, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
My main concern is that everything in the mastering engineer article describes mastering, just from a different point of view. One says, "equipment is used in mastering," and the other would say "a mastering engineer uses equipment." (talk) 19:06, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Just about everybody and their dogs are doing DIY mastering, so it is more relevant today to have a dedicated page to the true mastering engineer(s) than before. Thus, keeping the page not merging it is the logical thing to do.Jrod2 (talk) 12:26, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, regardless of whether or not they're good ones, anyone who does any audio mastering is a mastering engineer. Trying to make that distinction is where most of the POV issues lie. It doesn't make them good or a professional, but they are mastering engineers nonetheless, just as hobbyist musicians are still musicians. Basketball player redirects to basketball. Lots of people play basketball, and only a fraction of those are professional basketball players. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with your notion that "whether or not they're good ones, anyone who does any audio mastering is a mastering engineer". MEs are real professionals with a unique monitoring environment and special equipment. They have made a significant investment to achieve this end. Whether you like or not, a computer and cracked plugins will never make you a professional mastering engineer or compete with the same results. If you like to tell jokes when you hangout with your friends, they most likely don't consider you a comedian. Maybe that's not the best analogy, but you get my point I hope.Jrod2 (talk) 04:39, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I see your point to an extent. But a lot of the hack engineers are doing it for profit, which in the literal sense makes them professional engineers, if poor ones. I still don't think mastering engineers warrant their own article. The first section under equipment in the Mastering Engineer article describes the function of the equipment, not the function of the engineer. And second paragraph under "aspects of their work" also talks about mastering, not the engineer. The remaining content would be a good size for a section in the Audio Mastering article IMO. (talk) 15:59, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
My only logic to keep the two separate is in that the tem "audio mastering" is already an ambiguous one. For instance, someone looking for tips to record audio with a microphone might mistakenly spend time reading the whole darn article only to find out that the answer is not there :( Not everybody is going to understand that the definition is within the very first two paragraphs. Also, merging the *ME* article only makes the AM article more textual. I would keep it separate for tha same reasons we keep Sound_recording and Audio_engineering as separate articles. I also appreciate that ya continue to argue in favor of this merge since last November. Maybe by creating a Wiki account will persuade other users to give their opinions and agree wit ya on this. If so, I wouldn't be opposed of your proposed merger. Just my2C. Peace. Jrod2 (talk) 17:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Added as a reference[edit]

There is probably one or two great mastering forums where people can actually learn about mastering or get valuable tips, one of them is I feel strong about letting people know about this forum. I don't work for this site or moderate there or anything, I have no hidden agenda but, I just feel this is a site people should be aware of for the great volume of information posted and readily available. Now, if anyone think it's not a good site to have as reference then let's discuss it but don't delete it without any good consensus Yo. Thanks you. Jrod2 (talk) 05:09, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Agreed (talk) 15:59, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Changes made by Omasciarotte[edit]

I restored the changes made by Omasciarotte because they appeared to me to be helpful, useful and accurate, to the best of my ability to judge. Omasciarotte corrected some minor formatting problems such as full stops after list items that are sentence fragments, misspelling of "encorders", and alphabetization of lists. Regarding content changes, very little of the former article was referenced, and the new changes are not referenced either, so there is no improvement there, but also no decrease in quality. Binksternet (talk) 02:39, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Bink, please rethink this again. Why I did what I did was mainly in reaction to the line " Once all the material has been “mastered” and is aurally satisfactory, the premastering process begins." What the heck is that, man?? Mastering precedes premastering now?? Pre-mastering is the process of mastering so is all same. Historically called "pre-mastering" 'cause the mastering engineer needed to improve the mix before it was cut into a record, ya know what im saying? The rest to me was superfluous & not referenced enough (came from some anon accounts) to b considered encyclopedic, example "Soundblade". Ya know a mastering studio that masters with Soundblade?? Pretty soon we're gonna have the Digital Performer people editing the mastering page. In theory ya can master with anything, that doesn't make it the standard . Jrod2 (talk) 13:04, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
How about if you correct the Soundblade and pre-mastering stuff you disagree with? Binksternet (talk) 13:11, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I must admit I was a bit lazy, sorry (busy really) so when I saw all those changes (some where useful, no doubt) I said forget it, ya know what i mean?? Go ahead then, but if in doubt of something hit me at my talk page. Thx. Jrod2 (talk) 13:59, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Recent edits about automated mastering[edit]

The recent addition to the article violates multiple of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines most notably:

1) The sources

The source given is a thread on an Internet forum. Wikipedia says that "self-published media, such as books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, personal or group blogs, Internet forum postings, and tweets, are largely not acceptable as sources." ( The source given is a thread starting with "Ugh ... <link to scam site>" and doesn't make any adequate judgments on the subject it is quoted for. Furthermore does the source itself reference the Wikipedia article.

2) Violation of the guidelines on lead sections

"In general, the emphasis given to material in the lead should reflect its relative importance to the subject, according to reliable sources [see 1]. Do not tease the reader by hinting at startling facts without describing them. Significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article" (

3) Use of bold

Furthermore, apart from being not well sourced, was the edit introduced after the above mentioned thread about a scam website was started. So this appears to be a biased edit based on that said scam website rather than a factual edit. All notwithstanding that the first incarnation of the edit mixed up the terms logarithm and algorithm (which should also be a hint at its quality).

So either remove all remarks to automated mastering or add them to the article body with appropriate references and sources. In case of the later also reference currently available (and working) semi automated mastering systems such as HarBal, AAMS or various broadcast processors.

RobertJEth (talk) 10:43, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

The addition made to the Audio mastering page is not a violation of WP rules and guidelines though I agree the ref does not meet WP:RS...that said, ya can't assume bad faith on my part especially without knowing the facts. I'm not who offered that forum's link as reference but accepted it for the time being until we can find a more reliable source. That thread is also linked to other engineers' discussions which i find interesting read. Fee free to change it to any of them that u like. But for the record, this was not a biased edit against a company, if you perceive it that way, thats your own interpretation. Either way I can care less 'bout that discussion you are referring to but do see why the engineers reacted with such distaste and mockery towards that subject. Bottom line, there are a few WP editors that didn't see anything wrong with the addition to the Audio mastering article and understand why it should be at the intro. Meantime the company you claim there is a bias against has been trying to delete the information from the article and attempting to spam WP the same day I made that edit. [6][7][8]. Anyway bro, you yourself have no edit history with Wikipedia and today you've made your *first contributions*, so welcome to WP. I'm gonna assume that you've come to make good faith edits, so if you can find a reliable source that says that automatic mastering is a professional option, feel free to change the text to "Mastering can be achieved with automation". Peace. Jrod2 (talk) 16:54, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not claiming bias against a company, but bias against new and emerging technology related to automating the mastering process, because of the absolute and absolutely bold statement that "[m]astering can not be achieved by automation", with out offering any source or reasoning. In fact I my self have been involved in research on image and video pre-processing with new technology that basically adjusts captured imaging to meet specific brightness and contrast settings. I don't see why similar software shouldn't work for audio as well. Another fact is that e.g. the company has automated the entire CD duplication process, so in the classical sense they also automated the mastering (that is the transfer from source material to the final medium (CD)), however you seem more concerned about specific sound enhancements performed by a mastering engineer which indeed could only be performed by a human engineer, because those are artistic decisions.
Anyway if some of the WP editors you are referring to would please speak out why they find it OK to have this additional paragraph in the lead without discussing the topic of automated mastering in the rest of the article instead of having it in the body and how they justify the use of bold font in that context with such an absolute statement, that would be appreciated, because I don't see why this has to be in the lead and would rather move it back to the Process section.

RobertJEth (talk) 19:53, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

I ain't gonna argue with ya about this anymore, my claim there is a *new emerging technology* for automating the mastering process?? then find that on a reliable source like Mix magazine and you will convince editors that the paragraph in question is not factual and should be even changed to say exactly the opposite. Due to the latest attempts to remove information by a vandal, the need to have other established editors to weigh in on this will be necessary before anything is taken out or modified. Peace. Jrod2 (talk) 01:52, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the statement was poorly sourced, wrongly bolded, a violation of WP:LEAD, and a non-neutral POV admonition. I removed it. There may very well be a good reason to put this information into the article, but its sourcing must be very good, and it should be in the body of the article. Binksternet (talk) 05:04, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
First I'm not your brother. Second aren't the two systems I already mentioned enough to show that there is indeed technology emerging to do automatic mastering? How about Creamware's OptiMaster it has a Wizard function that sets the settings automatically. It is even mentioned on for EQ curve matching you have iZotope Ozone 3 also mentioned on (see the "matching" part, they don't explicitly call it automatic but it is) ... but I guess to convince you they would need to run a whole segment on automated mastering. And just for the record I don't want to put the opposite into the article (because to be honest all current available systems are only semi automatic and still have some quirks), but I think there are always two sides to a story and both should be represented adequately and the paragraph, as it was, made it pretty strict that no other side should exist which in my opinion is biased. RobertJEth (talk) 09:25, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Whatever this article says should be descriptive, not prescriptive. We are not to be using the article to put one idea over another, per WP:SOAPBOX. We are not trying to guide the reader to a foregone conclusion. Let's simply tell the reader what the current practices are. Binksternet (talk) 17:54, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

RobertJEth and Binkstenet these comments from you only prove you are two of the most ignorant editors ever seen on audio related articles! The links RobertJEth present as reference for "automatic mastering" have nothing to do with automation at all. These software programs he is alluding to are not intended to be used without an operator's attendance or assistance, meaning someone has to listen first to what's being output and make final adjustments before saving to disk. How can you believe that a program can take over the duty of finalizing the sound of a mix without hearing it? That's the most stupid idea that is circulating on the web and is nothing but a big SCAM. Jrod may not have provided proper citations and references but at least he is trying to inform! The whole damn article you Binsternet claim to protect, with the exception of a mastering book by a mastering guy, it HAS NOTHING to be referenced with either! Well then at least read the only clear reference to what mastering really is as explained on the MIX Mag reference: "...And while we all know that these days one can record a great album on budget gear, the critical detail called for in mastering requires professional tools, often designed expressly for the task such as top-quality audiophile monitors and EQs offering super-precise increments of adjustment..."[9]. (talk) 19:26, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Someone should do checkuser on ROBERTJETH because other than to vandalize Cockos Inc' products on wiki, he appears to be a sole purpose account which timing happens to coincide with the company that was spamming the audio mastering page. For what is worth, automation mastering is not even an emerging technology or a new software program, but as someone said, an online mastering site scam that executes wave in/wave out processes without the presence of an audio engineer and according to some audio engineers, it does absolutely nothing to the original audio source. Batch processing in mastering does not even exist without critical listening because all settings have to be always manually tweaked. Indeed, the notion that audio mastering can be performed without human hearing, accurate monitors and a controlled acoustic environment is preposterous. (talk) 20:54, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Well,, you have read into my writing here a lot more than I intended. I support this article changed from a prescriptive tone to a descriptive one. Binksternet (talk) 21:29, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Aight everyone....I'm using the link *Robert* supplied and changed the tone to a more descriptive tone per Bink's request...Hope everybody's happy now :) Peace.Jrod2 (talk) 12:22, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Suitable for an external link?[edit]

Would this site be suitable as an external link? Would love to know your thoughts, thanks. It is not the end of the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Nope. That's a purely commercial link. --Kvng (talk) 18:08, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

RfC: Mastering tools lists[edit]

Should there be a list of hardware mastering tools, and a list of software mastering tools in the article? Binksternet (talk) 14:31, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment: Mastering is a general term, and something that is currently done to some extent on every level from hobbyist to professional mastering house, so there are mastering tools found in an incredible range of both software and hardware products. To complicate matters, there are any number of software or hardware products that are used in some way to perform some mastering function, even when those software programs or hardware products aren't specifically designed for mastering. Finally, anyone in the mastering business will be fairly opinionated and passionate about the tools they prefer to use (which may or may not be the same tools that others are passionate about), and inevitable non-solvable conflicts will ensue. For those reasons, I think an encyclopedic list of software and hardware will be incredibly difficult to achieve (unless we're willing to go the route of the Digital audio editor page. Instead, perhaps there is a way to note some different mastering hardware or software in the context of its use by a pro mastering house or on a notable recording? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Synthfiend (talkcontribs)
  • Comment: The lists are very subjective, unsupported by references at the moment. References do exist, such as Bob Katz's Mastering audio: the art and the science, but not all of the equipment found here can be found in the few references. For instance, Katz mentions Crookwood and Sound Performance Lab but not Maselec desks, though he talks about a Maselec de-esser. Barefoot Sound monitor speakers are not in any reliable source I could find. At Bernie Grundman's website, he lists a few pieces of mastering gear but the intersection with our list is incomplete. He lists converters by Apogee and Meitner, and Harmonia Mundi as a signal processor, for instance, but these are not in the present list. Bob Ludwig's website says he uses Dunlavy monitors, but that brand is not represented on our list. The point of all this is that the list as currently constituted is not defensible. It does not appear to be based 100% on published information. Binksternet (talk) 16:07, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Thats because those are the only engineers we been relying on for references, aight? If u wanna get more mastering gear referenced, you're gonna run inevitably into the problem of attracting engineers who call themselves *mastering engineers* wanting to insert their links there to spam WP. How do we ref all that gear without giving trolls and spammers room to spam? The gear should be referenced by who made it not who used it.Jrod2 (talk) 18:14, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
BTW, the last thing we need is gear pimping on WP by the manufacturers themselves BUT, if its truly *mastering* gear, why not allow them to place their stuff (i know this would be controversial so i expect some editor's flak now). Jrod2 (talk) 23:17, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
I think what would qualify a piece of gear for our audio mastering list (if we choose to have it) would be whether it was used by mainstream users, acknowledged industry leaders, not whether its manufacturer calls it mastering gear. If no notable mastering house uses it, it does not belong. Binksternet (talk) 01:47, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
That's a bad idea. We ain't gonna start using external links for referencing studios or more engineers to a gear list. No way. Would be a mess and a beam of light for spammers....i cannot see why u think having the manufacturer describing the gear for mastering isn't enuff ref. Does it bother me that anybody might stick their mixing gear in there? sure, but thats better than dealing everyday with an army of studios & engineers who just realized they are *industry leaders*. if it comes down to deciding to choose between more external links to engineers or removing the list, then MAYBE keepin a list is bad idea too. Jrod2 (talk) 12:49, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
  • List in separate article. Programming, an article on another broad higher-level subject includes a section summarising programming languages in general with a Main article: link to List of programming languages. This avoids clutter in the parent article but allows people to view the list if they so desire. The same should be used here - include summarised sections relating to the hardware or software used for mastering, with See also: or Main article: links to the respective List articles. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 04:05, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

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Remasted not always better than original[edit]

Please mention why the remasted version is not always better than original. E.g.,

  1. Too much detail: now we can hear the singer's disconcerting breathing nuances.
  2. The engineer has now shifted emphasis to instrument A to the detriment of instrument B, thus tossing out the former balanced situation.

Jidanni (talk) 00:12, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jidanni, your comments only emphasize the importance of working with an experienced ME. Even on music mastering online facilities (MMOL's), the engineer makes sure what frequencies need tweaking and what not, keeping up with the overall [

Nothing about the physical master recordings themselves, or the issues surrounding them[edit]

Master recording redirects here, but there is nothing here about the physical master recording, only the process of making it. Nor is there any mention of the rights issues that have frequently come up over master recordings, or who generally owns them. Seriously lacking in that regard. Perhaps a poor redirect. - (talk) 00:00, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

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