I’ll be giving a lecture for AES on Mastering and the Loudness Wars, on Thursday 2/10/2011, at Cogswell College in Sunnyvale CA, at 7 PM. Non-AES members are welcome. INFO: http://www.aessf.org/meetings/20110210.htm
“Never in the history of mankind have humans listened to such compressed music as we listen to now.”
Audio Mastering is the final stage of quality control before music goes public. Mastering engineers traditionally make small adjustments to EQ, compression, gain and other parameters to help the recording sound as good as possible in different listening environments. Many people interpret this final processing step as the means to make music sound “more commercial”; or worse, to compete in loudness with increasingly over-compressed and distorted masters.
I’ll offer a quick and lighthearted introduction to the ideas and technologies behind audio mastering, show some examples of “good sounding” and “bad sounding” masters, discuss the future of commercial recording, and ways to stop the Loudness Wars.