Mastering is the final step of audio production. The purpose of mastering is broken down into three stages. The first purpose is to balance all of the instruments of a stereo mix. The next step should optimize playback across all media formats. The last step is making sure that each song on an album sounds cohesive and part of a whole body of work.
Traditionally, mastering is done using tools four tools. First is equalization. The second one is a compressor. A third tool on the list is limiting. Last is a stereo enhancer. The stereo enhancement would include a sum and side processor.
Mastering is also the process of treating all of the songs on an album together as one unit. The treatment of songs takes a three step process. The first purpose is to make the songs sound like they belong together on the same record. Secondly, the goal is to attain a cohesiveness to your songs. Lastly, the songs will be brought up to industry standard level for distribution on all forms of media.
A Pristine Approach
Starsound Studios has mastering equipment. We take an immaculate sonic approach to mixing and mastering. Starsound Studios melds them together. Instead of taking the traditional approach which is to mix a song independently of mastering. Then, open another program to master the song separate of the mixing stage. Either we use broad strokes with our Baxandall Equalizer or use a very surgical approach with our Sum and Side plugin.
We first run the summed audio out of the analog summing box. It then goes through our three Rupert Neve Designs 500 modules. The analog stereo result is brought back inside of Pro-Tools by an auxiliary track.
The audio then receives further digital processing if necessary. The further processing would include our custom Studer plugin setting. A Sum and Side Plugin is next in the plugin chain. Last but not least is the audio limiter. It is used to bring a song track up to that competitive radio level.
Finally, the song exports into Ozone 7. This program allows us to hear the result of the song put into any media format. It makes it possible to adjust for the many different media formats independently from the mix. It also lets us drop it down to 16 bit 44 K standard CD media. Please refer to our Media Page for before and after comparisons.