Recently I’ve been scouring the world in search of useful and relevant information about audio recording, engineering and mastering techniques. In the process I have rediscovered some great books including the likes of Bob Katz’s “Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science” as well as excellent trade magazines such as Future Music and Computer Music magazine. Additionally, I have been spending quite a bit of time watching the Sonic Academy instructional videos (highly recommended). I’ve found that although a systematic and scientific approach to all things music will help to develop a producer/dj’s sonic intuition, it should be remembered that at some point we all became musicians because it was fun. And for that reason, here is the very entertaining tutorial by Claude VonStroke recorded by Future Music about the making of his song “Big and Round.”
In 2009 the German based artist was nominated for Beatport’s “Best Progressive House Artists”, and eventually went onto win the coveted Beatport award in the category “Best Progressive House Track” for his remix of Delerium “Silence”. – www.thomas-gold.com/
Here’s a video interview with Thomas Gold produced by Future Music Magazine describing the instruments, plug-ins and effects used on “Silence”.
P.S. Toward the end of the clip Gold describes his “Mastering” chain. Well worth a watch.
In Audio Engineering, Dithering is a “post-mastering” process in which a 24bit (or higher) file is converted to the standard CD sample rate of 16bit 44100Hz. During this precess, a small amount of noise is added to the converted file. As I understand it, the small amount of noise helps to smooth gaps between samples therefor preserving perceived dynamic quality.
“Dither is an intentionally applied form of noise used to randomize quantization error, preventing large-scale patterns such as “banding” (stepwise rendering of smooth gradations in brightness or hue) in images, or noise at discrete frequencies in an audio recording, that are more objectionable than uncorrelated noise. Dither is routinely used in processing of both digital audio and digital video data, and is often one of the last stages of audio production to compact disc.The field of audio is a primary example of this — the human ear functions much like a Fourier transform, wherein it hears individual frequencies. The ear is therefore very sensitive to distortion, or additional frequency content that “colors” the sound differently, but far less sensitive to random noise at all frequencies.”
Although this clip is essentially an advertisement for T-Racks and Bobby Osinski’s books, if you are interested in the fundamentals of audio mastering, there are some very good pieces of advice in this short clip. Eq’ing, Compression, and Limiting on the master mix level are detailed in this video.
Recently I’ve been using iZotpe Ozone to Master my newer music projects. After applying Ozone’s effects,the difference in quality and dynamics is like night and day. I can’t recommend this product enough. I encourage everyone to give it a try. Anyhow, here is a tutorial that displays Ozone’s ability to scan the frequencies represented in one song to be mimicked in your own track. Incredible.