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Music 265B Week 13 Mastering

PDF version available HERE Mastering is the final phase in the music production process. During this phase, we turn our finished mix into a Master audio file, from which all mass-produced copies of CD’s, MP3’s, vinyl pressings, and digital streaming files will be made. In other words, this is the copy that we will sell, distribute, or otherwise present to the general public. Because of this, our master copy needs to meet a few “quality control” standards in order for the public to consume it. This step may be as simple bouncing down our mix into a stereo audio file,…

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Music 265B Week 12 Mixing Part 3

PDF version available HERE We’re almost done with the mixing phase. So far, we used various plug-ins to shape the tone & texture of each individual instrument. For the rest of the mixing phase, we will focus on Blending & Balancing our tracks together in context. This can be a vague term with many different meanings, but for now, think of blending & balancing as an attempt to recreate the live performance of a band on stage. We will use the Pan knobs to spread the band around on stage within the left & right spectrum, and the Faders to…

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Music 265B Week 10 Mixing, Part 1

PDF version available HERE We may have prepared a rough mix for the band during the recording & editing phase, but we don’t start the actual mixing phase until all of the song’s elements have been recorded and edited into the right place. When we mix a song, we try to accomplish a few goals Bring out the ideal timbre in each instrument, with respect to the song’s style. Blend & balance the individual instruments into an ensemble performance. Prepare the song for the mastering process. Mixing With A Purpose Mixing can be extremely subjective, and most mixing decisions come…

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Music 265B Week 09 Editing, Part 3

PDF version available HERE So far, we have used the Smart Tool to cut, drag, splice, and assemble a good master performance. We used Strip Silence to cut down on unwanted leakage, and Beat Detective to clean up our performance’s rhythmic accuracy. Elastic Audio allowed us to stretch and warp our audio to fix up any additional mistakes. But what about tuning and pitch? A musician could have accidentally played the wrong note on the right rhythm, or the singer could be out of tune. We can attempt to fix some of these mistakes through an editing process known as…

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Music 265B Week 07 Editing, Part 1

PDF version available HERE During the Editing phase, we try to accomplish three goals. Assemble the best performance out of all of the recorded material. Fix any mistakes: correct pitch and adjust rhythmic accuracy as needed. Clean up, polish, and prepare our tracks for the mixing phase. Let’s take a look at some of the tools & functions we will be using for the next few weeks. The Tools The Trim Tool is the first of our three primary tools. It has three separate functions, which can be changed by right clicking on the icon. In Standard mode, we can…

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Music 265B Week 06 Recording an Ensemble

PDF version available HERE Here’s a brief review of what we’ve covered so far. Pre-Production: The songwriters create a piece of music: they decide on a tempo, structure, key, instrumentation, etc. When the music is polished into its finished form, they hire musicians, rehearse, and book time in the recording studio. Studio Setup: The engineer consults with the producer & bandleader to determine the best way to record the ensemble. The engineer drafts a Setup Sheet, which details how the musicians will be arranged in the studio, where stands & baffles will be placed, what microphones will be used, and…

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