Pro Mastering


Professional



Dorrough Meter





Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter




PQ List




Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder GUI





L3-16 Multimaximizer











Ideology and Perseverance
     Mastering is the final stage in album production, and engineers at MuScene will deal with flaws and defects originating in analogue to digital conversions and studio environment to real world translate during previous recording processes.  The goal is to bestow thrilling affections, superiority, and competivity to the end product.       

     A dedicated audio processor, outboard gear specifically developed for mastering is adopted.  Examples of our gears include the following: Linear Phase Multi-Band Dynamic Compressor is capable of dynamical compressing each individual band while maintaining the linear synchrony of the entire frequency spectrum in time-domain; Liner-Phase EQ is capable of fine tuning the gain or attenuation of a given band without deleterious phase shifting that can result in obscured details and degraded resolution.
 
     Audio processor (mastering grade equalizer, compressor, limiter) used in Pro Mastering can be classified into two categories — analogue and digital.  Generally speaking, analogue processors are quite costly and are mostly hand-made, many once-mainstream systems have phased out on the market and it is very hard to acquire one.  However, the unique and outstanding characters and resolution generated with analogue processors is hard to be outrun.  On the other hand, digital units built with modern technologies cost less and are easier to procure, maintain, as well as operate.  

     Modern high-end digital audio processors perform very close to their analogue counterparts with regard to sound quality and details, and they have the advantage of averting from quality degradation that unavoidably occurs in AD/DA conversions.  At the Pro Mastering stage, you as the producer can specify the gears to be used and the processing procedures you desire to meet your anticipated style and quality needs.  Our senior engineers can offer you valuable advice or consultation to perfect your end product. 

     Pro Mastering demands an accurate and appropriate acoustics monitoring environment.  The mastering engineer should locate him-/her-self at the monitoring Sweet Spot of an absolutely fine-tuned symmetric acoustic field to achieve critical and unbiased monitoring.  Speakers with high resolution is among the top criteria in selecting a proper monitoring sound regeneration system, and in this process other monitoring sound regeneration systems with different characteristics are important for cross-comparison/AB test in order to optimize the making of an impartial judgment in generating the final end product.

     Upon the completion of Pro Mastering, you and MuScene’s engineers together will do playback/replay auditing tests in multi-environments, each mimicking various listening environments, replay/playback systems, playback purposes, and playback/replay specifications.  For example, we will mimic playback environments including home-theater, iPod, mp3, bedside stereo, commercial studio, and automotive; compatibility of the replicated CD disk with multiple file formats including Wave, mp3, and wma will also be tested in your presence until your satisfaction as a high-quality, multipurpose smash that can impress listeners using either non-professional or professional playback devices.
 
Production details
     Upon the completion of mixing multiple original recorded sound tracks into a single stereo or surround sound track, Stem (sub mix) or the final mix down track can be used as the starting material for mastering operations.  If you already have a stem or final mix down audio track, the MuScene will proceed along with the materials you provide.  While using a stem as the mastering source imposes significant difficulty and complexity on the mastering processes, more flexibility is available to the mastering engineer and provides ample room for improving flaws or defects left behind in the preceding mixing stage.

     During the mastering stage, multiple sets of speakers with distinct characteristics will be used for cross testing/AB testing so as to smoothly convert the recorded audio tracks into a final product that suits more generic playback environments.  The goal is to optimize the product characteristics that can have the best overall playback outcome across the spectrum of potential playback environments.

     The high bit rate commonly adopted in the preceding recording and mixing stages will be converted into album standard (Red Book Audio) of 44.1 kHz/16-bit, or DVD audio standard of 48 kHz/24-bit data format.  This process of reducing data rates is accompanied with audio distortion (twisting frequency response) and loss of audio resolution; these undesirable yet unavoidable degradations in quality can be minimized to an insensible extent with proper processing by dithering and noise shaping.

     Before the master tape is converted into the end product, additional information such as a PQ code list will be incorporated into the master tape’s tracks meta-data.  The PQ code list contains information on the music and sound tracks, the length of each tracks, time elapse between consecutive tracks, CD text, copyright declaration and ISRC codes.  The PQ code is generated in compliance with the Red Book standard.

     Upon the completion of the sound track master, MuScene will provide various master export format per request of our customer.  In addition to common master export and file transfer formats, such as DAT, and CD-R, etc., we can offer DPP professional master format.  The DPP format directly converts data contained in the glass master or master plate into export without invoking intermediates such as CD-R or DAT.  Please contact MuScene Stduio if you desire to export your template master’s tape in this professional format.

     Several ensuing professional steps and processes will finally create the final album of your music.  Major steps include firstly engrave mastered musical data onto a glass substrate that has a nickel/germanium coating, then this coating on the glass template/glass master is retro-transferred onto a metallic nickel substrate, which will finally be used as the mold for pressing CDs in volume.  Directly transcribe the mastered data onto a glass template yields a much more precise copy than processing via an intermediate CD-R step.  Mistaking and failing blocks created when the CD-R procedure is adopted rely on real-time error correction of the playback device.

     The MuScene Studio aims for professional and flawless production and conveyance of your valued music proprietary.  If you wish to own the glass template and/or master nickel mold for purposes of personal collection, examination, legal attestation, or auction, please indicate your needs at the point of contracting us for professional mastering of your music.

     We sincerely welcome and anticipate working jointly with the producer and director in this professional mastering stage, with the hope to have your direct contribution to the shaping up of your CD product.
 
Value of our services
     Pro Mastering offered by the MuScene Studio follows the same standards and processing flows as brand-named industry in the Hollywood.  We are confident that MuScene ranks cream of the crop in Taiwan in this industry in terms of our quality service and unequaled technological advancement.  MuScenen’s Pro Mastering services give you the same quality by the Hollywood standards at a fraction of the Hollywood cost.  We can provide you with end products that meet the expectations of yours and of consumers, and boost your competitivity ahead of your competitors .

 

Service Quotation

US $94.25~150 per song

US $937.50~1899.99 / Album

US $88.29~192.99/ DDP&Master CD Solution