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By Cyrus Rhodes - 09/21/2009 - 04:09 PM EDT

If you ask around the overall consensus on Mastering - is one gigantic mystery. So what does Mastering do for your overall production? Most people don't have a clue, including studio engineers. Because of this most inexperienced artists out there will just hand their finalized CD over to some greedy studio engineer who claims to be an expert at mastering. The truth is he just wants to makes a little extra cash off of you as youíre headed out the door, and doesínt have a freaking clue. In fact I havenít Iíve yet to meet a studio out there who possesses all the necessary knowledge and skill sets required to call him a Professional Mastering Engineer.

Mastering is a highly complex post-production processes that includes editing, sweetening, EQ matching & compression, level matching, limiting, song sequencing and dozens other tools to create your finished CD. The mastering engineer will also ensure your music will sound great - whether it's being played through a car stereo, a portable CD player, or a top-of-the-line stereo system. This is why experience plays such an important role during this phase of your production. Post production is also helpful for addressing issues such as "pops," out-of-phase tracks, and overall noise reduction. During mastering, the sound of your CD will be optimized to its full potential, making it sound punchy, warm, and full. Whatís more it will make the overall volume level uniform and highlight all the small details that aren't already apparent yet. It cannot be understated how important the Mastering phase is. 

Do not underestimate how much of an impact a good Master can have on your final sound. In the end this could be the defining moment for your music when itís being evaluated either by a fan or by an A&R Representative.

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