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Red Mastering Studio

{Red Mastering Studio}{se218hp London}{London}{se218hp}{London}{UK}{ 44 (0) 207 193 3307}
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Phone: 44 (0) 207 193 3307 $$$ Red Mastering Studio

Mastering for iTunes- Latest Technique to Improve Sound

The mastering for iTunes from Apple is creating the latest buzz in the recent years. Even, there are lots of confusion regarding this matter among the musicians and the music composers. Mastering music for the iTunes is a common process yet it is gaining importance due to its wide acceptance among the music lovers. There are four ways through which the mastered iTunes can be discussed. Have a look on them in brief-

  • Mastering Sound for iTunes is Set of Rules and Guidelines

You will happy to hear that the easiest way to know the guidelines of the iTunes mastering is by reading this article. Mainly, it is a set of rules for the people to go through, for ensuring that you are getting the best versions of the tracks that are available in the iTunes Music Stores. Companies like Apple include the free guidelines that help you to preview how your tracks will sound after encoding. These rules are great. They will certainly encourage you for submitting the high-standard files and then suggest how you can avoid facing the traps that affect the sound quality. For instance- you can avoid the clipping and the over-cooking of the music level for the Loudness wars.

At this particular moment, the final tracks are still having 44.1 KHz kbps AAC files. So, they are actually the encoded files those use the lossy compression and the high-class mp3s. The concept of feeling the difference of submitting 24 or the 96 version of the sound is debatable. I think there is not much difference in both. But companies like Apple gives hint that in the upcoming years, the audio mastering professionals will certainly use high-standard masters to get better downloadable versions in the future. Professional mixing and mastering studios will be having all the equipments for high quality masters.

  • Mastered for iTunes is the Part of iTunes Store-

Here the concept gets a little messy. The Apple has made a particular section of the iTunes stores for the tracks that have completed the process of mastering according to the concept of ‘mastered iTunes’. But, here are some of the examples that do not follow the rules. Take into account the example of the title like Metallica’s beyond magnetic and Red hot Chilli Peppers’s I am with you. Both the tracks are having the loudness wars. They are mastered at high levels, and thus there are many distortions. They may be revealed as the hi-resolution file, but when the vinyl sounds even better, you can feel that there is something wrong.

  • Mastered for the iTunes is a Matter of Chance

Just think if the mastered iTunes version of the song “I am with you” followed the guidelines of the Apple. It will definitely sound like the vinyl mastering. In this particular case, I would be having no such restrictions in declaring that this process is quite vital. The disadvantages of the lossy encoding are completely overweighed.  Here, little to be done with the sample rates and the bit depths at the initial source. CD mastering services in the form of itunes are gaining importance.

  • Mastered for iTunes will use the New Lossless Format

When I was writing this post, I came to know information that Apple is upgrading the iTunes library. As a whole, Apple is using the new HD-AAC format that allows us to get the fully lossless access to the tracks that will be mastered in iTunes in the upcoming years.

These four points will help you to know about themastered iTunes. The part from these, you should all know that mastered for iTunes is a professional audio mastering process as well as the distribution format. The mastered for iTunes technique ensures all the artists that they are getting the benefits from this format and the premium format of this type of mastering helps in mixing and mastering engineers for publishing music in higher fidelity.

The same mastered for itunes technique that the mastering engineers follows is applied to the “Apple Music” stores. We all know the process is geared to the AAC format used by the itunes, any type of streaming service that uses any somewhat lossy encoding will get the benefit from the mastered itunes process.

It is obvious that the Mastered for iTunes sound will sound better than the uncompressed master will. There is a reason behind it. The “mastered for iTunes” use the lossy format. Thus, if you want to get a better sound, try the “mastered for iTunes”.

Using Free Best Mastering Software

Music tracks can be the equivalent of noise, or they can be something more, if an engineer has competently mixed or arranged the sound elements. While even the best mastering software is just a tool, and cannot replace the skill of a professional, much can be said for using a good mastering app to edit the tracks. This can vary from a base program to a number of plug-ins.  Red mastering uses the best paid tools in each such category, rest assured. But for those who have acquired some skills, but may be lacking in the budget department, the below examples of free and affordable tools can get the job done.

Equalizers M/S.  Among the top freeware apps in this category are BaxterEQ by Variety of Sound, MQ57 by J1000, and NCL Phase EQ by matt42 (all three programs are in Windows). For equalizers that are linear-phase, there’s Marvel GEQ by Voxengo (Mac, Windows), ReaFIR by Cockos (Linux, Windows), and SplineEQ by Photosounder (Windows).  Apps for dynamic equalizers include DuckEQ by HeelAudio (Mac), IQ4gui by Platinumears (Windows), or Smash Pro by Jeroen Breebaart (Windows).

Compressors. The best mastering software for free in this area (clean) are TDR Feedback Compressor II by Tokyo Dawn Records (Mac, Windows) or ReaComp by Cockos (Linux, Windows). Compressors for coloring include DCAM FreeComp by FXpansion (Mac, Windows), Density mkIII by Variety of Sound (Windows) and Molot by VladG Sound (Mac, Windows). Among multi-band compressors are 5ORCERY by Platinumears (Windows), Broadcast by Jeroen Breebaart (Windows), C3 Multi Band Compressor by slim slow slider (Mac, Windows), and ReaXComp by Cockos (Linux, Windows).

Limiters et al. Effects tools of this type include  Barricade Pro by Jeroen Breebaart (Windows), Limiter №6 by VladG Sound (Mac, Windows), along with LoudMax by Thomas Mundt (Mac, Windows). Two saturation programs  controlling for that factor are IVGI by Klanghelm Audio (Mac, Windows) and TesslaPRO mkII by Variety of Sound (Windows). Exciter programs  include Thrillseeker XTC by Variety of Sound (Windows) and You Wa Shock ! by Image Line (Windows).

Other programs provide help for miscellaneous effects like clippers, transient shapers, M/S, spectrum analyzers and mastering suites, among other functions. Use of these applications can help one ‘master’ their mastering and mixing skills and familiarity with such software, until they may move on to better paid programs. In the meantime, freeware like BaxterEQ, TDR Feedback, Density mkill , Limiter etc will more than get you by.