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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > May-16 > Running Parts

Running Parts

The final process in the mastering stage doesn’t involve processing the audio at all. Mike Hillier readies his printer...

Technique Mastering Part 6

The final step of mastering comes once all the tracks for the release are processed and (usually) rendered, and involves the transfer of the final files to the release medium. In the case of a digital download, this can be quite simple, involving little more than converting the file into whichever format is required by the digital store you are releasing through. But for CD, vinyl or cassette, this process can involve quite a few extra steps.

Digital download

For downloads, the mastered files simply need to be converted to the relevant formats and checked. The final mastered format should be the highest quality available. This is usually 32-bit WAV at the sample-rate the track was recorded at. While increasing the bit-depth can be advantageous in mastering, you should only increase the sample-rate if you’re running the audio out through analogue hardware. There’s no advantage to converting a 44.1kHz file to 96kHz or 192kHz if all processing is done in the box, but plenty of headaches will be incurred – not least the additional disk space required.

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About MusicTech

Make a track today! That's the focus of the May issue of MusicTech as top producers reveal their secrets and top tips to starting, arranging, mixing, finishing and mastering your music. If you've ever needed inspiration, had trouble taking a tune beyond its initial ideas, never known how or when to stop, or needed a pro mastered sound, this is the issue to get! On top of this massive set of features there's a huge studio interview with the legend that is Gary Numan, 1.22GB of free samples and all the latest modular synth and music production news.
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