Mastering with WaveLab 9.5
eMasterSound: Professional Mastering Services
eMasterSound Mastering Methods & Practices
We all have to agree technology in general is amazing. eMasterSound has the latest & greatest software, and hardware and knows how use it. But don’t take our word for it, review “Plug-ins vs. Hardware — Which Should You Choose?” on the Sweetwater.com website. Quote by Mac McDonough “We can sing the praises of analog gear all day — it’s undeniably awesome. So, it’s better, right? Not necessarily. “You know”, digital processors can accomplish feats that engineers never dreamed possible a couple of decades ago”.
Professional mastering requires years of experience and 10’s of thousands of dollars of gear. Below is an overview of our process with the world-famous WaveLab alongside the celebrated mastering plugins.
Stereo Mastering is the final process before a song is released to the public. Our engineers know how to work toward “The end game” to achieve the prize of professional sounding master on a variety of speakers, to increase the volume of the stereo track to a standardized level, and ultimately make the stereo track sound awesome.
A Step by Step Guide to Audio Mastering Work Flow
WaveLab Audio Editor and Audio Montage: We use WaveLab 9.5 because the features sample-accurate audio editing combined with an impressive set of tools to speed up editing operations. eMasterSound trained ears choose between destructive Audio Editor and the non-destructive Audio Montage; depending on the editing task your song requires. Refer to Mixing Workflow to learn about destructive and non- destructive Audio Editing.
WaveLab Single Audio File Editor: WaveLab’s Audio Editor is an impressive tool for sample-accurate audio editing and high-quality analysis. Audio files can be recorded via WaveLab’s record dialog or can simply be loaded into the Audio Editor. All the powerful WaveLab editing features are conveniently located right above the audio file waveform. Multiple functions to perform cutting, fading, audio analysis, rendering and more are grouped in their respective function tabs. The Audio Editor also provides a modern Spectrogram and a Wavelet display, with state-of-the-art spectral editing functionality including Steinberg’s patent- pending Audio Inpainting technology, to help find andsurgically remove unwanted signals from your files while preserving the audio quality.
WaveLab also fully supports mid/side chain editing & processing. Switching the waveform to M/S, we use all editing and audio processing tools available, to precisely master the M/S signal. The Audio Editor also excels at analyzing audio material by offering a global analysis and by providing an offline-preview with the Loudness Track function. The Loudness Normalizer is able to process according to EBU-compliant standards. The feature set is rounded off by 16-bit float zooming for precise audio cuts and further options.
eMasterSound “Fabfilter” Editing plugins:
eMasterSound “Universal Audio” Editing plugins:
Ampex ATR-102 Mastering Tape Recorder
Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor
Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor
eMasterSound “Waves” Editing plugins:
Linear Phase Multiband Compressor
WaveLab Audio Analysis Toolset: WaveLab’s audio analysis toolset is well known for its accuracy and versatility. The tool windows host an extensive set of metering tools, such as the level meter, FFT-based spectrometer and more, enabling you to check the frequency and level status of your audio material. The EBU-compliant loudness meter helps you to check for broadcast-relevant standards, not only via realtime-metering, but also with an offline loudness track.
WaveLab includes a global analysis toolset that checks for DC-offset, peak and loudness values and includes an error detection system which you can use to discover clipping, glitches, peaks and more. This helps you to eleminate unwanted noise using WaveLab’s error correction and restoration tools.
WaveLab EBU Loudness Metering, Measurement and Processing: WaveLab provides a plethora of audio processing tools that can be used in two ways: destructive and non-destructive. While the Audio Editor offers destructive levelling, normalizing, fading, looping, splitting and correction tools, the Audio Montage comes with a comprehensive, non-destructive loudness processing solution alongside a range of other options and capabilities.
WaveLab includes a toolset for EBU R-128 loudness metering, measurement and processing. While loudness metering is ideal for checking the status of the audio, the loudness processing capabilities directly process your audio material to EBU- compliant standards.
eMasterSound “Fabfilter” Leveling plugins:
eMasterSound “Universal Audio” Leveling plugins:
Fairchild Tube Limiter Collection
Teletronix® LA-2A Leveler Collection
1176 Classic Limiter Collection
SSL 4000 G Bus Compressor Collection
Teletronix® LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler
eMasterSound “Waves” Leveling plugins:
WaveLab Restoration and Error Correction: Be it restoration of old records or correction of problematic recordings, WaveLab provides comprehensive error correction functionality (located on its own tab right above the waveform) that offers an intuitive toolset to easily detect unwanted signals, such as clicks, glitches and clips, and includes several options to correct or remove these errors automatically.
WaveLab & Waves Restoration “Plethora of Plugins”: Also part of WaveLab’s plug-in set is “RestoreRig”, a restoration plug-in suite designed to accurately remove unwanted noise and audio artifacts from your impaired audio recordings in real time. The plug-in suite consists of three modules, DeNoiser, DeClicker and DeBuzzer, enabling you to easily remove both short impulsive noise as well as stationary noise. Some of our engineer are more comfortable with Waves “Sound Restoration” plugins: X-Click, X-Crackle, X-Hum, X-Noise, Z-Noise.
WaveLab Batch Processing and Sound Designing: The mighty Batch Processor allows us to process multiple audio files in one go, as well as for “Sound Designing”. If you need to convert audio files into different formats, we can even combine our favorite plug-ins to create a whole plug-in chain that is batch-processed.
The Batch Processor also includes a feature called “Watch Folders”, accelerating batch conversion and processing tasks by outsourcing them to a designated standard Windows or Mac folder of a (supported) operating system. There, folders are processed by WaveLab with tasks you can predefine, such as normalization, plug-in processing, file format conversion and more. Audio files placed into the folder will be converted using the processing commands previously created for that folder.
WaveLab Export: CD Mastering, Rendering and DDP creation
Mastering means adjusting levels, equalization, spatial integration and many other audio aspects between different audio tracks in order to create a coherent acoustic experience across the entire production. WaveLab provides intuitive track assembly, audio editing, application of effects or crossfades, as well as accurate CD marker/PQ editing. With WaveLab we can create a CD image file and optionally compare the final CD to the master image for error checking and repair.
Any file format that you need your songs into… We can also render your audio files by choosing from more than 15 popular file formats among them AAC iTunes, FLAC, MP3 — including a variety of encoder options. And, of course, WaveLab features DDP import, DDP creation and quality check via DDP file checksum.
WaveLab Effect Mastering with a Powerful “Plethora of Plugins”: eMasterSound has the sweetest Effects (FX) plugins which are “The final touches” to your song. Professional audio refinement also includes the use of effects, applying your favorite plug-ins to the audio material. WaveLab contains more than 45 high-quality plug-ins. Among them are Voxengo Curve EQ with spectrum-matching technology, Post- filter, Brickwall Limiter, MBIT+ Dithering by iZotope and WaveLab’s MasterRig, the most complete mastering suite ever crafted by Steinberg, consisting of six high-end plug-in modules.
All effects can be used either as clip, track and output effects, or globally within WaveLab’s mighty Master Section. A range of other tools are included to guarantee best audio quality, featuring an SoX-based Resampler and Encoder Checker, allowing for a real-time, latency-free comparison of MP3, OGG or AAC codecs.
WaveLab Professional Program Layout: WaveLab speeds up the mastering process by providing an ingeniously thought through interface concept that is easy to learn and to adapt to individual needs. WaveLab’s Audio Editor, Audio Montage and Batch Processor are based on a ribbon layout consisting of individual tabs for the most often used functions. All ribbon tabs are context sensitive and appear dynamically. The tabs also provide fixed views of all functions, meaning the mastering tools you’re working with are always visible and located at the very same position. The File tab provides all functions for setting up the project and exporting audio material in different file formats.
WaveLab Master Section:
The Master Section provides a perfect overview on the main level of the audio material. It also comes with global mastering effects and includes 12 plug-in instances allowing for the creation of individual mastering chain, full M/S support for each plug-in, a resampler and extensive monitoring options. The Master Section also provides separate slots for applying dithering and for checking the file format quality with WaveLab’s Encoder Checker. Last but not least, WaveLab provides speaker management for monitoring several loudspeaker setups.
Refer to the “WaveLab EBU Loudness Metering, Measurement and Processing” for mastering chain workflow plugins.
WaveLab Organizing Your Project: WaveLab includes a project concept based on File Groups. This allows you to individually group a bunch of single audio files and the resulting Audio Montage (into which the single files are composed) in one framework — the File Group. This also works for batch processing files.
WaveLab Project Manager: Large projects often result in complex structures that need to be managed coherently and clearly. WaveLab helps you to keep track of your audio files and audio montages with the Project Manager. The Project Manager provides a tree structure view that lets you instantly see which files belong to which file group, how they are named and if they have been modified. You can even drag and drop files from the Project Manager into an Audio Montage or open a new Audio Editor.
WaveLab Docking System: One of WaveLab’s biggest assets has always been its customizability, as the layout is an important factor when working with software on a daily basis. WaveLab comes with a docking system that offers a flexible and easy window handling and lets you arrange windows to your individual needs.
WaveLab Control: For even more convenience, the WaveLab Control section lets you group a freely selectable range of analysis tools in a dedicated space. This way, you can perfectly organize WaveLab’s excellent analyzing tools such as spectroscope, VU metering, spectrum metering and more. Individual combinations of analyzing tools can be saved and recalled at any time.
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