In short, mastering is preparing your audio to be fully compatible with whatever
medium your audio will be distributed on. Professional Audio Group provides audio
pre-mastering for Compact Disc. Technically what we do is pre-mastering, but it has
become common to interchange pre-mastering and mastering to mean the same
thing. Therefore, everywhere else on this site we will refer to ourselves as a
mastering service and say we provide mastering or mastering services, even though
it is really pre-mastering. True “mastering” is what gets done at a CD replication
plant. They take the information the pre-mastering service provides on Redbook CD
or DDP file ( Disc Description Protocol ) and create a glass master. The glass
master is then used to replicate hundreds or thousands of CDs. Their type of
mastering is more of a transfer procedure and does not alter audio information or
CD data submitted from a “pre-mastering house” ( like us ) in any way.

The Mastering Process

We take each audio track you provide and apply ultra high quality digital processing
to make your audio compatible with the widest range of playback situations. For
more information about the actual steps involved please see “What do you actually
do?” in this FAQ below. An experienced mastering engineer is able to strike a
balance and create a master that will sound great on a boom box, in the car, in a
club, on the radio, on TV, or on an audiophile stereo. Though there are no empirical
compatibility standards in place, a reputable mastering house can make your mixes
“compatible” with the rest of the playback world.

The technical compatibility a mastering house provides makes your audio compliant
with the medium on which it will be distributed. Most of our clients are looking to get
their mixes assembled onto a CD. While it is possible to create an audio CD in
ITunes ® or with CD burning software, the type of CD that gets created is very
different than a commercial release and very different from what a duplicator or
replicator needs. A mastering house is able to create a CD ( or file ) that utilizes the
entire CD specification and is ready for mass replication ( with no extra charges from
the replicator ).