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Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science

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Mastering Audio explains leading-edge audio concepts in an easy-to-grasp, holistic manner, including an ear-opening investigation of the mysteries of jitter, dither and wordlengths, high sample rates, distortion, headroom, monitor calibration, metering, depth perception, compression and expansion, equipment interconnection and much more. Mastering Audio is for everyone who Mastering Audio explains leading-edge audio concepts in an easy-to-grasp, holistic manner, including an ear-opening investigation of the mysteries of jitter, dither and wordlengths, high sample rates, distortion, headroom, monitor calibration, metering, depth perception, compression and expansion, equipment interconnection and much more. Mastering Audio is for everyone who wants to increase their mastery of digital and analog audio: musicians, producers, A&R, mastering, recording and mixing engineers, and students.


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Mastering Audio explains leading-edge audio concepts in an easy-to-grasp, holistic manner, including an ear-opening investigation of the mysteries of jitter, dither and wordlengths, high sample rates, distortion, headroom, monitor calibration, metering, depth perception, compression and expansion, equipment interconnection and much more. Mastering Audio is for everyone who Mastering Audio explains leading-edge audio concepts in an easy-to-grasp, holistic manner, including an ear-opening investigation of the mysteries of jitter, dither and wordlengths, high sample rates, distortion, headroom, monitor calibration, metering, depth perception, compression and expansion, equipment interconnection and much more. Mastering Audio is for everyone who wants to increase their mastery of digital and analog audio: musicians, producers, A&R, mastering, recording and mixing engineers, and students.

30 review for Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science

  1. 5 out of 5

    George

    Having gone to school for audio production, I'd say that much of the information in this book was not imparted in classes, but is essential to understanding how to make good audio. Katz has a lot of knowledge and experience with producing and mastering professional audio and that information can be used by you no matter what equipment you work with to make audio recordings. Whether you're in a band, a budding producer, or a podcaster, if you want to know how a professional does it, you want to r Having gone to school for audio production, I'd say that much of the information in this book was not imparted in classes, but is essential to understanding how to make good audio. Katz has a lot of knowledge and experience with producing and mastering professional audio and that information can be used by you no matter what equipment you work with to make audio recordings. Whether you're in a band, a budding producer, or a podcaster, if you want to know how a professional does it, you want to read this book. It also doubles as a decent reference book. He's heavily Mac based, but if you understand audio production software, transposing the information to your application should be trivial. He doesn't get into specifics, but you'll see lots of Mac screenshots. However, this book isn't for the beginner. If you haven't ever recorded multitrack audio, done post-production work, attempted to master a recording for delivery, you might want to look for other books and wait to read this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ralf

    This treatise contains a wealth of information about not just mastering, but digital audio best practises in general. Therefore, it's a worthwhile read for any audio engineer whether involved in mastering or not. It doesn't contain a lot of ”quick and easy recipes” like so many other books on music production, but focuses on covering technical background. The ordering of topics isn't optimal and Katz lingers on some points longer than necessary, but those are minor quibbles. This treatise contains a wealth of information about not just mastering, but digital audio best practises in general. Therefore, it's a worthwhile read for any audio engineer whether involved in mastering or not. It doesn't contain a lot of ”quick and easy recipes” like so many other books on music production, but focuses on covering technical background. The ordering of topics isn't optimal and Katz lingers on some points longer than necessary, but those are minor quibbles.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aleksandar

    Unfortunately I got a hold of the 2007 edition, which is largely outdated with it's deep look into releasing to CD, the troubles of early DSP and such. Still, the non-technological portions of the book are pure gold. Katz is a true master of audio, and it's a testament that his K-system measurement for loudness is now seeing wide adoption. I might pick up and read a newer edition in the future. Unfortunately I got a hold of the 2007 edition, which is largely outdated with it's deep look into releasing to CD, the troubles of early DSP and such. Still, the non-technological portions of the book are pure gold. Katz is a true master of audio, and it's a testament that his K-system measurement for loudness is now seeing wide adoption. I might pick up and read a newer edition in the future.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mihai Cosareanu

    This book made me appreciate digital audio more and understand the design problems behind it. I know it sounds like a "how to be a mastering engineer", but it's much more than that. I would not recommend this book to beginners though, you need to understand the basics of digital audio in order to grasp the concepts in the book. I really enjoyed it! This book made me appreciate digital audio more and understand the design problems behind it. I know it sounds like a "how to be a mastering engineer", but it's much more than that. I would not recommend this book to beginners though, you need to understand the basics of digital audio in order to grasp the concepts in the book. I really enjoyed it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pim

    Bob Katz demystifies digital audio, provides best practices and goes into much depth on the subject. An absolute must-read for anyone involved in audio, not just aspiring mastering engineers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Markus James

    A rare, primary source of a successful music mastering engineer's detailed methodology. A fearless technical approach to the less-talked about aspects the mastering process. [currently 3rd edition] A rare, primary source of a successful music mastering engineer's detailed methodology. A fearless technical approach to the less-talked about aspects the mastering process. [currently 3rd edition]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    great

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael Heitmanek

    Very informative.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lars Wigren

    An in-depth explanation of what a mastering engineer does and how he/she does it and how you can do it. Explains the technology, science and how artistic sense comes into play when creating a good master. According to Katz, a mastering engineer must understand music the way a musician does as well as understand the deep science behind the process. Very complex, in-depth and thorough. This is a book that I will use as a reference for the rest of my audio life, and will probably re-read to fully un An in-depth explanation of what a mastering engineer does and how he/she does it and how you can do it. Explains the technology, science and how artistic sense comes into play when creating a good master. According to Katz, a mastering engineer must understand music the way a musician does as well as understand the deep science behind the process. Very complex, in-depth and thorough. This is a book that I will use as a reference for the rest of my audio life, and will probably re-read to fully understand everything Bob Katz writes about. This book is highly recommended and essential reading for anyone recording music to be released to the public. Even though you may not understand everything Katz covers in this masterpiece of a book, being familiar with what he talks about will be of great help to yourself and any other engineers you may end up working with. I would also recommend this book to the purist audiophile or anyone else seeking to understand the science and art of creating great sounding audio.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marlon

    So to make a long story short, last December, my indie rock band and I were rushing to get our EP release out by Christmas. Since neither of us were audio professionals, we decided to take the book reading approach to ingest as much knowledge as we could, while trying to get our recording sessions in during the weeks. Upon reading this book, you get the sense that Bob Katz knows his stuff. In fact, there were sections that were way too technical for us that we unfortunately skipped over. Hopefull So to make a long story short, last December, my indie rock band and I were rushing to get our EP release out by Christmas. Since neither of us were audio professionals, we decided to take the book reading approach to ingest as much knowledge as we could, while trying to get our recording sessions in during the weeks. Upon reading this book, you get the sense that Bob Katz knows his stuff. In fact, there were sections that were way too technical for us that we unfortunately skipped over. Hopefully we will get back to them one day when we eventually know more about the mastering process, but fortunately, we learned enough to successfully deliver our release on time! There's much to learn about mastering audio, especially now that virtually everything is digital. This book is a definite keeper in our library.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Terri Kempton

    A great background for mixing and mastering - especially for those of us with a demand to do so but without proper training. Extremely technical, and not quite a reference text in that it's difficult to quickly find an answer to a particular problem. Usually audio is taught either in person or at least with a cd or something for everyone to be on the same page sonically - because sound is such a subjective experience, so difficult to pin down with words. It is therefore amusing to have only text A great background for mixing and mastering - especially for those of us with a demand to do so but without proper training. Extremely technical, and not quite a reference text in that it's difficult to quickly find an answer to a particular problem. Usually audio is taught either in person or at least with a cd or something for everyone to be on the same page sonically - because sound is such a subjective experience, so difficult to pin down with words. It is therefore amusing to have only text to get across dynamics and timbre, including such descriptions as: "it was wimpy-loud, but not better." Or "sho-be-do-WAP vs. the compressed SHO-BE-DO-WAP." Exactly.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Mcbrearty

    This isn't really a book that you read cover to cover, but a reference work for anyone with a strong interest in audio engineering. It is quite technical in content, and the reason for that is that audio engineering is a very technical subject. However, Bob does what he can to extract the bones out of each subject and to make them accessible to those without the technical background. It's a great, honest, well-researched book, by someone who has the experience and reputation to back it up. A ver This isn't really a book that you read cover to cover, but a reference work for anyone with a strong interest in audio engineering. It is quite technical in content, and the reason for that is that audio engineering is a very technical subject. However, Bob does what he can to extract the bones out of each subject and to make them accessible to those without the technical background. It's a great, honest, well-researched book, by someone who has the experience and reputation to back it up. A very worthwhile investment.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Horton

    This is the bible of digital audio, and anyone working with audio should read it. The title is deceptive - it's not specifically about the "Mastering" process of making a record (a subject that held very little interest for me before I read this book), but rather about all aspects of dealing with sound in digital form. It's chock full of information that I haven't learned anywhere else, either personally or professional, and certain sections (such as properly gain-staging for ADC's and DAC's, or This is the bible of digital audio, and anyone working with audio should read it. The title is deceptive - it's not specifically about the "Mastering" process of making a record (a subject that held very little interest for me before I read this book), but rather about all aspects of dealing with sound in digital form. It's chock full of information that I haven't learned anywhere else, either personally or professional, and certain sections (such as properly gain-staging for ADC's and DAC's, or calibrating monitoring to the room) have completely revamped the way I work.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John

    This book is essential for anyone working in audio production. While not introductory level, it is the kind of book that will stretch your knowledge and you will refer back to it as your abilities increase. The only downside is Katz spends a bit of time near the end pushing his own K-12 system, but that is a very minor detraction.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Whitsitt

    Mr Katz is a big ol' nerd who wants to help you make your shit sounds proper. You should listen to him, because he knows. Mr Katz is a big ol' nerd who wants to help you make your shit sounds proper. You should listen to him, because he knows.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joseph L.

    dry, but correct.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Justin Joseph Hall

    Over my head at times, but pretty darn good.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marc Alan

    If you're an audio nerd read the hell out of this. Smart shit. If you're an audio nerd read the hell out of this. Smart shit.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    this guy's pretty much an audio genius. prepare to be confused and excited. this guy's pretty much an audio genius. prepare to be confused and excited.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Wish I could master. But at least I understand the concepts much better niw

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Jones

    Amazing book, even if dated as a concise and definitive guide to mastering audio.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Craig?

    Bob Katz is cooler than Dr. Katz. or, cats in general.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Detailed and at times funny...but only if you are a complete audio dork/snob.

  24. 5 out of 5

    adil

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rosewood

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bailey AfterMath

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carlton

  28. 4 out of 5

    ant

  29. 4 out of 5

    todd s

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ashay Tikekar

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