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Crazy Daisy Productions
Mastering

Crazy Daisy Audio Mastering Method


Crazy Daisy Mastering applies many adjustments to your song or audio track, as needed, to optimize its playback potential. These adjustments are made in two stages:

  1. A digital software stage where your tracks are run through our own proprietary program that makes many of the main adjustments needed to achieve standardized quality audio conditions.
  2. A human operator stage where an experienced audio mastering engineer finalizes your album by making individualized treatments specific to the genre and unique characteristics of each song, including EQ adjustments, fine-tuning, overall clean-up and quality checking to ensure optimal audio playback and the proper conveyance of the artistic integrity of your material.

Here is a detailed list of the various adjustments and effects that Crazy Daisy Mastering makes to your tracks.

 

EQ

Equalizer

The Crazy Daisy Mastering software scans your material to determine the current spectral content. A 117-band EQ adjustment can be made to shift things, as needed, to more closely match a preferred spectral curve. In this way material lacking in impact, body or clarity can gain these characteristics, while tracks that already exhibit these features are left relatively unchanged. An experienced mastering engineer then makes final changes based on the human element, the artistic aspects of music that must be heard to be understood.

 

Peak trim

Peak trim

The Crazy Daisy Mastering program scans your song looking for excessive volume peaks. These peaks are then trimmed slightly so they still maintain dynamic presence, but no longer take up too much headroom. In this way your whole track can gain up to an additional 2dB of volume headroom without loss of dynamics.

 

Volume envelope shaping

Volume envelope shaping

Most audio tracks have quieter and louder sections. Crazy Daisy Mastering applies smoothing/shaping to the volume envelope in order to balance inordinate disparity between differing volume level segments of the track. It also increases the overall apparent volume level of the track. In this way all parts can be heard strongly and there is never a desire by the listener to adjust the playback volume during listening. Volume envelope shaping is essentially a continuously updated, slowly adjusting compression/dynamics effect that shifts its settings continuously to create smooth transitions within your material.

 

Stereo decorrelation

Stereo widening

Crazy Daisy Mastering applies low-level left-right channel decorrelation so that monoaural sound centered between the Left and Right channels sounds slightly broader and blends in better with left- and right-panned stereo sounds. This step also provides the dithering "random jitter" that helps improve the accuracy of the audio signal when downsampling to final CD audio quality.

 

Compression/dynamics

Crazy Daisy Mastering applies a series of dynamics/compression/limiting adjustments to maximize volume level and set dynamic range appropriate for media playback. This final effect, when combined with the other volume shaping effects, gives you the maximum possible volume level for all the tracks on your album and provides consistent volume from track to track and CD to CD. This effect also makes your material radio and broadcast ready. The adjustments are applied by digital system, but an experienced engineer chooses the appropriate settings on a project by project basis.

 

Other optional effects

Touch-up effects

As a final touch, we may occasionally add a very small degree of reverb or other stereo widening, broadening, or blending effects if the engineer feels it will enhance the material. In those instances when we do this, the effect will be very subtle and often not applied to all tracks on an album. For most material this step is not necessary, but we do utilize it when needed.

 

DC offset removal

Crazy Daisy Mastering removes any DC Offset that can limit maximum volume headroom.

Normalizing/Maximizing

The Crazy Daisy Mastering program's final operation is to normalize your song so that you achieve the maximum output volume level for digital media playback.

 

Finishing Touches

Mastering Project Package

Crazy Daisy Mastering's "finishing touches" include setting proper (or custom) intro & exit fadeouts and inter-track pause, removing any audible pops or clicks, removing background noises and humming/hissing sounds, adjust left-right balance, and apply any customizations or attend to any specific notes that you may have requested using the "notes" section of the order form. (Some customizations may require an additional charge. Contact us with any questions.)

We listen critically to the mastered audio track to ensure that the end result is of the highest quality. Your final Crazy Daisy mastered album is written at low speeds to a Gold Audio Master Disc, along with program text ID Tags indicating artist, album and song names, which are displayed on CD players enabled to read this information. This Gold Audio Master CD is your master copy ready for duplication/replication/archiving. It can be shipped directly to you or to the replication facility of your choice by US Mail or by FedEx Overnight Delivery (for an additional fee).

Accompanying your album is a report listing track numbers, names, and time lengths, a breakdown of the start and stop times on the CD for each track, and a complete album time length. Also included in your mastering package is an mp3 master CD with 320kbps mp3 versions of your mastered tracks. For full album mastering projects you will also receive a USB Flash Drive with wav and mp3 versions of your mastered tracks.

Additional Options

We have many extra options to help enhance our services for you. Additional copies of the Gold Master CD can be purchased, as well as extra usb flash drives. See order form and pricing for details. We can extract stereo audio from video files, master it, and replace it in the video or make an Audio CD out of it. Feel free to ask about any custom options you may be interested in, too. If you are unsure if your mixes are ready for mastering, we offer three levels of optional assistance to add to your mastering service:

  • Mix analysis. Use this option when you would like a mix engineer to review your mixes and provide you with technical feedback, giving you an opportunity to make any last-minute mix changes yourself prior to mastering.
  • Vocal and Instrumental Separation mastering. Use this option if you would like to give the mastering engineer a little freedom to EQ and level-balance the vocal and instrumental parts of the mix prior to mastering.
  • Touch-up mixing. Use this option if you would like to have a mix engineer check over all the primary components of your mixes and apply any fine-tuning mix adjustments that may assist in optimizing the final mixdown for best mastering results.

  Questions? We are here to assist!
Phone: (541) 517-1458   Email: info@crazymastering.com


As always, feel free to contact us for details and we will provide a personal response in a timely manner.

"Just a quick note to say 'Thank You' for the job you did on my CD. My hat's off to you and your team for your professionalism, access and thorough understanding of the process. I believe that you have found a customer for life and I will certainly recommend you guys to all of my musician friends here."

-Brian Holder
Crazy Daisy Productions
7889 SW Cirrus Dr.
Beaverton, OR 97008
info@crazymastering.com
541-517-1458
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