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Mastering Audio by Bob Katz This Third Edition of the "audio bible"…

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bobkatz48bit: 2nd prog rock album from White Birch of Norway. Norwegians are prolific. I think they like to spend all winter inside making music! 16 hours ago from Twitter for Mac

 

From Beijing to Buenos Aires....

March 2014, Bob with Criss Allen from Prism Sound and multiple grammy award winning producer Dwanye "Supa Dups" Chin-Quee at Prism Seminar. UM, Miami

March 2014, Bob and grammy award winning Edward J "UK" Nixon BSc at Prism Seminar. Full Sail, Orlando.

May 2013, Bob At SAE InstituteParis.

May 2013 Bob At SAE Cologne, Germany.

May 2013 Bob At SAE Institute Brussels, Belgium.

April 2013, Las Vegas NAB 2013. Sponsored by TC Electronic, Bob spoke about the relationship between music recordings and how they are currently reproduced on radio and tv both in Europe and the U.S.

November 2012, Seminar in Singapore sponsored by Team 108 and TC Electronic. Bob demonstrated mastering techniques.

October 2012, San Francisco AES 2012. Bob spoke at several workshops, including a loudness seminar and a workshop on Mastered for iTunes.

September 2012, Bob at SAE School, Athens, Greece. Bob gave an all-day seminar and demonstration of mastering audio techniques and equipment. 

September 2012, Galicia Island of San Simon Seminar. Sponsored by Mare Productions, professional engineers came from all over Spain and as far as Brazil to hear Bob give a two day seminar of Mastering Audio demonstrations and principles. 

June 2011, Rome Calling. A two-day seminar on Loudness presented by TC Electronic with participating engineers from all over Europe and the U.S.

June 2011, Bob Till You Drop. A one-day seminar to European attendees on "all things mastering".

May 2010, European tour for SAE Institute. Bob gave demonstrations of mastering techniques and spoke about audio mastering to students and professionals at SAE in: Amsterdam, Brussels, London, and Oxford. We treated the rooms for high-quality sound reproduction to help get the points across, and we used high-quality monitors: Genelec 1037 or PMC IB1S.

May 2009, Bob gave a seminar on the loudness war to engineers of TC Electronic, and took a tour of one of the finest-sounding concert halls in the world, the Danish Radio Concert Hall.

May 2009, Bob gave a 3-day seminar on audio mastering to students of the Sibelius Music institute in Helsinki. We set up and aligned Genelec 1037 monitors for the demonstration.

April 2008, Bob demonstrated the sound of music before and after mastering at the Webster University Student Summit in St. Louis. We treated the room and used Meyer monitors with excellent headroom to demonstrate the quality of transient response and the effects of dynamics processing on stereo imaging and depth.

August 2007, Bob traveled to Argentina for a seminar at the first Latin-American AES conference on Surround Sound. He gave the Keynote Speech and made several presentations showing music before and after mastering using Meyer loudspeakers set up by Tom Holman. Other guests at the conference included George Massenburg, Tomlinson Holman (developer of the THX System, giving the very first demo on Surround 10.2 in Latin America), Kimio Hamasaki (Senior researcher at the NHK Broadcasting in Tokyo, demonstrating surround with height speakers), Wieslaw Woszczyk (then President of the AES worldwide), Martha de Francisco (Surround expert from McGill University, Montreal, conducting a workshop on surround recording), John Pellowe (5.1 expert from Meyer Sound), Wolfgang Fraissinet (Sennheiser/Neumann, Germany), and others.

April 2007, Bob traveled to the other side of the world, to Beijing, China, sponsored by TC Electronic. He gave seminars on the use of parallel compression, limiting, equalization and other mastering techniques. We treated the room with help from our friends at TC Electronic China and used Dynaudio Air 25 Speakers for the best audio reproduction possible.

February 2007, Bob traveled to historic and beautiful Savannah, Georgia, to give a seminar called The Good, The Bad and the Ugly to a packed audience of 50 Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) audio students. Arranged by Bob's excellent assistant, Brandon Shope, a graduate of SCAD, and with sound design by acoustical consultant Mike Chafee, the students learned about monitor calibration, and the relationship of recording dynamics to monitor control position.

November 2005, Bob was a Keynote Speaker and gave a well-received full day's seminar to the Leeds International Music Technology Education Conference (LIMTEC). (No photos exist). With the help of the excellent crew at the music school, we set up excellent Meyer loudspeakers and a subwoofer and played examples of the dynamics and stereo imaging of all types of mastering and music styles to the assembled audience of several hundred. Bob also participated in a workshop critique of student work.

April 2005, Bob gave a seminar in Paris, France about the "Loudness War" within the music industry. TC Electronic sponsored and also invited George Massenburg and several noted acousticians. We treated our rooms for the best possible sound and used the excellent Dynaudio Air 25 speakers as our reference monitors.

March 2004, Bob gave a seminar to members of ASPR Audio in Montreal on using the K-System for monitor levels, and other audio topics including jitter and dither.

March 29, 2004, Bob spoke to music students at Indiana University in Bloomington. The seminar was in two parts, since these are classical music students, Bob did a presentation on audiophile recording and minimalist miking techniques, playing some of his Chesky jazz recordings. In the second half, Bob did mix critiques for students of course director Konrad Strauss.

2004, Bob gave a full-day talk/demonstration to the AES chapter at Full Sail on the loudness war. We set up Tannoy loudspeakers and Genelec subwoofers and rocked the film mix room with a full house of about 100 students and professionals.

June 2001, Bob gave a seminar in Montreal, Canada to a group from ASPR Audio about jitter, dither, and other technical topics.

Fall 1999, Bob gave a workshop on the 60th anniversary of the VU meter at the AES Convention in New York which was very well received. He played musical demonstrations and showed why the loudness race accelerated when the VU meter gave way to the digital peak meter. We hope to post some photos.

Date TBD, Bob gave a seminar in Chicago to the EARS group. Among the topics discussed was Jitter and jitter measurements.

 

 

Bob Katz

  • Audio Mastering +

    It's not how loud you make it, it's how you make it loud! Mastering is an art and a science. Mastering is the final creative and technical step prior to pressing a record album (CD, DVD, cassette, or other medium). Compare mastering to the editor's job of taking a raw manuscript and turning it into a book. The book editor must understand syntax, grammar, organization and writing style, as well as know the arcane techniques of binding, color separation, printing presses and the like. Likewise, the Mastering engineer marries the art of music with the science of sound. The Craft Read More
  • Back to Analog +

    The Pros and Cons of Recording and Mixing via Analog versus Digital This article has been revised and updated from an editorial counterpoint which appeared in Pro Sound News, January 1997. Here's a refreshing alternative perspective to what's going on in the studio scene for everyone from musicians to owners of project studios to large studios. Analog vs. Digital - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Doing analog audio in the sixties and seventies was hell. Most of us would like to throw our bias oscillators in the garbage. Analog requires constant vigilance to sound good. In addition, you can't Read More
  • Bass Frequency Surgery Movie +

      This instructional video describes the fastest way to use an equalizer to fix a "one note bass" problem in a recording. To download a higher resolution video with 16-bit, 48 kHz audio, please click here! Read More
  • Bob Talks! +

      From Beijing to Buenos Aires.... March 2014, Bob with Criss Allen from Prism Sound and multiple grammy award winning producer Dwanye "Supa Dups" Chin-Quee at Prism Seminar. UM, Miami March 2014, Bob and grammy award winning Edward J "UK" Nixon BSc at Prism Seminar. Full Sail, Orlando. May 2013, Bob At SAE InstituteParis. May 2013 Bob At SAE Cologne, Germany. May 2013 Bob At SAE Institute Brussels, Belgium. April 2013, Las Vegas NAB 2013. Sponsored by TC Electronic, Bob spoke about the relationship between music recordings and how they are currently reproduced on radio and Read More
  • Compression +

    Part I - Technical Guidelines for the Uses of Compressors We define compression, and give technical guidelines for its use in mixing and mastering. Part II - The Perils of Compression The esthetic ramifications of compression, the current loudness race, the bleak future of DVD audio quality, and more to the point, what to do about it! Part III - Tools To Help Keep Us From Overcompressing Including an honor roll of CDs that sound very good and aren't overcompressed. Part I Technical Guidelines for Use of Compressors A U.K. engineer who discovered our web site wrote. I had a look at your Read More
  • Depth and Dimension +

    Master the 2-channel art first Everyone is talking about multichannel sound. I have no doubt that well-engineered multi-channel recordings will produce a more natural soundfield than we've been able to achieve in our 2-channel recordings, but it amazes me how few engineers really know how to take advantage of good ol' fashioned 2-channel stereo. I've been making "naturalistic" 2-channel recordings for many years, and there are others working in the pop field who produce 2-channel (pop, jazz, even rock) recordings with beautiful depth and space. I'm rather disappointed in the sound of 2-channel recordings made by simple "pan-potted mono", the Read More
  • Digital Detective +

    Use or Build your own Bitscope! Attention, Sherlock Holmes's of the audio world. You can use an ordinary oscilloscope (20 MHz or better) to see the bit activity of your digital processors, consoles and workstations. Steinberg's Wavelab and many other software programs have a bitscope meter as well. Once you install it, you'll find the bitscope is as essential in the modern-day digital studio as a phase meter. To learn more about how the bitscope has saved the day in studios, read our article, More Bits Please. These photos illustrate some typical bitscope displays. How to Build a Bitscope Every Read More
  • Dither +

    Keeping Your Digital Audio Pure from First Recording to Final Master Part I Dither is not the most important technical detail to learn about, but if you want to get your digital audio done just right, then you should learn about dither. Especially if you want to learn why your digital reverb has been leaching the ambience out of your music, when it's supposed to be adding ambience. Or why your CDs don't sound as spacious as your 24 bit sources and want to avoid that veiled, dry, and lifeless feeling! Follow that Sample Let's start with a little lesson Read More
  • Jitter +

    December 2007 I hesitate to remove this older article from our website, as it is still informative, but I highly recommend that those interested in the latest word on this subject please read the chapter on jitter in my new book. Some questions that this previous article has raised have been clarified much better in the book. -BK -------- Jitter is so misunderstood among recording engineers and audiophiles that we have decided to devote a Section to the topic. All digital devices that have an input and an output can add jitter to the signal path. For example, Digital Domain's FCN-1 Read More
  • Level Practices (Part 1) +

    Part I: The 20th Century Dealing With Peaks Overs, levels, and headroom, how to get the most from your equipment Digital recording is simple--all you do is peak to 0 dB and never go over! And things remain that simple until you discover one plugin or processor telling you a signal peaks to -1 dB while another meter (e.g. in your DAW) shows an OVER level, yet your digital outboard processor tells you it just reaches 0 dB! This article will explore concepts of the digital OVER, machine meters, loudness, and take a fresh look at the common practices of Read More
  • Level Practices (Part 2) (Includes the K-System) +

    Part II: How To Make Better Recordings in the 21st Century - An Integrated Approach to Metering, Monitoring, and Leveling Practices. (includes a description of the K-System, an integrated system of metering and monitoring) Updated from the article published in the September 2000 issue of the AES Journal by Bob Katz A: Two-Channel For the last 30 years or so, film mix engineers have enjoyed the liberty and privilege of a controlled monitoring environment with a fixed (calibrated) monitor gain. The result has been a legacy of feature films, many with exciting dynamic range, consistent and natural-sounding dialogue, music and effects Read More
  • Look Ma No Hands! +

        Download Movie File Here! Read More
  • Mixing Tips and Tricks +

    The First Tip: Read all the articles on this web site! Here's one of the secrets of the mixing engineers To avoid squashing, if it doesn't sound loud enough to your ears, turn up the monitor! If you find that you've been forced to apply limiting or compression just to keep the meters from overloading, then you've been going about this backwards. Instead, turn down your individual mix levels several dB, then get rid of any compression you were using to "protect" the 2-mix. Now your mix is at a lowered meter level, so turn up your monitor gain to Read More
  • More Bits Please! +

    I. Picking the Right DAW "Faster, better, cheaper; pick only one of the three." This adage is truer than ever in the age of digital audio recording. Occasionally you can get two out of three, but never all three at once. As computer power has become cheaper, more companies call themselves "manufacturers of recording hardware." It's now possible for a couple of guys to "invent" a Digital Audio Workstation in their basement out of a computer, an audio board, some mail order hard disks, and a little software glue. There are many startup companies trying to sell you the latest Read More
  • Prepping Tapes and Files +

    Please visit our Delivery & FTP page. Copyright Digital Domain, Inc. We invite you to link to our site, which will be periodically revised. Read More
  • Secrets of the Mastering Engineer +

    For the Secrets of the Mastering Engineer article, which I wrote for TC Electronic to enclose with their Finalizer and other processors, click here and scroll to the article "Secret of the Mastering Engineer or browse some of the other excellent articles and information at the TC website.   Copyright Digital Domain, Inc. We invite you to link to our site, which will be periodically revised. Read More
  • Subwoofers +

    Accurately Set Up a Subwoofer With (Almost) No Test Instruments Bass frequencies are extremely important to sound reproduction. Everyone is interested in getting their bass right, but most people haven't a clue how to proceed. This article will help to settle the process of integrating an active subwoofer with an existing "satellite" system. If your room and loudspeakers are good, you'll only need two test CDs and your ears to adjust your subwoofer. If your room is not so good, or you want to refine the sound even further, then we'll discuss the best way to integrate test equipment measurements Read More
  • We Have Lift-off!! (NOW IN SURROUND) +

    THE SOUND OF LIFTOFF!   Thanks to the help of a friend at NASA, I was able to record the liftoff of the Space Shuttle Discovery on March 8, 2001 from the Kennedy Space Center VIP viewing site at 3.1 miles from the launchpad (as close as they let anyone get during the launch except for crew members). Also with the courtesy and help of Gary Baldassari, Mike Morgan, and Andy DeGanahl, who supplied some of the equipment used. Andy and I braved the all-nighter and captured the launch at 6:42:09.059 am EST.
    10/20/06. We are very pleased to present Read More
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Other Audio Articles

  • Digital Room Correction +

    In fall 2013 at the New York AES Convention, I chaired a workshop on Digital Room Correction, also known as "Room EQ". This is a complex subject which requires considerable study. I always "knew" that you cannot "correct" a room by using eq, but it turns out the subject is much more complex.  Examination of room time response with waterfalls reveals that since equalizers themselves have a time response, the early part of the sound in a room can be corrected, as the resonances are consonant with equalizer's time response themselves. I learned this from discussions at the Home Theater Read More
  • Loudness War: Peace is Almost Here! +

    Step into my Time Machine. This 20 minute video takes you from the quiet beginnings of the Compact Disc in 1980 through to Loudness Peace by the year 2020. It includes demonstrations of the loudest master I have ever had to make and paints a picture of what the art of audio mastering will be like once the loudness war has been settled. View the movie below or download the high resolution version. If you wish to download, it takes between 4 and 10 minutes to download on a fast (15 mbps) Cable connection, so please have patience for the Read More
  • Mastering Engineers Discuss Compression and Mixing +

    Threads from the Mastering Webboard From: K.K. Proffitt Date: Monday, June 09,2003 05:08 PM What I say is mix at a comfortable level and check at a very quiet level and then at the standard level (and we should all be on the same page with 83, 84 or 85 dBSPL for large room--but let's not go there and assume 85 for now, op. cit. RP200-2002). I have to tell you that about 50% of the movies released are too loud at a cal'd level of 85 dBSPL for me to listen to, but I check everything I send out Read More
  • Mastering Engineers Discuss Dynamics in Mixing +

    More Discussions from Recording Engineers on the Mastering Webboard Topic: major dynamic swings on pre-master From: Marshall Simmons Date: Thursday, July 31, 2003 05:14 AM Hello--I'm about to send out some mixes to be mastered on a project that has quite a bit of promise... I've recorded everything with very little compression to the daw, and i'm finding that as i'm finishing up the mixes, i realize that i'm not using very much compression in the daw. It sounds pretty small at a 75db refrence level, but bring it up to 95db refrence level and its HUGE. Dynamic impact and Read More
  • Matt Mayfield Video +

    Here is an excellent, entertaining, short video by Matt Mayfield that explains the problem with the loudness war in a couple of minutes. Suitable for lay people, musicians, engineers! (This is a high-resolution version so please have patience for the transfer). 
    Click here to download it! (on a fast cable modem, this one loads and plays immediately. For slower internet connections, you may have to wait for the Quicktime video to appear). Try to listen on a pair of fairly decent speakers. I have a pair of Realistic Minimus 7 speakers hooked to an NAD 30 Watt amp and my Read More
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Just For Fun

  • Humor Part 1 +

    Communication Science A story came to me, and it reminds me that communication still is a global challenge. You might think that your message is clear, but an ever so fine deviation, can completely change the meaning of your message. "The Gift" A young man wanted to purchase a Christmas gift for his new sweetheart, and as they had not been dating very long, after careful consideration, he decided a pair of gloves would strike the right note: romantic, but not too personal. Accompanied by his sweetheart's younger sister, he went to Harrods and bought a pair of white gloves. Read More
  • Humor Part 2 +

    THANK YOU FOR CALLING THE MENTAL HEALTH HOT LINE If you are obsessive/compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly. If you are codependent, ask someone to press 2 for you. If you are a multiple personality, press 3, 4, 5, 6. If you are paranoid and delusional, we already know what you want and who you are. Just stay on the line while we trace your call. If you are schizophrenic please hold, and a little voice will tell you what to press. If you are depressed it probably doesn't matter what you press, it won't do you any good anyway... Two Read More
  • Humor Part 3 +

    Church Entrance Exam Three couples, an elderly couple, a middle aged couple and a young newlywed couple wanted to join a church. The pastor says, "We have special requirements for new parishioners. You must abstain from having sex for two weeks." The couples agreed and came back at the end of two weeks. The pastor goes to the elderly couple and asks, "Were you able to abstain from sex for the two weeks?" The old manreplies, "No problem at all, Pastor." "Congratulations! Welcome tothe church." said the pastor. The pastor goes to the middle agedcouple and asks, "Well, were you Read More
  • Humor Part 4 +

    Read the manual... Well, after the big bad wolf had been killed by the woodsman, his cousin, big bad nasty wolf moved into the forest. Grandmother had heard about him and she warned Little Red Riding Hood about staying on the pathwhile walking to her house. One day, Mother prepared freshly baked breadfor Little Red Riding Hood to deliver to Grandmother. On her way, as sheskipped down the path, the big bad nasty wolf jumped out onto the pathand said, "Give me the basket of goodies, or I'm going to pull down yourlittle red panties and f--- your little red Read More
  • Humor Part 5 +

    Quick Retort A man boards a plane with 6 kids.After they get settled in their seats a woman sitting across theaisle leans over to the man and asks, 'Are all of these kidsyours?'He replies, 'No. I work for a condom company. These are customercomplaints.'Wish I could think so quickly... HOW TO SAVE THE AIRLINESDump the male flight attendants. No one wanted them in the first place.Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers! What the hell--They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss?The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a 'party atmosphere' going Read More
  • Humor Part 6 +

    IRS Audit  The IRS sends their auditor (a nasty little man) to audit a synagogue. The auditor is doing all the checks, and then turns to the Rabbi and says, "I noticed that you buy a lot of candles". "Yes," answered the Rabbi. "Well, Rabbi, what do you do with the candle drippings?" he asked."A good question," noted the Rabbi. "We actually save them up. When we have enough, we send them back to the candle maker and every now and then, they send us a free box of candles". "Oh," replied the auditor somewhat disappointed that his question actually Read More
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Our YouTube Page

  • bobkatz24bit on YouTube! +

    Check out our YouTube page--BobKatz Yourself! HD video! The Summit EQ-200 is a digitally-controllable analog equalizer with equalization designed by Rupert Neve. In this short video we see the Sequoia DAW playing the end of one song, sending a change command to the Equalizer, and then the next song begins. A closeup on the low frequency section of the equalizer shows it change from 20 Hz low cut @ 24 dB/octave to 20 Hz lowcut @12 dB/octave plus an 0.5 dB boost at 95 Hz. Keen ears hear the click of the relays of the Summit EQ picked up by the Read More
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