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Mastering Audio by Bob Katz This Second Edition of this must-read book…

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Mastering Audio, The Book
A Focal Press Book, $39.99. Available direct from Digital Domain.
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Become a Master of Audio
This book is for everyone who wants to increase their mastery of digital and analog audio: musicians, producers, A&R, mastering, recording and mixing engineers. It is suitable for all levels of students and professionals. To master audio you must become a master of audio. Producers and Mix Engineers: Find out the best ways to prepare your files and mixes for further mastering.
What Is Mastering?
Mastering is the last creative step in the process of producing an album. Bob Katz unravels the technical mysteries and explains the artistic techniques. Don't leave for the studio without this book! Mastering Audio discusses audio philosophy and art: sequencing, leveling, processing: how to make an album radio-ready; mixing as it relates to mastering. Plus, leading-edge audio concepts in an easy-to-grasp, holistic manner, including new chapters:
  • an ear-opening investigation of the mysteries of jitter
  • managing dither and wordlengths
  • high sample rates
  • distortion, headroom
  • monitor calibration
  • metering
  • depth perception
  • compression and expansion
  • sequencing, spacing and leveling and album
  • equipment interconnection
  • and much more

Browse the Index of the book. (Adobe Acrobat)

Book Errata and Links to Additional Topics (including K-System Meters, etc.)
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About The Editor

Mastering Audio was edited during all stages of its composition (including its conception!) by Eric James. Multitalented Eric is a philosopher, and a very musical audiophile! He runs his own UK-based recording and mastering company, URM Audio Ltd, which specializes in all forms of acoustic music.

Published Reviews

Tape Op (March 2008) just had a claim on the second edition and Garrett Haines' review can be found below. Other reviews have appeared in Stereophile (June 2003), Tape Op (#38 Nov/Dec), Sound on Sound (Oct 2003), The Audiophile Voice, Electronic Musician, and audioXpress.

Tape Op Review April 2008 by Garrett Haines (


Larry covered the first edition back in Tape Op #35.  But there is so much updated content in this second printing that a second review is merited. The tile, Mastering Audio, is clearly a double entendre, as the book is covers both audio mastering and mastering audio.  It is a comprehensive look at the state of contemporary digital audio technologies, standards, and practices.   Doubtless mastering engineers of all experience levels will enjoy this edition.  As will anyone interested in the ‘dark art,’ but the second half of the text (starting with Part III: Advanced Theory and Practice) is devoted to taking control of digital audio.  These pages are loaded with information aimed at audio engineers of every discipline. Candid discussions about hot topics such as jitter, level calibration, and analog summing make this a not-to-be-missed read.

The audio production world is one of the last frontiers, an unregulated, barely standardized new horizon.  Hardly a month goes by when I don’t encounter format, jitter, sample rate or other technical concerns from my mastering clients. Its not uncommon for more experienced mix engineers to have issues, too.  The fact is, much of the information about how and why things work, especially with PCM digital, is fragmented, disjointed, and poorly documented.  In Mastering Audio, Bob Katz presents all of this information in a straightforward manner.  I have no reservations when I recommend that every engineer working with audio purchase a copy of Mastering Audio.  From broadcast to film, live to studio, Mastering Audio provides a complete foundation for understanding and working with sound in the digital age.

Here's what a few people have to say about Mastering Audio


Bob Katz's well thought out book on mastering is indeed a welcome addition to anyone that works in the production of music and who wants to understand all aspects of this so called mysterious stage of music production & there is enough information here for filling in gaps that even seasoned mastering engineers might have.
Bernie Grundman, Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA

Bob Katz is a true Jedi Knight of Audio.
A.T. Michael MacDonald, Mastering Engineer, Algorhythms, New York City

An excellent reference for anyone interested in CD Mastering. I don't know of another single source with as much detailed information on the mastering process. Even industry veterans are guaranteed to pick up something they hadn't known or were unsure of.
Ted Jensen, Chief Engineer, Sterling Sound, New York City

The first piece of equipment [you] should buy is Bob Katz's Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science.
Roger Nichols, Roger Nichols Mastering (from the Foreword) , Miami

Bob is a master of the technology changeover from analog to digital. His book covers areas that none other have touched.
George Massenburg, Producer/Engineer, Nashville

Master this book!
Glenn Meadows, Mastering Engineer, Nashville

When I first picked up this book, I couldn't put it down until I had read it all! This book should be required reading for all audio professionals--and not just in mastering. Every studio owner and engineer needs to know about this stuff.
Mike Collins, author of Pro Tools For Music Production, London



More reviews of Mastering Audio

Bob Katz's Bio
(Adobe Acrobat)



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