DDP and other mastering output formats

Robert Katz Leave a Comment

John MCkinney wrote:

Thanks for the info on your site. Would you be kind enough to tell me what type of file a mastering engineer actually burns prior to pressing, and what is a DDP?

Dear John:

Thank you, I’m glad you like our site.

The first step in producing a master is creating a file or set of master files that (around here) are initially at 96 kHz/24 bit, downsampled to 44.1 kHz/24 bit, then dithered to 44.1 kHz/16 bit. Usually in a WAV format, but arranged in an EDL in SADIE or Sequoia for cutting to a master. At that point we cut to a DDP file or to a CD-A (a CD Audio Disc, in regular language). If to a CD-A, then we error-test it and produce a PQ list and seal it up for the plant. If for a DDP, then we cut what is called the “DDP fileset” which is a set of special files that the plant can use to cut a glass master. There are several files in the fileset, one of them contains the audio and the others contain PQ code, CD Text, and other information. The DDP fileset is then either uploaded to the plant by FTP, or placed on a CDROM or DVDR and sent to the plant, which copies it to their hard disc system and then they can cut the glass master directly. We also include an MD5 file to prove that there have been no errors in transmission or copying.

Hope this helps,

Bob

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