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Sonarworks blog on mastering

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Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Ramirez » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:19 pm

I’ve been using Sonarworks for a while now, and I really like it. They seem to a be a good company based on sound principles, and Hrodulf’s posts on this forum reflects that.

However, I was very disappointed to read their latest blog on ‘mastering for iTunes’.

I quote:

While the 16-bit 44.1 kHz file may be best for CD duplication, it won’t sound as good in the digital domain.


This is blatantly untrue and ignorant. There is enough nonsense and misunderstand about digital audio on the internet as it is, and a respected pro audio company should know better than to spread more of it.

Firstly, a 16/44.1kHz WAV file is in the digital domain, and secondly, it will be superior to an AAC or MP3.

I understand the blogs may well be a platform for one individual’s opinion, but I think they should still be checked for factual accuracy.

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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Kwackman » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:27 pm

Ramirez wrote:I’ve been using Sonarworks for a while now, and I really like it. They seem to a be a good company based on sound principles, and Hrodulf’s posts on this forum reflects that.

However, I was very disappointed to read their latest blog on ‘mastering for iTunes’.

I quote:

While the 16-bit 44.1 kHz file may be best for CD duplication, it won’t sound as good in the digital domain.


This is blatantly untrue and ignorant. There is enough nonsense and misunderstand about digital audio on the internet as it is, and a respected pro audio company should know better than to spread more of it.

Firstly, a 16/44.1kHz WAV file is in the digital domain, and secondly, it will be superior to an AAC or MP3.

I understand the blogs may well be a platform for one individual’s opinion, but I think they should still be checked for factual accuracy.

Aled

The full paragraph....
"As a mastering engineer, it’s typically considered best practice to provide multiple files for clients. While the 16-bit 44.1 kHz file may be best for CD duplication, it won’t sound as good in the digital domain. Instead, you should submit an additional high-resolution MFiT file to make sure your work sounds its best on every playback system. If you upload your own music via an aggregator, such as CDBaby or Distrokid, you must do your homework to see what file formats they accept and if they allow submission of MFiT certified files."

I don't think he's talking about MP3 or AAC, but submitting an appropriate file, which may be higher bit rate and word length rather than a compressed file.
I believe MFiT suggests 24bit, 96KHz.

From Apple's notes (https://images.apple.com/uk/itunes/mast ... itunes.pdf)

"An ideal master will have 24-bit 96kHz resolution. These files contain more detail from which our encoders can create more accurate encodes. However, any resolution above 16-bit 44.1kHz, including sample rates of 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz, will benefit from our encoding process."
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby blinddrew » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:36 pm

From the full text it would appear the author is suggesting that the final itunes version won't be as good if the original file sent to mastering is only 16 bit 44kHz, which makes a bit more sense but it does seem a little poorly worded.
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:40 am

I do agree that Sonarworks' heads are generally in the right place, and their audio blog is very informative, but that on this occasion perhaps a better choice of words would have made things clearer.


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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Hrodulf » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:49 am

Yeah, this one slipped my attention, there are other factual errors as well. And I guess, this is one of the downsides of outsourcing writing talent.

Thanks for noticing. I'll do my best to get out a revision shortly.
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:48 pm

It looks like the author has regurgitated something they've read without understanding the real issues.

There are different mastering requirements for digital distribution, CD and vinyl. Often the same master is used for all 3 without too many problems but for optimum sound they should be treated slightly differently. The mention of the 16 bit 44.1kHz format is a bit of a diversion as it obscures the real issue - different masters with different processing are needed.
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Hrodulf » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:16 pm

Check out the article once more. I got in touch with our editor and published a revised version.
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Zukan » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:23 pm

Drop us a note next time buddy. We can write your blogs for you.
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:49 pm

We'll take it in turn to write one line each. It may take a while but it'll be hilarious. ;)
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Wonks » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:28 pm

...whilst gently massaging your buttocks.
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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:35 pm

Hrodulf wrote:Check out the article once more. I got in touch with our editor and published a revised version.

Well done Hrodulf - that does indeed read better :clap:


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Re: Sonarworks blog on mastering

Postby Hrodulf » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:48 am

Glad to hear that you liked the edit! I'll keep a closer eye on the stuff we put out. And maybe take up some of you on the massaging offer.
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