The following section is a compilation of the most frequently
asked questions. We have also given answers to these questions.
Please contact us for any further questions you may have.
What is mastering?
Mastering is the process of sonic enhancement of audio
recordings. Using many different software programs, digital and
analog equipment, and the combinations of all three, the engineer
works from the format provided of final mixes. The final EQ and
compression, assembly of the album, fades, song sequencing,
editing of unwanted glitches, clicks, pops, and basically preparing
the master for duplication.
What formats do you accept for CD mastering ?
Best formats would be 24 bit - High Resolution, AIFF or
.wav files up to 96 k. If that is not within the possible
format for you, a 16 bit , 44.1 k , cd audio will be fine.
What is DVD mastering ?
It is audio mastering for Surround Sound 5.1, or stereo
2.0. Mastering for DVD video, DVD audio, or DVD music discs
What formats do you accept for DVD mastering ?
Preferably 24 bit- 48k
or 96k - but we can make most any format work.
What can and can’t be fixed in the mastering process?
Mastering can adjust the levels up and down in segments or
songs, add definition to instruments, and enhance the top and
bottom ends. If you have additional mixes of the same song, they
can be edited to produce one really good mix. Mastering cannot
change the mix. If there is distortion or phase problems, the
recording will probably have to be remixed. Mastering puts shine,
polish, and ambiance on the recording and brings the project
What is a cd master ?
A cd master is the final format that the
client is given when the mastering process is complete. It is
for CD duplication only. The cd master must be red book, PQ coded,
and indexed by the mastering engineer. The cd master that the
client sends off to the duplication plant, is used to make
the glass master.
What is a glass master?
The glass master is what is made (by the plant
from the cd master ) to “stamp out” the cds in bulk.
Your cd master is NOT used to stamp out the cds.
Can I send a “one off “ cd to the factory
Never send a “one off “ cd
to the factory in place of a cd master. Only a Red book , PQ
- coded, and indexed cd can be properly duplicated.
What is a time sheet and why it is important?
This is the computer generated list of the songs, tracks
or regions that the engineer will print out for you after the
mastering process is complete. This sheet should accompany the
cd master to the factory, and a copy of the sheet should go to
your graphic artist for your cd insert graphics. Time of songs
are very important, as when a song is chosen for the radio, the
program director needs to know where to program your song in
What is the process in getting my cd mastered at Terra Nova
There are three options to get your project mastered at
- You may drop off your project at Terra Nova, with notification.
- You may use the “Projects By Mail“ option .
- You may call and schedule a session if you want to attend
Note: Diane or Mary handle the scheduling. Call Monday through
Friday 10:30am - 5:00pm to schedule. The engineers do not
schedule sessions. You can e-mail to inquire: email@example.com
If I have technical questions, to whom should I contact
Diane or Mary will be able to help
you up most of the time with general questions. Please direct
more detailed tech questions to this e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it possible to speak directly to an engineer?
The engineers are in sessions every day and
evening and they usually do not have time to leave a session
to talk on the phone. However, you can certainly talk to Diane
or Mary and they will get the message to the engineers.
Should I have some pre-mastering done before I come in for
mastering by Terra Nova?
Please bring us
projects that have not been pre-mastered if at all possible.
It will save you time and money if we don’t have to fix
something that is not cohesive with what we do. Think of your
final mixes as a pencil drawing with no color, we will , with
your help, add the color to make a complete painting.
What music genres do you master ?
have mastered virtually every kind of music and are comfortable
mastering any type of recorded music , spoken word, meditation
, instructional recordings, etc.
How many people can attend the session?
We prefer that the maximum
number of people attending the session be no more than 3. The
more people that are talking and interacting with the mastering
engineer, the longer it will take, and you, the client, are paying
by the hour. It takes a great deal of concentration and focus
to produce a properly mastered project.
The clients need to keep the chatter and action to a minimum
in the mastering rooms. We encourage the client to elect one
spokesperson to communicate with the engineer during the process.
Work out your game plan before you come in for mastering.
What do I need to bring with me to the session if I am attending
- Your final mixes on the format your engineer has given to
- A typed or printed list of the order of the songs as they
are on the final mix format.
- A typed or printed list of the final song order you want
on your cd master.
- Any notes or instructions that you, your engineer, or your
producer have itemized.
Do I need to be there for the entire session?
If you are able to
attend the session for at least an hour, that gives you a chance
to chat with the engineer about your project. Otherwise, it is
I have some technical questions about my project, who do
I need to contact?
You will need to contact Jerry
Tubb. Since he is in sessions
most of the time, the best way to contact him is to e-mail your
questions or concerns. He will get an answer to you right away.
Is there any way I can bring in a couple of mixes for the
engineers to check out to see if they are ready for mastering?
Yes. You will need to
schedule consultation time through Diane or Mary and the charge
is the regular hourly rate, minimum 30 min.
How does Terra Nova charge for the services?
We charge by the hour.
Each engineer is a different rate. Rates are different for DVD
mastering. You must contact us directly for our rates. There
are additional costs for final cd masters, archiving your project,
shipping and handling, etc. , which will also need to be discussed
with Diane or Mary directly.
I have some reel to reel tapes that were recorded years
ago, as I would like a cd of the recordings. Can you
Yes. This procedure
involves several steps. See “Archival
and Restoration” for
more info .
How should the credit on my cd insert read if I have my
project mastered at Terra Nova?
Jerry masters your album :
at Terra Nova Digital Audio by Jerry
Tubb, Austin, Texas
Can I schedule time to master just one or two songs?
Yes. You do not have
to have a full album to book a session. There is a 30 minute
minimum charge for all sessions or consultations.
What kind of equipment do you use ?
Please refer to our Equipment
List. This list is continuously
evolving and changing, as the industry changes, so if you don’t
see something on the list, please contact
us for updates. We
will try to update the web list as often as possible.