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Author Topic: Does anyone "teach" mastering?  (Read 931 times)

Thomas W. Bethel

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Does anyone "teach" mastering?
« on: April 22, 2006, 09:25:02 am »

On quite a few occasions I have been asked to teach someone the fine art of mastering. So far I have not done so. I do have interns from the local college and I do help them learn mastering as part or their interning here but so far I have not given much thought to the option of actually "teaching" mastering to someone for a fee. I do have experience at college level teaching and I was an instructor at the college I worked for as Director of Audio Services.

I guess one problem today is that many schools, like my Alma Matar, Ohio University, teach recording and mixdowns but don't really teach mastering per se. There are also lots of people who would like to learn the "black arts" of mastering but don't know where to start.

Is anyone doing this and if so can you give me some idea of hows and wherefores of doing this. Also if you are doing this some idea of the charge and how it is going?

Thanks in advance.

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-TOM-

Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Bob Olhsson

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Re: Does anyone "teach" mastering?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2006, 10:19:22 am »

I'm teaching a mastering class at the local JC. I quickly learned that most of the students don't want to be mastering engineers but rather just want to know how mastering is done.

I spend a lot of time teaching them about how records are promoted and the important role that mastering plays in the process of the presentation of music. I think it's important to understand what labels, producers and promotion people need from mastering. You can't score a touchdown if you don't know where the goalposts are!

To me  the essence of mastering is making valid listening comparisons. We learn basic hearing theory and how to set up monitor speakers.

In the lab sessions we first learn to set levels between songs without using signal processing other than gain. Then we tackle compression, limiting and eq. We learn how to listen and determine if we're helping or hurting things with our signal processing choices. Finally we learn the basics of dither and the basic metadata used in CDs.

I've been surprised by how well most of the students grasp what the issues are and how to tackle them.

jtr

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Re: Does anyone "teach" mastering?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2006, 11:50:20 am »

I don't currently teach. But with regard to your question about charges, it's like any other activity outside the "norm" of your business model.  What are they willing to pay? How does this differ from what you will lose while not running your business?

What's the net cost to you and does this meet your needs?

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Pingu

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Re: Does anyone "teach" mastering?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2006, 01:51:14 pm »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Sat, 22 April 2006 22:19


I spend a lot of time teaching them about how records are promoted




How are they promoted Bob?
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