Itunes Mastering Tools

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JosephDignamMusic
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Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by JosephDignamMusic » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:06 pm

Hi All,

Apologies if this has been covered but I couldn't find much in several searches...
I have been looking into the requirements of putting music onto itunes and have come accross the link below:

http://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

Can these tools available for download be used in Auria?

OldSynthGuy
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by OldSynthGuy » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:36 pm

You can master in Auria and get a hi-res master to send iTunes. That white paper was just saying don't send them crappy "masters" or final product with clipping, gain issues and any other nasty audio artifacts as they are proud of their VBR AAC delivery method for music. They mention several tools available as plugins for desktop DAWS and or standalone to see what your "master" will sound like as delivered by iTunes. These are generally post "mastering" phase tools used to see if you have clipping, digital distortion(s) or as before, any unwanted audio artifacts that will diminish a masterpiece once encoded by iTunes.

I wouldn't expect these tools to be available in Auria. That said, Auria provides numerous tools to help us all with clipping, EQ, Limiting, and via IAA, some imaging and other tools to keep things under control quality wise so that we can indeed publish a finished work from an iPad.

Sooner or later a tune needs to exit the DAW it was created on and that's where the tools discussed by Apple come in. You can take your Auria "master", send it to a pro or not, and most importantly, according to Apple, check the file for artifact issues and convert it yourself to a 256 VBR AAC file to see how it travels from whatever format it was to iTunes delivery format of choice. However if a tune is technically correct as an audio file (no discussion of musical taste here) and sounds good, then it ought sound just as good in iTunes. The same is true of a "bad" file. If it's miserably distorted and clips with every kick drum, they won't be able to help you.

That probably didn't help much. The question has yes and no answers. Yes you can finalize a tune in Auria if you have the skill set. No you can't run all the iTunes suggested tests on it inside Auria, as far as I know.

instinctive
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by instinctive » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:53 pm

I wouldn't take those suggestions all too seriously. I have loads of musical content on iTunes and I'm not really a great mastering engineer. Though the final step in my mastering chain is a TC Finalizer, maybe that helps ;-)

OldSynthGuy
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by OldSynthGuy » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:35 pm

Knowing to use a Finalizer I think puts you out of range of who that PDF was directed to :D

I think that was a very longwinded and politically correct way of saying GIGO on Apple's part to those who would upload to iTunes.

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Tarekith
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by Tarekith » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:54 pm

Here's some more info on the MFiT program:

http://tarekith.com/mastered-for-itunes/

I'm an Apple approved MFiT mastering engineer, so if you have any questions just ask I'll answer them as best as I can. I have a broken hand at the moment so typing isn't the easiest, please bear with my short replies, thanks!

dominicperry
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by dominicperry » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:11 am

This is an interesting level of fuss which Apple is making, considering that QuickTime on OS X 10.9.2 fails correctly convert a 16bit 44.1KHz (both WAV and AIF) file to .m4a (AAC) - always converting to 48KHz instead of 44.1KHz, a sample rate conversion which is tough at the best of times, and is completely unnecessary (and not wanted). No one seems to have noticed - it was wrong in 10.9.1 too.

Likewise, far more sensible to submit 88.2KHz files to convert to 44.1KHz. Converting from 96KHz to 44.1KHz involves a lot of rounding errors. Not sure why everyone is obsessed with 96KHz.

Dominic

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sodium
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by sodium » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:10 am

Without putting too fine a point on it..... the day iTunes tells me how to master a track is the day I give up.


F**k iTunes " rules" about making music....
"get down off that cross we could use the wood..."

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Tarekith
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by Tarekith » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:29 am

dominicperry wrote: Likewise, far more sensible to submit 88.2KHz files to convert to 44.1KHz. Converting from 96KHz to 44.1KHz involves a lot of rounding errors. Not sure why everyone is obsessed with 96KHz.

Dominic
False, sample rate conversion doesn't work like that.

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Tarekith
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by Tarekith » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:36 am

sodium wrote:Without putting too fine a point on it..... the day iTunes tells me how to master a track is the day I give up.


F**k iTunes " rules" about making music....
The only thing the MFiT program does is provide tools and guidelines so mastering engineers and producers can be sure their files don't clip when converted to high quality AACs. Generally, 99.9% of files will only need to be turned down less than a half dB to avoid this, hardly a reason to give up making music.

Apple didn't create these rules, they are following the suggestions of the AES and other mastering engineers.

JosephDignamMusic
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by JosephDignamMusic » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:01 am

Hi All!

Appreciate the replies and the info!

I'm just having some issues with getting all of my tracks sounding the same in regards to final mix and overall volume but have in part given up trying to improve any recordings that have been converted or compressed or initially recorded on digital 8 track recorders and iPhones running (mostly) StudioMini etc. (I have only had Auria on iPad for a few weeks so this my first DAW). As I am recording mainly acoustic style instruments and vocals, the GIGO term definitely applies so I have given up on spending too much time "fixing" anything that was recorded previously with sub standard equipment (or skills) :)

Running a few of my Auria recordings through Positive Grids 'Final Touch' App has helped with (almost) achieving a CD production all round balance on a few tracks but I guess I would be more satisfied if I had an "industry standard" (if there is such a thing) to work too that I can implement pre or post recording - hence the reference to the iTunes info.

I simply want to have the confidence that my work will sound well balanced and (within reason) won't magically gain or lose certain frequencies or "feel" when played on different devices or in different formats and platforms which is currently and frustratingly the case. I know I now have the tools within Auria to do this, it's just a case of effective use!

Cheers

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Tarekith
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by Tarekith » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:05 am

Ignore MFiT for now then, not something you need to worry about at this point. :)

JosephDignamMusic
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by JosephDignamMusic » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:34 am

Tarekith wrote:Ignore MFiT for now then, not something you need to worry about at this point. :)
Just been reading your link on this - very interesting. Sticking to one or two formats has always been hard for me, and to be honest, picking the difference has been at times even harder but it does give me something to be aware of so thanks!

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Tarekith
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by Tarekith » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:57 am

No worries, let me know if you have any other questions on this, happy to help if I can.

dominicperry
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by dominicperry » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:10 am

Tarekith wrote:
dominicperry wrote: Likewise, far more sensible to submit 88.2KHz files to convert to 44.1KHz. Converting from 96KHz to 44.1KHz involves a lot of rounding errors. Not sure why everyone is obsessed with 96KHz.

Dominic
False, sample rate conversion doesn't work like that.
Well, do enlighten us all as to the SRC maths then.

Dominic

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Tarekith
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Re: Itunes Mastering Tools

Post by Tarekith » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:23 am

All conversions these days involve a huge number of upsampling, any sample rate you start with will ultimately end up not being divisible by the target sample rate. The process is much more involved than simply dividing 88.2 kHz by 2 to get 44.1 kHz

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