Jump to content

Mastering from a CD


Recommended Posts

Hope someone can give me some guidance on this!

 

I have some old recordings on CD which were copied straight from DAT without ever being mastered. This was done 20 years ago on a CD recorder and although I have all these recordings on MP3 I would like to actually master some of them properly.

 

I know MP3 files are compressed and not suitable for mastering, but would it be possible to save the uncompressed CD song files and master them instead of the MP3s? I no longer have the old DATs unfortunately so would the CD files be as good a quality and as uncompressed as DAT if recorded at 44.1?

 

Many thanks,

 

Wakes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I’ve only gone and done it! Put the CD into my old MacBook Pro (which is as slow as a cart horse!) and up popped 16 AIF files 60 odd mb each! Transferred to external hard drive and loaded onto new MacBook Pro. Job done! All I’m wondering now is whether the AIF files have any head room as you’re supposed to leave around 4dbs spare? I’m guessing the levels would have been set as hot as possible going onto CD to give max volume to a quiet unmastered recording or would it have just transferred with automatic level detection? Not sure how those machines worked as I went to a studio and paid someone to do it..
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also good to "eyeball" the waveform display. There should be "some room at the margins."

 

At the end of the day, and although Logic expresses these things to you "in audio terms," a digital recording does come down to "a great big file of numbers." Those numbers have a maximum numeric value which must never be exceeded ... because what you get is "a burr haircut." Any data(!) that goes over the line is ... literally, gone. (The meters will offer a "yellow-line / red-line" warning.) There's no equivalent to what magnetic tape will do.

 

The computer has more numeric capacity within its internal digital-processing pipeline than the finished distribution file might have. But, when printing those files, you "re-map" the data to fit within the limits of the file format (and the capabilities of typical players). This is also the finishing-point where you [first ...] apply "lossy" digital data-compression, if any, e.g. for MP3's. Never attempt to use data-compressed formats for input. (That makes about as much sense as making CD's from 8-track tapes ... although my brother did that once.) :roll:

 

Be sure to listen to those files on actual hardware ... the Beatles had "car speakers" and an "AM Radio filter" in Abbey Road for exactly this reason. Let your ears (and, earbuds ... ick ...) be the final guide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was a godsend I splashed out all that money 20 years ago to get my DATs put on CD! Seem to remember the studio time coming In 4 hour blocks and having to pay out something silly like 400 quid just to transfer to a CD. Seems ridiculous this day and age paying that for something so outdated and what you would actually do for free at home on your laptop and that is so much more flexible! The CD-R kept the files perfectly despite being so old so was delighted with the result!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was a godsend I splashed out all that money 20 years ago to get my DATs put on CD! Seem to remember the studio time coming In 4 hour blocks and having to pay out something silly like 400 quid just to transfer to a CD. Seems ridiculous this day and age paying that for something so outdated and what you would actually do for free at home on your laptop and that is so much more flexible! The CD-R kept the files perfectly despite being so old so was delighted with the result!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...