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  #1  
Old 04-13-2010, 05:39 PM
chumbox chumbox is offline
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Default Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Hey All

Have searched around but cannot seem to find the answer I am looking for.

I have 6 tracks (for an EP) which are all mixed down and about to be mastered. All the songs are done in a way that when the CD is pressed I would like it to be gapless so it is one continuous album.

Now I am going to send it off for mastering but wasn't sure if I need all these files in one session and if I have to mark them myself, or will they be able to do the marking and gapless editing required at the mastering studio?

All the tracks are written and recorded so they can easily run into each other, they are just currently in 6 different files.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2010, 05:42 PM
DJ Hellfire DJ Hellfire is offline
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Wink Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

I use pro tools in combo with iTunes. What I do in pro tools is line up all the mastered songs the way I want on separate tracks. Then slide them around to where I want them. If I want the songs gapless and to run from one to the other in one smooth transition or faded into each other, I align them in that way. Once I have them all to where I want hem and all my transitions are smooth, I bounce that entire session down to one audio file. So now I have all my songs in one file with all the perfect transitions I create. I then split the file back up into individual songs again separated at each new song. Once they are separate, I highlight all of them, go to the regions list and export them as audio files. Then rename them all in windows explorer and iTunes. When they playback in iTunes, they playback your transistions perfectly as they were in pro tools with no gaps, pops or clicks. Then burn the playlist in iTunes and you have your gapless album. It's cake. And it works whether you export as wav or mp3. Completely smooth.

I have cd architect too. I was using that at first, but I just didn't like using it for some reason. Works great though. The thing I didn't like about it is when adding the track markers, you have to listen to where the tracks should be separated and keep playing it back to make sure you made the marker in the right spot. But with pro tools, all I have to do is highlight the original track in combination with the bounced track and the beginning of the selection is exacty where my cut needs to go. Don't even have to play it back to make sure it's right because the cut will be at the exact spot the new track starts. Hope you can make sense of that. But I just like that method better than architect, probably mainly for the more flexible screen view as well. I think the only extra step to my method is putting the songs in iTunes to burn. But people should be doin that anyway when they're uploading they're projects for online downloads. Everything seems to be about iPod now. So I like to make my downloads iTunes friendly so the listener doesn't have to spend time renaming my tracks.

But if you're having a knowledgable mastering engineer do your project, you need only to provide him each song file (WAV or AIFF) and tell him how you want it. He should be able to do what you're asking. If not, find someone else.
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2010, 06:30 PM
chumbox chumbox is offline
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Thanks DJ Hellfire, that all makes good sense and sounds like a very smart way to do things.
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  #4  
Old 04-13-2010, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Something I've done when a client couldn't be present for mastering is to have them send me an MP3 from a minute before the transition to a minute after. I can drop that in as a template to conform the waveforms of the two songs and then listen and tweak the actual cross-fade.
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  #5  
Old 09-26-2010, 11:58 AM
soozmorabito soozmorabito is offline
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Hellfire View Post
I use pro tools in combo with iTunes. What I do in pro tools is line up all the mastered songs the way I want on separate tracks. Then slide them around to where I want them. If I want the songs gapless and to run from one to the other in one smooth transition or faded into each other, I align them in that way. Once I have them all to where I want hem and all my transitions are smooth, I bounce that entire session down to one audio file. So now I have all my songs in one file with all the perfect transitions I create. I then split the file back up into individual songs again separated at each new song. Once they are separate, I highlight all of them, go to the regions list and export them as audio files. Then rename them all in windows explorer and iTunes. When they playback in iTunes, they playback your transistions perfectly as they were in pro tools with no gaps, pops or clicks. Then burn the playlist in iTunes and you have your gapless album. It's cake. And it works whether you export as wav or mp3. Completely smooth.

I have cd architect too. I was using that at first, but I just didn't like using it for some reason. Works great though. The thing I didn't like about it is when adding the track markers, you have to listen to where the tracks should be separated and keep playing it back to make sure you made the marker in the right spot. But with pro tools, all I have to do is highlight the original track in combination with the bounced track and the beginning of the selection is exacty where my cut needs to go. Don't even have to play it back to make sure it's right because the cut will be at the exact spot the new track starts. Hope you can make sense of that. But I just like that method better than architect, probably mainly for the more flexible screen view as well. I think the only extra step to my method is putting the songs in iTunes to burn. But people should be doin that anyway when they're uploading they're projects for online downloads. Everything seems to be about iPod now. So I like to make my downloads iTunes friendly so the listener doesn't have to spend time renaming my tracks.

But if you're having a knowledgable mastering engineer do your project, you need only to provide him each song file (WAV or AIFF) and tell him how you want it. He should be able to do what you're asking. If not, find someone else.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2010, 12:05 PM
soozmorabito soozmorabito is offline
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Your description on how to do this was extremely helpful. I did follow these instructions and I am still getting gaps between my songs in both iTunes 9 and 10. Though, there isn't' any consistency if I play the CD twice. Sometimes I'll get a few gaps here and there, sometimes I won't.

I'm using pro tool LE 8 and I'm using a mac and I've been having a hard time finding software such as foobar2000 etc.

The only thing I may be doing wrong and possibly unclear about in your post is the following in all Caps.

BUT WITH PRO TOOLS, ALL I HAVE TO DO IS HIGHLIGHT THE ORIGINAL TRACK IN COMBINATION WITH THE BOUNCED TRACK AND THE BEGINNING OF THE SELECTION IS EXACTLY WHERE MY CUT NEEDS TO GO.

I'm not clear on what you mean when you say in combination with the bounced track. Can you explain?
Thank you,
S
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2010, 01:47 PM
The Dougfather The Dougfather is offline
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Your mastering engineer is likely to want a red book cd. I've read several articles about mastering engineers who will reject iTunes burnt discs because they are burnt using track at once instead of disk at once.

Something Like Peak or toast will allow you to do what you need. I'm pretty sure you me will want the individual tracks and will want to join them himself.

Hope it helps
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2010, 02:23 PM
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waltz mastering waltz mastering is offline
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dougfather View Post
Your mastering engineer is likely to want a red book cd.
Receiving the original high rez mix files on a data cd or dvd or via internet upload is better. A red book cd is 16 bits. Chances are the original mixes are 24/32 bit (It's best to send those).

+1 for an mp3 mock up as Bob O suggested. The least you have to deal with re-importing and bouncing and subjecting your audio to itunes, where in both instances something can easily go wrong before mastering the better.

The main reason I would suggest not using itunes to pepare a disc for sending out to an ME is that I highly doubt that you can burn 24 bit data disc with itunes,... so you will be truncating your files to 16 before mastering, which is not good.

Also, you could contact your ME and see what they prefer.
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2010, 05:50 PM
anothercolour anothercolour is offline
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

[QUOTE=I am still getting gaps between my songs in both iTunes 9 and 10.
Thank you,
S[/QUOTE]

Did you set the iTunes preferences to No Gap between songs?
Also, check that you do not have the Crossfade option on during playback.
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2010, 07:05 PM
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BobbyDazzler BobbyDazzler is offline
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Default Re: Professional Mastering, Gapless CDs and Markers?

Its the mastering engineers job to do the Redbook CD creation, that stuff is their everyday bread and butter. Give them wav files at the native sample and bit rate you used in the mix (avoid any conversion processes).
Bob is spot on with the mp3 example.
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