Lately, I have been doing a lot of Forensic Audio – which inevitably means that I’ve been documenting all my efforts meticulously. In this field it is important to have every setting logged, and every scheme properly identified; when you are asked to be an expert witness in court, you are expected to back up your work.
All this has reminded me of something that I, unfortunately, don’t often see in the music world: logging of work done on a project.
When a project starts on a 4-track, gets bounced on to Pro Tools at Joe’s then uploaded at Sally’s on her Pro Tools system only to show up at a studio two months later for mixing, then the Mastering Suite 3 weeks later. Wouldn’t it be nice if all those events were logged?
Too many times I get bits and pieces in the mastering suite only to be asked to “match” everything. The Audio Engineering Society is trying to improve the situation by creating the “Recommendation for delivery of recorded music projects (2003).” This concept includes a CD insert (page 28-29 – http://aes.org/technical/documents) that would be placed with the master revealing the entire history of the project.
It would now be revealed that track 1 used a Waves Trueverb on the chorus or that 4 songs out of 5 are 16 bit while one is 24 bit.
When each song goes through so many different engineers, it is imperative for the sake of the integrity of the project to have a record of everything.
Besides, wouldn’t it be great to have all that info for the box set?
Marisa T. Déry, a native of Ottawa, ON, is the owner and Mastering Engineer for Tamar Mastering in Boston, MA. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, her clients have included the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, James Day, Tugboat Annie and RUSHYA; she has also mastered soundtracks and TV scores that have appeared on ESPN, TLC, Animal Planet and the Boston Film Festival. For more info check out www.tamarmastering.com.