Mastering For iTunes Optimization

I'm With You, the new album from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is widely touted as the first offering optimized for iTunes.

New albums are being mastered specifically for iTunes, starting with the latest from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was released last month.

Producer Rick Rubin enlisted Masterdisk’s Vlado Meller and Mark Santangelo to master three versions of I’m With You—one for AAC (iTunes), one for vinyl, and one for CD.

Digital Music News spoke to Santangelo about the project. He explains, “optimized AAC files for iTunes were designed to retain the frequency response and level of the CD. With an iTunes optimized master, the listener will be able to enjoy more clarity and an overall better sound quality than is otherwise currently available.”

He believes this will eventually become a standard practice in the music industry.

Vinyl mastering he notes, “The vinyl purist appreciates the warmth and depth of the vinyl. To get the vinyl to sound its best, test cuts are made and compared to the original high resolution master. Adjustments in tone and level are made so that the vinyl plays back without distortion and without skipping. Levels and high frequencies and extremely low frequencies have to be handled carefully.”

Full story here.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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