Mastering Brochure

Sequencing Of Album Or Demos

Clean up the beginning and ending of each song.

Fix or change the fade, if necessary.

Enter each song into our "Waveburner" sequencing program

Set the spacing between songs. Each program has a "pre-roll" function which allows us to flip into the back part of a song, continue through the "space" and into the next song. We encourage our clients to take an artistic approach to song spacing, because with WaveBurner, the process is easy and doesn't take much extra time.

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Occasionally, when taking a creative approach to sequencing an album, a client wants a song to be fading out as the next one fades in. We have effective ways to create a variety of cross-fades.

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Hidden Tracks

"Hidden" tracks are becoming more and more common. There are several types of hidden tracks.

The most common hidden track is the extra audio that is put at the end of an album. It actually follows what appears to be the last track but is attached to that track. By attached, we mean that it has no start I.D. on the CD counter so no one can find it without either playing the last track through or fast forwarding to the end of what appears to be the last track and continuing to play the CD. This idea is used typically to give the CD buyer a "bonus" track that they were not expecting or for the band to put something on the CD that is perhaps humorous, or totally different than the studio recording, such as a live track. Please remember that the length of both tracks plus the space between them is always going to be calculated in the CD counter. For example, if the apparent last track is 5 minutes and the hidden track is 8 minutes with a 1 minute space between them, then when the last track is selected, the track's length on the CD counter will show as 14 minutes.

A more clever way to hide audio is the pre-gap method. If you watch the CD counter between tracks, it will show the space (if more than 1 second) as a countdown, i.e., a 3 second gap reads as -3, -2, -1 and then the next track starts. This space is called the pre-gap and the engineer can insert audio as well as space in the gap. So, a good use of this technique would be interludes that help the flow of the album from track to track but would not be desirable to be heard as part of any one track, if that track was selected independently.

An example of this is perhaps a recorded phone conversation, which of course is lo-fi and maybe a bit distorted. It is 30 seconds long and happens to be a great intro to what you hope is your hit song, "Taking A Vacation". Perhaps you are not sending separate singles to radio and there is no way they are going to play a song with a 30 second phone conversation at the start. We just "hide" it in the pre-gap. That way, anyone selecting that track will just hear the music start. In fact the only way the telephone conversation can be ever heard is if you are playing the track before it and pass through it on the way to "Taking A Vacation". In this case, the CD counter will count down -30, -29, -28, etc. as the telephone conversation plays until the start I.D. is reached and the actual song starts.

The last method is a variation of the above and is so hidden that no one will find it unless you tell them. A track can be hidden in the pre-gap of track 1. This means that the only way to hear it is to go to the beginning of track 1 and back space until you find the beginning of the audio. This was done by a few major label bands who probably told a fan about it and the word was passed around. At Silverbirch, we have been asked to use this technique only 8 times in over 4,000 albums!

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