5446 HWY 290 WEST #270
512 / 891-8010 v
512 / 891-8014 f

General Information

General Information

The following section is a compilation of the most frequently asked questions. We have also given answers to these questions. Please contact us for any further questions you may have.

What is mastering?

Mastering is the process of sonic enhancement of audio recordings. Using many different software programs, digital and analog equipment, and the combinations of all three, the engineer works from the format provided of final mixes. The final EQ and compression, assembly of the album, fades, song sequencing, editing of unwanted glitches, clicks, pops, and basically preparing the master for duplication.

What formats do you accept for CD mastering ?

Best formats would be  24 bit - High Resolution, AIFF or .wav files up to 96 k.  If that is not within the possible format for you, a 16 bit , 44.1 k  , cd audio will be fine.    

What is DVD mastering ?

It is audio mastering for  Surround Sound 5.1, or stereo 2.0. Mastering for DVD video, DVD audio, or DVD music discs

What formats do you accept for DVD mastering ?

Preferably 24 bit- 48k or 96k - but we can make most any format work.  

What can and can’t be fixed in the mastering process?

Mastering can adjust the levels up and down in segments or songs, add definition to instruments, and enhance the top and bottom ends. If you have additional mixes of the same song, they can be edited to produce one really good mix. Mastering cannot change the mix. If there is distortion or phase problems, the recording will probably have to be remixed. Mastering puts shine, polish, and ambiance on the recording and brings the project to life.    

What is a cd master ?

A cd master is the final format that the client is given when the mastering process is complete. It is for CD duplication only. The cd master must be red book, PQ coded, and indexed by the mastering engineer. The cd master that the client sends off to the  duplication plant, is used to make the glass master.

What is a glass master?

The glass master is what is made (by the plant from the cd master ) to “stamp out” the cds in bulk. Your cd master is NOT used to stamp out the cds.

Can I send a “one off “ cd  to the factory for duplication?

Never send a “one off “ cd to the factory in place of a cd master. Only a Red book , PQ - coded, and indexed cd can be properly duplicated.

What is a time sheet  and why it is important?

This is the computer generated list  of the songs, tracks or regions that the engineer will print out for you after the mastering process is complete. This sheet should accompany the cd master to the factory, and a copy of the sheet should go to your graphic artist for your cd insert graphics. Time of songs are very important, as when a song is chosen for the radio, the program director needs to know where to program your song in the schedule.

What is the process in getting my cd mastered at Terra Nova ?
There are three options to get your project mastered at Terra Nova:

  1. You may drop off your project at Terra Nova, with notification.
  2. You may use the “Projects By Mail“ option .
  3. You may call and schedule a session if you want to attend the session.

Note: Diane or Mary handle the scheduling. Call Monday through Friday 10:30am - 5:00pm to schedule. The engineers do not schedule sessions. You can e-mail to inquire: info@terranovamastering.com

If I have technical questions, to whom should I contact ?

Diane or Mary will be able to help you up most of the time with general questions. Please direct more detailed tech questions to this e-mail : jerrytubb@austin.rr.com.

Is it possible to speak directly to an engineer?

The engineers are in sessions every day and evening and they usually do not have time to leave a session to talk on the phone. However, you can certainly talk to Diane or Mary and they will get the message to the engineers.

Should I have some pre-mastering done before I come in for mastering by Terra Nova?

Please bring us projects that have not been pre-mastered if at all possible. It will save you time and money if we don’t have to fix something that is not cohesive with what we do. Think of your final mixes as a pencil drawing with no color, we will , with your help, add the color to make a complete painting.

What music genres do you master ?

Both engineers have mastered virtually every kind of music and are comfortable mastering any type of recorded music , spoken word, meditation , instructional recordings, etc.  

How many people can attend the session?

We prefer that the maximum number of people attending the session be no more than 3. The more people that are talking and interacting with the mastering engineer, the longer it will take, and you, the client, are paying by the hour. It takes a great deal of concentration and focus to produce a properly mastered project.

The clients need to keep the chatter and action to a minimum in the mastering rooms. We encourage the client to elect one spokesperson to communicate with the engineer during the process. Work out your game plan before you come in for mastering.

What do I need to bring with me to the session if I am attending the session?

  • Your final mixes on the format your engineer has given to you.
  • A typed or printed list of the order of the songs as they are on the final mix format.
  • A typed or printed list of the final song order you want on your cd master.
  • Any notes or instructions that you, your engineer, or your producer have itemized.

Do I need to be there for the entire session?

If you are able to attend the session for at least an hour, that gives you a chance to chat with the engineer about your project. Otherwise, it is not necessary.

I have some technical questions about my project, who do I need to contact?

You will need to contact Jerry Tubb.  Since he is in sessions most of the time, the best way to contact him is to e-mail your questions or concerns. He will get an answer to you right away.

Is there any way I can bring in a couple of mixes for the engineers to check out to see if they are ready for mastering?

Yes. You will need to schedule consultation time through Diane or Mary and the charge is the regular hourly rate, minimum 30 min.

How does Terra Nova charge for the services?

We charge by the hour. Each engineer is a different rate. Rates are different for DVD mastering. You must contact us directly for our rates. There are additional costs for final cd masters, archiving your project, shipping and handling, etc. , which will also need to be discussed with Diane or Mary directly.

I have some reel to reel tapes that were recorded years ago, as I would like a cd of  the recordings. Can you help me?

Yes. This procedure involves several steps. See “Archival and Restoration” for more info .

How should the credit on my cd insert read if I have my project mastered at Terra Nova?

If Jerry masters your album :
Mastered at Terra Nova Digital Audio by Jerry Tubb, Austin, Texas

Can I schedule time to master just one or two songs?

Yes. You do not have to have a full album to book a session. There is a 30 minute minimum charge for all sessions or consultations.

What kind of equipment do you use ?

Please refer to our Equipment List. This list is continuously evolving and changing, as the industry changes, so if you don’t see something on the list, please contact us for updates. We will try to update the web list as often as possible.



"The Reclining Guitar"
Acrylic on canvas by Diane Tubb
www.dianetubbart.com 2008

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