Dither isn't all that obvious. You kind of have to listen carefully to fade outs at very high SPL volume to notice it. When you truncate 8 bits from 24 to 16 bits, as you usually do in CD mastering, you automatically apply very unpleasant noise and riples to the premaster. By dithering as the last proces before the conversion you instead apply a pleasant psykoacoustic noise that to the ear actually keeps a pseudo 24 bit resolution in the lower levels in 16 bit! Generally it's fair to say that what you gain in dithering is a more varm and pleasant sound in contrary to a harsh cold sound, we remember from the early days of the digital era where dithering wasn't used as much.

 
 

Much discussion is going on whether analog processors are better than digital. Here is my opinion on the subject:

I've actually worked with expensive analog outboard signal processors like a handbuild Fairman CL1 compressor, a Maselec MEA-2 EQ and a Sontec MES 432C/6 EQ. Needless to say they all sound very good and cost a lot of buck.

But it so happens that it is not only the signal processor that matters. Also good monitors, good acoustics and most importantly good ears and experience are required to do a good mastering job. This accounts for many factors overall and tools like an analogue or digital processor is only one of them. Add to it that most analog outboard gear requires maintainance and impose degenerating AD/DA conversions, don't have automation and total recall.

I understand those who bought some of these expensive analog devices to be reluctant to accept plug-ins and surely nothing will compare to say a handbuild Fairchild compressor because of it's uniqueness. But just because it is analog, expensive or old doesn't mean it by definition will do a better mastering job.

Well developed plug-ins from respected developers sounds really good nowadays provided you know how and when to use them and that's, in my opinion, perfect for most applications provided that all the other factors are on the same high level. Nothing is stronger than the weakest link...

 
 

The short answer is: NO. But what I can do is give you some guidelines to how you could improve your mix in order to make it suitable for mastering.

Say you submitted a mix where 2 guitars compete in certain frequencies. I'd tell you to seperate them by boosting guitar 1 in fx 1.5 Khz and cut the other at the same frequency a few dBs. The same goes with guitar 2 now at 2 Khz. Now I've gained more control as they are not competing anymore, thus giving me the chance to work on each in their own frequency domain.

 
 

24 bit audio files is by far a much better resolution to work with as it has a 256 times better resolution than 16 bit and thus more headroom for signal processing. A 44.1 Khz samplerate is actually OK if the music is recorded with a good AD converter with quality anti-aliasing filters (Prism, Lynx, TC Electronic, Apogee among others), otherwise 88.2 Khz is better as anti-aliasing filters are more relaxed.

 
 

Using www.filedropper.com gives you the ability to upload a maximum of 5 GB file sizes. More than enough for album length music. My suggestion would be to upload all your audio files (preferable 24 bit WAVE/AIFF/SD2) seperately and email me all their corresponding links in one email (I'll provide you with an email address after your initial contact). If you don't have a fast internet connection you can use WinZIP or OSX Finder and compress all your audio files into one ZIP file and then upload via www.filedropper.com.

 

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