Tekno Chat

This page will be a techno forum (not the dance... not the dance), dedicated to techno blabla of all sorts.

First, I will be collecting your questions via E-Mail.

Then, once I've answered personally to that question, I will post the question and answer here, as well as any other person's advice. The idea is to get a forum going, hoping that it will be as interesting to you as it will be to me.

August 2000 : I had to come up with a few subjects myself, because despite more than 1000 visits, people aren't asking too many questions !

the NAGRA : neopilot & centre timecode
What is Time Code ?
Synchronising Digital Audio
the Shooting of a Motion Picture
Syncing Sound and Picture for Film
Part One : the Traditional Method
Part Two : the Intermediate Method
Part Three : the Modern Method
Part Four : the Future Method
Comparing Stereo Recording Formats
the Three Concepts in Console Design
dont' forget to visit the Jurassic Audio Park !!!

In order to get the machine started, I'd like to talk about one of my pet peeves since the late 80s :

Over-compression during pre-mastering
The mastering in itself is a very technical stage of CD mass production, without an ounce of artistic matter in the process, undergone in a specialized lab. It consists in transfering a big data file to a glass disc (called the Glass-Master), which will later be used to replicate the CDs you'll find at the record shop. Nothing really interesting then !

Pre-mastering is the icing on the cake, giving a much better taste to some otherwise pretty bland cakes. The icing, unfortunately, can also be prepared by a lousy cook, resulting in an overall disgusting dish.

The work generally consists in


slightly retouching the equalization (EQ if you're hip !) of each track so the whole album is more homogeneous, then in...


compressing/limiting the shit out of the tracks to obtain a maximum of subjective level on the CD !!!


This sad trend established in the early 90s is absolute nonsense : if the listener wants to hear his CD louder, there is a control on his Hi-Fi named 'Volume' for that particular purpose ! Unfortunately, now that the problem is well anchored in our minds, we'll have to live with : it seems that nothing is worse for a band than to figure on a sampler CD (a plague in the cultural music domain) with a lower subjective level than the other tracks.


finally, the tracks are assembled in the order of the CD and...


the indexes necessary for track seeking are placed in the sub-codes.


A data file is the created, called 'CD Tape Master'. This file is the one used during the Mastering process in order to obtain the Glass Master.

To further explore this delicate subject, here is a little "before/after" comparison.

Check out the waveform pictures, then listen to the corresponding audio (MP3 files).

"A Qui la Faute", WATCHA

before pre-mastering

MP3 File
754 KB





"A Qui la Faute", WATCHA

after pre-mastering

MP3 File
757 KB