Is it possible to remaster a song from iTunes?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Anthony T, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Anthony T macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    I have an older album from 1995 that I wish there was a remastered version of, but there isn't. I want the music to be louder and more audible. Is there any special way to take these song files and make them more clear? Or is that something that has to be done in a professional studio?

    Sorry for the dumb question, I just don't have any experience with this kind of stuff.
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    You need the actual master recording, so you can then play with all the different elements of the song. So ya, basically professional studio work. You can do simple things like brickwalling the song more by amplifying the waveform in audacity. Usually the louder and more brickwalled the music, the worse its mastering.
  3. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    Actually, mastering is usually done by working on a mix on a single track. Though I'm guessing the album you want to master has already been mastered at some point (if it's available on iTunes). Depending on how much it was modified in the first place working on it some more is not the best idea.

    Now you can open it up in GarageBand and start playing with an EQ and a compressor/limiter. But if you don't know what you're doing, you're more likely to hurt the track rather than improve it. But if you want to give it a whirl, there are some presets in the "master track" tab go through them, something might improve it.

    Though you'd need a reasonable amount of knowledge to get something half decent. To give you an idea, mastering is usually done by someone who does strictly that for a living. Not someone who records, not someone who mixes, he strictly does mastering. He works in a studio possibly worth something close to 1M$ and that's for a couple of compressors and EQ. Most of it is just on speakers and room treatment. Chances are, if the album you want to master is not by some obscure underground band, such a person probably worked his magic on it. Obviously, mixes weren't as loud back then and it possibly was purposely mixed not to be clear. Is it Radiohead's 1995 album The Bends?
  4. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Mastering something that has already been mastered, and then compressed to a lossy format is kludgy at best. Particularly as you are likely to want to re-compress it back to a lossy format again after you are done. That in itself WILL result in quality loss, which will largely defeat the object of remastering in the first place.

    If from a CD, then perhaps there are some things you could do. But from an iTunes store file? Not worth it..
  5. Anthony T thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    It's really just one specific song, I have both the physical album and the digital copy from iTunes. But yeah, I didn't really think it was possible. Thanks for all the insight though everyone.
  6. cheekypaul macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2005
    you can certainly use garageband to do what you want, make it louder (and maybe clearer). but the success of that really depends on the qualities of the original.

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