Mastering &

Getting a final master ready for the chosen carrier.

Mastering is the final stage and involves several steps to be accomplished in order to have a final master ready for the chosen carrier, be it physical or digital.

First, a critical listening is needed, where a cohesive and final product is made by sequencing tracks, balancing sound levels between tracks, adding appropriate time between tracks, and in some rare cases, by taking more drastic measures, like adding reverberation or using some EQ (using high-quality plug-ins which can work up to 384KHz).

Finally, the master is prepared in the way expected by the manufacturing plant, the label, or the digital aggregator/distributor. This stage involves several steps and we can provide many options, as much as any particular project demands:


Dithering and sample rate conversion (if needed), allocation of PQ data, CD-Text, ISRC codes & UPC/EAN code. We can also supply paperwork of PQ lists.
CD can be mastered as a DDP image or as a physical Audio CD-R, using highly reliable Taiyo Yuden CDs and with a C1/C2 error check.

Mastering for SACD is a complex process which involves many steps and possibilities: Stereo and surround PCM to DSD conversion, SACD-text, Edited Master creation, DST-encoding, Cutting Master creation, UCMF format creation.
SACD will be mastered as a UCMF image.


Online downloads in high resolution are gaining in popularity, and we can deliver virtually any hi-res format currently available, in stereo and surround, among others:

» WAV (44.1 to DXD & 384KHz)
» FLAC (44.1 to DXD & 384KHz)
» AIF (44.1 to DXD & 384KHz)
» DSD in dsf and dff formats, from DSD64 (2.8MHz) to DSD256 (11.2MH)

Noqué Studio is also certified by Apple as an approved mastering house for “Mastered for iTunes” (MFiT). A release is only labeled as MFiT by Apple when the mastering engineer has been previously certified by Apple, as we are; when a release is labeled as MFiT, it means that the final AAC files available in the iTunes store were made from high-resolution sources that have been optimized for the AAC encoding process.

We also offer embedding metadata in digital files of any supported format, including DSD.


If desired, we can also provide artwork and graphic design for the complete packaging of a CD or SACD, a design which can be developed from scratch with your input, or based completely on graphic material provided by you.