Mastering engineer Ian Shepherd took a close listen to Apple’s new “Mastered for iTunes” format. He used Logic Express and ran some null testing to see how close the format was to the original audio CD. His discovery was a bit surprising.
According to the test he ran, which involves reversing the phase of a waveform and playing it back perfectly lined up with another waveform in its original phase. The theory is that two identical waveforms will cancel each other out, because their phase is inverted. However, Shepherd found that the mastered for iTunes version does not actually sound closer to the CD version. That, is a fact he can prove through the null test. However, he adds that there is nothing wrong with the audio. In fact he goes on to say that the sound is a matter of opinion. Some musicians, listeners or even mastering engineers, may prefer the sound of Mastered for iTunes content. The only thing is is really saying is that it’s not actually closer to the CD version.
You can hear it for yourself in the video above.
[Via Production Advice]