The stage between mixing and the pressing plant, where cuts are assembled in the final order and the master (2) prepared for duplication: song-to-song levels are equalized, the stereo image is properly balanced, fade-ins and -outs and any crossfades are added, any last-minute compression/limiting is added to even out the dynamic range of the compilation as a whole. If necessary, additional effects such as some reverb are added to smooth any abrupt transitions, and clean-up all remaining noise: hum, pops, clicks, crackles, etc. (Old) The common term for the process of transferring the musical signal from a magnetic tape, usually called a master tape, to an acetate master disc, being the first step in the manufacture of phonograph records from tapes.

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