How to write interview to CD.

I’ve recorded and edited a number of folklore interviews—see attached mp3 file—and I now want to give the participants a copy on CD. While I’m very comfortable with cutting and editing, the whole mastering business leaves my head spinning, what with equalisation, limiting, normalization, loudness and the rest. It’s all so technical.

My simple question is: how do I process these files so that they will be audible on a domestic CD player and can also be broadcast on radio?

Many thanks.

I wouldn’t do anything to that one. The volumes are good and the blue waves have occasional tips up to 50%. Most of the mastering and technical activities are to make your work compete with someone else or to conform to a set of specifications such as audiobook. You don’t have any of those restrictions.

You do have one odd problem. If all the works are in MP3, you will not be able to make corrections back to another MP3 without making the sound worse. That’s the dark, evil side of the handy MP3 format.

Do Not make corrections and save the corrections back to the same MP3. If anything goes wrong in the process you could lose the correction and the original. Make sure there is a copy of all the works on separate media, ideally not in the same computer. My line is to be able to point to two different places that contain the works. External drives, thumb drives and cloud storage all count.

Do you have a CD burner? Most Macs left optical drives in the dust several years ago. I have an external drive connected with FireWire.

The process is to import the works into iTunes, make a playlist and then burn the playlist to an Audio CD. The Playlist process lets you change the order of the clips and performances by dragging. You know you’re making an Audio CD because it will ask you what space between songs you want. Other formats don’t do that.

There’s a setting in iTunes where you tell it to leave the sound format alone and not to convert it to anything else during import.