Recording Academy Addresses Lack of Production Standards for Hi-Res Music

The Producers & Engineers Wing of the Recording Academy will present new guidelines for hi-res music production at the upcoming AES New York Convention as part of its continuing efforts to deliver music to consumers in its highest quality form.

In the document "Recommendations for Hi-Resolution Music Production," the P&E Wing addresses the industry’s lack of hi-res production standards in an effort to help increase efficiency and transparency in the production process.

“Although it is now possible for consumers to hear music at its best, rather than converted to conventional uncompressed digital resolutions (or worse: inferior compressed consumer formats), the industry currently lacks hi-res production standards, causing confusion and inefficiencies in the digital music supply chain,” the P&E Wing said in a press release.

The new paper — created by a committee chaired by recording engineer Leslie Ann Jones, director of music recording and scoring at Skywalker Sound — will be the subject of the “High Resolution Record Production and Why it Matters" panel on Thursday, October 19 at the AES Convention. Participants will include Jones, noted record producer/recording engineer Chuck Ainlay, and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, all Grammy Award winners.

The P&E Wing has also updated its "Recommendations for Delivery of Recorded Music Projects" document, which “specifies the physical deliverables that are the culmination of the creative process, with the understanding that it is in the interest of all parties involved to ensure that recorded masters are safely stored and remain accessible for both the short and long term.”

This updated version provides crucial information about available technologies and includes a new section on recommended file hierarchy and management for recorded music that studio pros will find especially helpful, according to the P&E Wing. Previous versions of the “Delivery Recommendations” are widely used by record labels, schools, and other entities as guidelines and best practices.

The document was revised by a committee of respected recording professionals chaired by producer/engineer Jeff Balding (Don Henley, Taylor Swift, Maren Morris, Megadeth) and mastering engineer and educator Jim Kaiser (director of technology, MasterMix, and Audio Engineering Technology and an instructor at Belmont University).