Apple DIgital Masters Droplet 2.0
Encodes masters using the Apple AAC encoder
|Version String:||2.0 (2020.12.20)|
|Architecture:||Intel & i386|
|Minimum OS:||macOS 10.6|
|Vendor Name:||Apple Inc.|
Version History 2.0 (2020.12.20)
Mastering is a series of creative choices. As a professional, you can be confident that the work you put in to mixing and mastering your material will be treated just as carefully by Apple. Our role is to faithfully and transparently reproduce the audio you deliver— and to make your job easier, you are being provided access to the same software used to encode the entire catalog for the Apple Music and iTunes Library. Whether you opt to use an automated droplet or a command-line utility, the following tools will help you create the intended sound for your masters:
• Mastering Droplet. The mastering droplet (“Apple Digital Masters Droplet”) is a simple, standalone drag-and-drop tool that can be used to quickly and easily encode your masters using the Apple AAC encoder.
• afconvert. The afconvert command-line utility can be used to encode your masters into AAC using the same commands Apple uses at ingest.
• afclip. The afclip command-line utility can be used to check any audio file for clipping. This is especially important for checking an encoded file rather than a 24- bit master—the reason being that levels that don’t show overs on PCM can still cause clipping when encoded.
• AURoundTripAAC Audio Unit. The AURoundTripAAC Audio Unit can be used to compare the original source audio file to the encoded versions and can check for clipping, all in realtime.
• Audio to WAVE Droplet. The Audio to WAVE Droplet automates the creation of audio files, in WAVE (Waveform Audio File) format, from any audio file (such as MPEG or CAF files) natively supported on macOS. This droplet is for A/B testing within a DAW. It should never be used to create files for delivery.
Apple Digital Masters Droplet You can use the Apple Digital Masters Droplet to automate the creation of 256 kbps AAC encodes. The Droplet creates an AAC audio file from an AIFF or WAVE source file by first generating a CAF (Core Audio File) rendered with a sound check profile applied to the file. If the sample rate of the source file is greater than the final production sample rate, it’s downsampled to the final sample rate using our mastering-quality SRC. Next, it uses this newly rendered CAF to render a high-quality AAC audio file. Once the final AAC audio file is generated, the intermediary CAF is deleted.
To use the Apple Digital Masters Droplet, drag and drop AIFF or WAVE format source audio files, or folders containing those files, onto the droplet. This droplet works by automating the use of the afconvert command-line tool shown below.