As an audio professional, you want the sound you have laboured over in the studio to reach the ears of music fans in the right way. That’s what MQA delivers. Hi-res recordings, delivered at 20% the size of traditional hi-res music files, to any device.

Find out what some of the world’s most respected mastering engineers think about MQA. Featuring The Bakery’s Eric Boulanger, Mandy Parnell of Black Saloon Studios, Mick Sawaguchi of UNAMAS and 2L's Morten Lindberg.

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Demand

Because MQA delivers the sound of the original performance, artists will be requesting it.

Availability

MQA is available right now and is fully compatible with existing delivery systems.

Simplicity

MQA simplifies workflow with one file that can fulfil all your delivery requirements.

Key content-production partners

The following companies are already on board as content-production partners

How does it work? Is it smoke and mirrors?

MQA is based entirely on science. Specifically, it is based on new findings in Neuroscience that have told us that the resolution of timing information is critical to our hearing and our ear/brain interaction. Standard digital recording and playback (regardless of sample rate/resolution) smears the timing information and thus distorts the musical input. The MQA process can reverse those effects from the music and restore a resolution not heard in any digital playback system to date. MQA Ltd can provide references to all the significant scientific studies for anyone interested.

What workstation platforms does the MQA mastering plugin support?

The MQA plug-in is authored in VST, AU and AAX formats for compatibility across the majority of common DAW platforms.

How much (more) time will mastering with MQA take compared to what I’m doing now?

MQA should drop right into your mastering process. By mastering through the MQA plug-in and an MQA-capable DAC you will be able to affect some of the key parameters in the encoder and monitor how the MQA file will sound when played back in any number of different environments.

How can I deliver to my client? Locally? Remotely?

Locally in your studio, you can monitor the MQA process and select the preferred parameters together. When all is approved, the MQA plug-in will provide an export function for sending to manufacturing/encoding. If the artist is remote, the MQA plug-in provides a means to export the MQA files either individually or as an entire hi-res album. The output album can be contained within a secure player for delivery to the artist/producer for approval. The artist/producer will then listen through an approved MQA decoder for best resolution and provide feedback to the engineer.

How do I make pre-release files for review?

The MQA plug-in will also have a feature to sign the content as “review”. These files can be sent out for review but will only be listenable through an approved MQA decoding DAC.

How do I deliver to manufacturing?

Delivery to manufacturing or encoding house remains the same within your environment, with the only exception being that the MQA plug-in will create the output files ready for manufacturing.

How do I get it in my studio?

MQA for mastering takes the form of a plug-in, available in VST, AU and AAX formats to make it compatible with all standard DAWs.

What will break the file?

The actual MQA encoding takes place at the encoding house so the file used in recording/mastering is not vulnerable to truncation or other deleterious effects.

How does MQA work in the recording studio?

Currently MQA is applied at the mastering stage. At the time of writing (early 2016) there are two manufacturers supporting a number of MQA-ready DACs. We are in discussions with a number of other A/D and D/A manufacturers about applying the MQA philosophy to their converters. We expect to be able to announce these partnerships in the near future.

When will there be MQA A/D converters that I can buy?

We expect to announce MQA A/D converters within the coming year.

What sample rate/bit depth should I be working in?

You should be working at the highest sample rate and bit depth you can afford, but at least at 88.2 or 96kHz sample rate, 24-bit. The higher the sample rate, the less blur is introduced into the musical signal.

Is MQA available in professional recording and mastering equipment? Can I record with MQA?

MQA decoding is currently available from two D/A manufacturers across a number of products. We expect to be introducing MQA certified A/D converters within the coming year.

"MQA will be the first opportunity, in the history of recorded music, to directly link the music listener to the mastering studio; revolutionizing my job and its importance."

Eric Boulanger - Mastering Engineer, The Bakery

"I have spent many hours with Bob, listening to original recordings and being constantly amazed by the incredible sense of space and clarity brought by MQA."

Morten Lindberg - Producer & Grammy multi-nominee

"MQA is incredible and I'm really happy that people will be able to experience the album at studio quality."

Amy Duncan - Singer, Songwriter