What is PQ Encoding?
All CDs have points which the player can use to locate tracks
and display timing information. This lets the user play a
particular track, or program the machine to play tracks in
a certain order. PQ flags marking each track are encoded onto
the master at the end of the mastering stage. Our SADiE hard
disc editors have sophistcated PQ editing tools that allow
us to manipulate the track marker positions to exactly what
you require and to Red Book standard. The gap between the
end of one track and the start of the next is called the countdown.
This will be silence on many CDs, but may be applause or atmosphere
on a live recording, we can adjust the length of the countdown
as required. Likewise, segued (joined) tracks can have the
track marker flag placed in exactly the right place. Many
albums now have a 'hidden' track at the end which usually
involves some degree of PQ code manipulation which is also
On any CD there can be a maximum of 99 tracks, and the PQ
code must be to Red Book standard (the 'Red Book' is the document
that provides the specifications for the standard audio compact
disc as developed by Sony and Phillips).