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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 done here.

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).

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