Correctly setting your mixing levels before mastering is essential for great mastering results. Having the best DB levels for mixing is critical. Here's how to properly do it!
In this article, we'll show you how to prepare your mixes for mastering.
In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.
I've mastered over 40,000 songs since 1999. I've charged $10 a song, $20, $30, $50 even $100! Some prices worked better than others. Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on what prices to charge.
Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS. Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes. During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released. It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!
Here's the first music video I directed, Mahalin Muli by JAI, released on July 10th, 2018. I also wrote more than half of the script.
Here are the series of audio mastering software processors I've used on the over 30,000 songs I've mastered since 1999. In this video, I use mostly izotope ozone plugins because it's easier to explain using them. In real-life, I do mix in a few hardware pieces, and a waves plugin.
This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.
A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on. That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes.
In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.
This video shows one of the more imptotant compression techniques I use in audio mastering. In my audio Mastering Secrets Video Series, I explain everything you need to know about audio mastering.
How much headroom before mastering should you leave in your mix? Here's the correct amount of headroom you should leave, using detailed graphic examples.
Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:
So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio? Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size. But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'. I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room. It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.
Millions of people suffer from tinnitus. A new study shows around 10% of the U.S. population suffers from it in some form, but many have never even heard of it until they get it! Unfortunately, I was one of those people. It can happen quickly and it lasts a lifetime...
Here's the monitor speaker setup I use for my DAW, and the setup I recommend for your home recording studio.
Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process. When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style. Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc. I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.
If you've mixed songs in the past, you more than likely can use that same software for audio mastering. As long as you can add effects to the stereo/main out bus, you're good to go. Read more....
I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing. I must say, a very exciting 15 pages! Ha!
I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option. I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime. And also before they started making very high quality plugins.
To create a mix for mastering with proper headroom is pretty simple.
Why does a mix need headroom and dynamic range? In one sentence, it gives the mastering engineer more room to work with.
In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.
Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!" REALLY?
Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.
Why do songs need to be mastered? I've seen this question on the Internet many times. The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too." This is a true fact, but not an answer.
I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training. He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it. And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn! Ha!
What does mastering do to a song? Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.
What is audio mastering? I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question. Some were pretty technical and confusing.
What's the difference between mixing and mastering? A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.
If you're into "do it yourself projects" my mastering book will show you EXACTLY how I mastered every style of music on this website. Get it here Audio Mastering Secrets!
How to set mixing levels for each instrument is a question I see all over the Internet. I'm going to explain exactly how to set mixing levels in this article.
Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.
It's the most basic of all questions, but someone asks it at least once a week. In this article, I will explain what channel means in music and mixing
How long does is take to master a song? There are several extra song mastering procedures I offer that other mastering engineers will not do.
The sound engineer scam, the online recording studio ripoff, whatever you want to call it. I hear about it 3-4 times a month from my clients, since 1999. It never changes!
Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music? So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD. Well, mastering is a lot more than just that!
This article discusses what is the chorus effect in music and how to use it? The chorus effect makes a single audio track sound like a group. It achieves this by taking a single instrument or vocal track, multiplying it, and then slightly detunes each newly created track. The result is a fuller lush sounding audio track.
This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it? The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.
Here are a few great stereo widening techniques and how to use them in music. When you listen to music on a car radio, you want that wide stereo sound that extends from the left door to the right. Not just two feet wide right above the stereo!
The vibrato and tremolo effects both have their differences. But the vibrato and tremolo effects also sound very similar; both slightly wave and pulsate the pitch of an audio track. You have to hear it for yourself to understand the sound.