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Do you need to go to school (college) to become an audio mastering engineer?  The short answer is definitely "NO!"  I never went to school, and I'll go head to head with any of the top audio mastering engineers in the world!

 

I don't have exact data on this, but I would say most audio mastering engineers do not have a college degree. The ones I know, most of them don't.  And I know a lot of them.

And when I say school, I'm talking about a bachelor's degree from a major university.  This is not a requirement.

But, you do need training. Books, videos, a 6 month to a year audio engineer trade school or course, and then either a hands on apprenticeship at a local studio, or even working at your own home studio using all the techniques you've learned.  You have to put the time in and hone your craft.

 

How To Become A Great Mastering Engineer!

You become a great mastering engineer by learning the craft, practicing, and becoming great at audio mastering.  This may sound like a silly answer, but these are the steps everyone takes.

The "learning the craft" part is where you have many options.  You can go to a university, to an audio engineer trade school, take an online course, you could even learn from videos and books.

Of course, the best place to start is with my audio mastering book.  17 years of information wrapped up into 180 pages!  You can read it here - Best Song Mastering Book.


My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

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.

 

Best Room Size For Audio Mastering DAW Home Recording Studio

6 best room size for audio mastering

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.

 

How To Correctly Set Mixing Levels Before Mastering

set mixing level meters

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!

 

What Is Headroom In Mastering?

15 what is headroom in mastering

In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.

Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?
Can I master a song that's already been mastered?  Yes!  Every month I master songs that have already been mastered.
 
Top 17 Common Music Mixing Mistakes And How To Fix Them!
audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the Top 17 most common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting them could will improve your audio mastering results and make your mixes sound more professional.
 
 
Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

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.

 

Top 20 Audio Mastering Tips, Techniques, And FAQ
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.

 

 

What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

8 difference between mixing mastering

What's the difference between mixing and mastering?  A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.

 

Why Does A Mix Need Headroom And Dynamic Range?

16 why do songs need mastering

Why does a mix need headroom and dynamic range?  In one sentence, it gives the mastering engineer more room to work with.
 

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