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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.
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.
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.