Don't miss the advanced techniques at the end of the mastering tutorial :)

Mastering Tutorial Introduction


Thank you for joining me. My name is David Eley and I carry out all mastering projects at TGM Audio Mastering (UK based high end mastering facility). I have been mastering since I was a teenager and I've run my own mastering business since my early twenties. This mastering tutorial is free to view and will teach you the 'audio mastering blueprint', a set of rules I have discovered that, if followed produces professional results every time. The mastering tutorials that make up the blueprint are as follows:

How to use this website, please read carefully:

To the left of the screen you will see a column containing a list. This is a list of subjects covered and below it is the live mastering session split into each section of the processing. From the first chapter up to the live audio mastering session, is what I regard as the audio mastering blueprint. If you stick to these techniques you can't go wrong.

The chapters and subjects are written in a specific order, each subject follows on from the last, all leading up to the live mastering session. For this reason they should be studied in the order they appear on the site. I advise spending some time with all the subjects before going to the live mastering session as this will greatly assist your understanding of what is happening and the decisions being made.

All the mastering tutorials revolve around the idea that you have a finished mix, bounced down to a stereo wav file (or similar). The wav file is dropped into the first channel of an empty project inside your DAW (DAW stands for digital audio workstation like Cubase or Reaper). Processing is then applied by inserting plugins into this channel.

Below is a diagram of a very basic master chain. The first part of the mastering tutorial revolves around this chain and moves on to more advanced ideas later.

master chain tutorial

There is no magic order to arrange your processors, although as you practice you will start to see patterns develop. It's largely down to what you want to achieve. I can tell you for sure, that your limiter will almost certainly be at the end. When you get to the advanced section, you'll find a chapter dedicated to how processors should be arranged for specific results.

It's important to know that the main objective of this website is to focus on the techniques and methods used to get good results – the art. All the techniques discussed and demonstrated are completely transferable to any other plugin or processor. I stick to using the controls/parameters needed for mastering which are found an all processors and plugins. I personally use Logic for mastering and so most of the video demonstrations include Logic's own plugins. I demonstrate that a professional finish can be obtained using a DAW's standard plugins. This applies to any DAW, not just Logic. Or you can apply these techniques to your favourite plugins like WAVES, PSP, T-Racks, Ozone or Sonnox etc - anything.

Unlike a book, or some DVD's, this mastering tutorial website is presented with a mixture of videos, text articles, diagrams and real demonstrations, making for a more manageable, and up to date experience. Please bear in mind that the videos are designed to accompany the text. All information can be obtained by simply reading the website and skipping the videos if you so wish. The videos are demonstrations of the techniques that I teach you.

IMPORTANT... I highly recommend when watching the videos in this site, you have access to at least fairly good quality speakers or headphones, as the audio in the videos plays the most important role.

On the top menu you'll find a contents tab. This is a detailed list of how is laid out, describing what each subjects aims to achieve... for contents - Click Here

To move on to the next chapter, click here... What is Audio Mastering - The Definition.

David Eley - TGM Audio