The ‘master chain’ is discussed in a dedicated chapter found in the advanced section. There you will learn about how one process affects another and how to order your processors to achieve a specific result. Below are several diagrams of how a master chain may look to achieve specific results using the techniques found in the advanced section…
These are currently the five most popular articles at MasteringTuition.com (updated January 2018). Data provided by Google Analytics.
No. 1: Fatness & RMS – Explains what RMS is and how it relates to loudness and fatness. Further discussion into compression techniques that can fatten a mix on another level. All the time helping you realise your goal when mastering your music.
No. 2: Definition of Audio Mastering – Explains why mastering is so important. Begins to paint the picture of what it is we are trying to achieve when mastering music.
No. 3: Advanced Technique No.1 ‘Ultra Depth’. How to add depth and space to a mix using psychoacoustic manipulation.
No. 4: EQ, Tone & The Frequency Spectrum – Explores the idea of shaping the frequency spectrum using EQ, equipping the track with a tonal balance that will translate well to different music playing systems.
No. 5: Multi-Band Compression – An introduction to a very useful tool. Discusses the major differences in operation from single-band compression.
Here’s some interesting feedback from Christian Ghahremanian (reader of MasteringTuition.com’s advanced eBook – The Secret Notebook of a Mastering Engineer). He talks of his experience with Bob Katz’ ‘K-System’ and how MasteringTuition.com has helped:
I´ve already purchased your second book, thx. I just write to you to say thanks!
I really love dynamic stuff and I admire Bob Katz´s effort for his K-Measurement – but I always had problems to hold the pressure at 0… no matter which K-standard I were trying to use…
After reading your books and refreshing all the stuff I´ve already learnt years ago, I finally don´t have a problem anymore to master considering Ks standard, and my works sounds great now!.. Thanks David that you´ve written books like this…they are really educating and well written – good job!
If I could teach you that in one article I would. The truth is, if you want your masters to sound crisp, clear, loud, spacious, dynamic and big then you’re not going to learn how to do it in one afternoon – audio mastering requires patience. But it doesn’t take long to learn either. You just need to be willing to put in a little time and read the mastering tutorials you find on this website. Start from the beginning and take your time, if you feel you’re reading something you already know, simply skip to the next chapter.
I understand it must be very tempting to jump ahead to chapters that have interesting titles like ‘Fatness and RMS‘. But if you really want to find out how to master your own mixes (or other’s mixes) like a true pro, you need to follow what I’ve written, in the order I’ve written it. This website is laid out in such a way that it takes you on a journey of discovery. It takes you through the mastering process, start to finish. Then once you’ve become a master of the basic tool kit, you have the option of moving to a higher level where you can discover a whole load of new and powerful techniques – things that many people would never know that mastering engineers are doing.
This website is free to view and is totally dedicated to teaching you how to become pro at audio mastering. There is no other website like it.
This is essentially what’s written on the back of the paperback version of Pro Audio Mastering Made Easy…
Do you sometimes do your own mastering? If so, do your masters sound crisp, clear, loud, spacious, dynamic and big?
If you’re in the majority then the answer is probably no. Doing your own mastering can be frustrating as they rarely turn out how you’d really like. I have spent the last few years putting together an easy to follow formula for getting your own masters in line with commercial releases.
Most people don’t have access to high end mastering equipment, you’re probably one of them. With the growing popularity of websites like SoundCloud and YouTube, having the skills to do a decent job of your own audio mastering is becoming increasingly more important. Many artists/producers simply can’t afford to pay a mastering service to do their mastering every single time they’d like to upload a new track for their fans to check out.
This course explains and demonstrates how to achieve a commercial sounding finish using software found in any typical home/project studio. You may wonder if that’s possible but I know it can be done. I started an audio mastering business using nothing more than standard plugins and clever techniques. I can only assume that I must have been doing something right as customers kept coming back. Over time as my business built up, I was able to buy more expensive equipment, but I still stick to the original techniques that I know will get a commercial sound, no matter what tools are used. Here’s why:
About the first 90% of getting that commercial sound is technique. The final 10% is the tools you use. So before you go and buy the most expensive compressor and EQ, it’s a lot more financially worthwhile to instead invest some ‘time’ rather than money into learning the techniques used to get a commercial sounding finish. It can be done with what you already possess.
This course is split into two main parts. Each of the two parts have been conveniently packed into two easy to read downloadable eBooks with multiple formats available including PDF (PC/Mac or for printing out), MOBI (Kindle) and EPUB (Nook, Kobo etc).
Part 1: The Audio Mastering Blueprint (20 chapters including subchapters).
This part is arranged in a course like fashion designed to set the foundations. It’s a set of rules that you will find yourself sticking to almost all of the time. Here you will gain a deep understanding of why mastering is so important. By the end of this part you will be a master of you EQ, single-band compressor, multi-band compressor and limiter. You will have the skills to realise a commercial sounding finish with these tools alone. It’s very important that you become a master of these four tools before you move on to the advanced techniques found in part 2.
Part 2: The Secret Notebook of a Mastering Engineer (18 chapters).
This part is full of clever techniques that many top engineers are using to give their masters the edge. As the title suggests, this part is very much a book of all my findings over the years as I’ve mastered thousands of tracks for people all over the world. Once you have the solid foundation gained from part 1, part 2 explains how to then make your masters sound bigger, louder, more spacious, dynamic and much more.
I have willingly made part 1 completely free to read so go ahead. And just because it’s free, that doesn’t mean it’s the lesser of the two. If you only read one part, it should be The Audio Mastering Blueprint – it is by far the most important part of all that I offer. I apply The Audio Mastering Blueprint to every master I do. The techniques in part 2 are used as and when they are required.
I’ve recently been contacted by Pro Sound Web asking if I’d I like to write any guests posts relating to audio mastering so I’ve done a few (mostly stuff taken from my tutorials).
David S Eley