What is mastering? Simply put mastering is the final process before our tracks get burned and dithered down to red book standard 16bit 44.1 kHz or otherwise known as an audio CD. Mastering is also the point where we fix up certain problematic frequencies that were not done in the mix as well as getting the song loud, proud and wide. It can also be said that we can get more energy, tone and track consistency when mastering our audio. A lot of people think that when mastering we just boost until maximum levels are reached, but on the other hand too loud of a master can destroy the dynamics of the song completely.
1) I made sure that I had already printed my mixed track ready for mastering and allowed a decent amount of headroom for me to push before I began my mastering process.
2) For my mastering processing I’ve used Izotope’s Ozone Advance 5 as well as Waves Ultramaximizer.
Firstly I needed to fix up a bit of EQ by adding some energy for the vox to come through around 3 kHz, then I also wanted the kick and bass to be a bit bassier so I raised it in the range of about 60-100 Hz. After checking the frequency analyzer my track was fairly well mixed and balanced.
3) Now I added a bit of harmonic exciter with tape modelling, some stereo imaging where I widened a bit more of the higher frequencies.
4) Last but not least I now pumped up the sound with the L1 Ultramaximizer pushing down the ceiling to -0.1 so we avoid clipping and setting the threshold to around -7 with a fairly quick release setting.
5) Don’t forget to fade out your song as well as set the correct dither before bouncing the audio down.
There you have it.
Hope you enjoyed this technique.
Click to read Part 1 | Click to read Part 2