Audio Mastering, Day 2

And now, the fourth and final installment in the series about my fun-time classes at Robotspeak. We’ll finish up with a little more Mastering.

Thursday, Audio Mastering, Day 2:

It’s been a brutal week with work, so I’m afraid my note taking suffered a bit from burn-out and exhaustion. Not only that, but maybe an hour and a half into the class the power went out all over the neighborhood. It was actually still rather fun as we had a little question and answer pow wow in the almost complete dark. When the lights did not come back on, our instructor broke out his laptop and proceeded to walk us through the rest of the track-mastering process minus actually being able to listen to it on the monitor speakers. Good enough.

Some of the key things I learned:

– Get a db meter. The db meter is going to let you know what level you started mastering at, and as you make changes to the mix through EQ and compression, etc. and the overall volume of the mix changes, the db meter is going to help you know where to adjust the volume on your monitors so that you keep mastering at the same level. Consistency is next to godliness.

– Low end is going to be the most compressed, whereas the mid range is the least compressed. The hi will get some special treatment with compression and possibly added shimmer and air :)

– Use relativistic listening when mastering your mix. Find a song or mix by another artist that you really like, and then try to make yours sound like that. I’ve done this before, and now I can do it better since I have a better understand of what I’m listening to when I like something.

– Don’t “solo” instruments too much. You can make something sound oh so smooth by itself, and it doesn’t matter, because the track is a relationship thing, and everyone has to be in the room together, so make the instruments work together in their smoothness :)

And that’s about it! I can’t wait to start making stuff!

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