If you want to discover more about the black art of Mastering, start here! From explanations of mastering techniques, to interviews with mastering engineers, forum discussions and advice on the subject of choosing and using mastering hardware/software in creative ways...
Preparing your music for Mastering
If you're looking to release a record that you've produced at home, it's a good idea to have the product professionally mastered, but it's not always obvious if a mix is adequately finished. Find out how to prepare your songs for the mastering house, and what the engineer can do for you.
Mastering Explained: how the Pros do it
If you're looking to release a record that you've produced at home, it's a good idea to have the product professionally mastered, but it's not always obvious if a mix is adequately finished. We find out how to prepare your songs for the mastering house, and what the engineer can do for you.
Jon Astley: The Master's Voice
Among his many credits as an engineer, producer, programmer and artist, Jon Astley is perhaps best known for his award-winning work remastering classic albums from the likes of The Who, Abba and George Harrison.
Bob Katz: Mastering Audio Book
One of the most famous mastering engineers has written the definitive work on Mastering, and in the process has created an indispensible resource for anyone working with audio. Check out this review, then go buy it!
Chris Gehringer of Sterling Sound
As one of the senior engineers at New York's Sterling Sound, Chris Gehringer has mastered some of the biggest hip-hop and R&B hits of recent years. In our interview he passes on words of wisdom and reveals some of his trade secrets...
Maximising the Loudness of your Masters
Everyone wants their tracks to stand out from the crowd on the radio. We provide some tips for making your masters sound as loud as commercial tracks, without sacrificing too much sonic quality along the way.
Audio Mastering in your Computer
Many home recordists hope to perfect their productions by undertaking their own mastering on their studio computer. However, few seem to achieve the classy results they're after. So how much can you realistically achieve by going it alone, and what techniques will deliver the highest-quality results?
Mastering engineer: Dave Mitson
We talk to the man responsible for the final creative stage in the production of many of the most successful records of the '90s.
TIP » Manually compressing Transient Peaks
After the main editing process is complete, but before beginning the mastering, engineers often include another editing stage, this time with the aim of manually compressing the larger transient peaks. This can prove to be a far more transparent technique than using a limiter, even though it is a little time consuming.
By looking at the waveform display of each complete song it is easy to see any particularly dominant transients, and Ithen simply reduce each of these by 3 or 4dB by editing immediately before and after the transient and winding the level down as necessary. If done carefully, the modifications are completely inaudible, but the peak-to-average ratio can be improved dramatically, making it possible to raise the overall level of the track by another 4dB or so. Again, it is a case of using your ears to judge how much manual compression is needed and acceptable, but the waveform display in your editing software can be a helpful guide.