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Mastering Essentials: Compression & Limiting

Part 5 - The SOS Techniques Guide | by Ian Shepherd By Ian Shepherd
Published December 2020

Compression in mastering is different — both the goals and the methods. In this fifth episode of his 6-part series for SOS, mastering engineer Ian Shepherd describes three different mastering compression techniques – how and when to use them, and why the goal is to be invisible.


Mastering Essentials: The SOS Techniques Guide
In this six-part series, produced in association with Steinberg, well-known mastering engineer Ian Shepherd takes us through his approach to mastering. Whether you’re polishing individual tracks or assembling EPs or albums, Ian will explore the tools, skills and decisions that can help you achieve great-sounding results.

1. What Is Mastering?

2. The Three Ms of Mastering 

3. How Loud Should You Master? 

4. Mastering EQ: Balance, Don’t Match

5. Compression & Limiting In Mastering

6. Final Delivery: Requirements & Specs

For more details on Ian’s approach to mastering, you can get his free downloadable Home Mastering Guide at

For more info about Ian Shepherd, visit his site: