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Mastering Essentials: EQ - Balance, Don’t Match

Part 4 - The SOS Techniques Guide | by Ian Shepherd By Ian Shepherd
Published November 2020

EQ will make or break your master. It's the single most important factor in mastering, once you've decided the loudness. In Part 4 of his series for Sound On Sound, mastering engineer Ian Shepherd shows how to sculpt the perfect EQ balance for your masters, using the plug-ins or hardware you already have.


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 detail 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: