You are here

Mastering Essentials: The Three Ms of Mastering

Part 2 - The SOS Techniques Guide | by Ian Shepherd By Ian Shepherd
Published October 2020

Without a firm grasp of these three ‘core concepts’ of mastering, you’ll always struggle to get great results. In the second part of his series for SOS, mastering engineer Ian Shepherd describes his “Three Ms of Mastering”, and why he thinks they’re so important.


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: