I got this great advice yesterday about mastering that I have to share with you.
It was in the form of a comment to last Wednesday’s post.
Glen Stephan of IndependentRecording.net shared two great methods of approaching a mastering session.
His first method is starting with the quiet song:
The first method, and the one I personally prefer, is to start with the “quietest” RMS or other metered measurement.).
The other, not surprisingly, is starting with the loudest and then matching everything from there.
The second method is identical, except to start with the “loudest” anthem song instead of the “quietest” ballad, and then match apparent listening loudness to that mastered song.
Once you have the loudest song sounding smokin’ hot you can go on and match the other songs to it.
It’s simple but invaluable advice. Using a random reference track can only go so far, but when you’ve got one of your songs sounding bad-ass you can use that as the reference track instead. That gives you a great reference for all the other songs in your session while still keeping everything in context with each other.
I usually find the song that sounds best to me, mix-wise, and master around that song. If I can get an already great mix really well mastered, I usually find that it’s more enjoyable to use that as the go-to reference track.
There’s been a lot of talk about mastering this week, and for a good reason.
Home Mastering Masterclass from Ian Shepherd, mastering engineer high-elder wizard warlock just came out.
If you’re mastering in your home studio and want to make your masters sound even better I recommend you check it out.
An 8 week course on mastering for less than $2 a day? Yes please!
I will never, ever, be able to teach you mastering as well as Ian. I wish I could, but did I mention the wizard warlock thing? Yeah, that’s why. That’s why I’m recommending it, because it’s black magic voodoo stuff from the gods.
Image by: pmonaghan