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The mastering blueprint

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A complete guide to perfecting your master

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The mastering blueprint

  1. 1. Introduction Insimplewords,Masteringisthefinalstepinaudioproduction.Youcanalsothinkofitassimplyenhancing thegoodqualitiesthatyoursongmayhave. Thismeansthatinorderforyoutodoagreatjobfinalizingyourrecord,somepreexistingconditionsneedtobe met. Forstarters,youneedtohaveagoodsongandagreatmixdown. It’sworthclarifyingthisfromtheget‑go,becausemasteringisn’tsupposedtofixpoorarrangementorbad mixingdecisions.It’sincrediblycommontoseebeginnerproducersleavefairlysimplemixingproblems unaddressedbecauseofthissimplemisconception. Aswejustmentioned,masteringshouldbeallaboutenhancingwhat’salreadythere.It’sjustliketheicingona cake. Unfortunately,nomixdownisperfect.It’sabsolutelyfineifyouaddressslightproblemsinyourmixduringyour masteringsession.However,ifyou’respending90%ofthetimesolvingproblemsinsteadofhighlightingthe greatpartsofyourmix,thenit’ssimplybettertogobacktothedrawingboard. So,theessenceofmasteringisbasicallygettingyoursongtoacommercialvolumelevel,highlightingthe greatpartsofyourmix,andhelpingensureyoursongwilltranslateproperlyacrossmultipledevices. Justlikemixing,masteringisaprocessthatisreallygenredependant.Youwouldn’tmasterapopsonginthe exactsamewayyouwouldmasterahip‑hopsong.Eachgenrehasquitedifferentloudnessrequirementsand differentelementsneedtoshinethroughouttheentiretyofthesong. Andnotonlythat,genreskeepevolvingandsodoesthewaypeopleconsumemusicandtheavailablemedia. Aswebrieflymentionedabove,masteringisalsoaboutensuringproperplaybacktranslationacrossmultiple soundsystems.
  2. 2. Introduction SignalChainPhilosophy Thisisakeyconceptthatweneedtounderstand. Let’sthinkaboutBassmusicingeneralforamoment.It’ssubgenresdemandaclean,hardhitting,andground shakinglowend;WhileProgressiveHouseontheotherhandmayneedafinerbalancebetweenapunchy, stablelowendwithemotionaluppermidrangecontent. Wearegoingtoreiteratethatdependingonyourstyleofmusic,thesequalitiesshouldalreadyexistwithin yourmix.Onceagain,masteringshouldbeallaboutaccentuatingthesequalitiesandnotintroducingthem intoyourmix. Havingthe“mixlikethere’snomastering”mindsetwillhelpyoutremendouslyinthisprocess.Inreality, masteringwillenduphappening,butyoushouldreallyfocusmostofyourenergyonhavingamixdownthat soundslikeafinalizedproduct. Assumingthisisalltrue,masteringshouldn’ttakelongerthananhour.Averysimpleand straightforwardmasteringchaincouldconsistof: •Apeakcatchingcompressor •Cleanup/balancingequalization •Astereoimager •Limiter Ifyou’redevelopingasomewhatbiggerproject,likeanEPforexample,youcanhaveaslightlybiggerchain acrosseachtracktoensurethatthewholeprojectsoundscoherent. ProTip:Whiledevelopingbiggerprojectsandafteryou’redonemasteringallofyourtracks,line themupinyourDAWsotheyplaycontinuouslyasifitwasaDJmix(withoutthetransitions). TheoverallvolumeoftheEP,stereoimage,andtheoverallbrightness/darknessofthetracks shouldsoundcoherentandliketheybelongtogether.Iftheydon’tsoundcoherentoneafterthe other,youneedtogobackandre‑dothemasteringonwhicheversongsoundsoff.
  3. 3. SignalChainPhilosophy Step1:PeakCatchingCompressor Amorecomplexmasteringchaincouldbecomprisedof:. •Apeakcatchingcompressor •Cleanup/balancingequalization •ColoringEQ •Astereoimager •Saturation/Exciting •Avintagecompressor •Limiter Assomefinalwordsforthissection,ifyou’recraftingareallyambitiousprojectlikeanalbum,it’susuallya greatideatohaveamasteringengineerdotheprocessforyou. Thisisn’tbecauseyoushouldn’tdoit,butusuallyit’sjustareallygoodideatohaveasecondsetofearsto judgeyourwork.Itdoesn’tmatterhowgoodyouare.Whenyouworkonaprojectofthatmagnitudefor months,youmaystartlosingperspectiveonyourowncompositions. Thisisn’tabadideaeitherevenforsinglereleases.Getyourowntracksmasteredbysomeoneelseatleast onceandcomparehisorherresulttoyours.Youmayendupwithapleasantsurprise. Remember,youcan’treallytellhowotherpeopleexperienceyourmusic.Themasteringengineermayoffer youadifferenttakeonyoursongbyhighlightingdifferentareasthatyoumaynothavepreviouslythoughtof, orsimplybycolouringyoursongincertainway. Alsokeepinmindtherearepeopleouttherewhofocustheirentirecareeronmasteringthisprocess.So,don’t giveuponmasteringengineersjustbecauseyou’veencounteredafewbadonesalongtheroad. Incrediblemasteringengineersarepricey,buttheirresultsreallyvalidatethepricetag. Now,let’sbreakdowneverysingleelementofaslightlymoreadvancedmasteringchain.Thischainisuseful mainlyforelectronicgenres,butdon’tbeafraidtotryitwithanyotherstylesofmusic. Thegoalofthiscompressoristotightenupyourdynamicsjustalittlebit.Asexpected,youshouldn’thavebig issuesinthisareaifyourmixisgoodtobeginwith.
  4. 4. Step1:PeakCatchingCompressor Thiscompressorshouldalsohelpyouoptimizeyourheadroomjustalittlebitsoyoucanlimitevenharder. Unfortunately,thisismajorlyduetotheloudnesswars—whichwewilltalkaboutinalatersection. Loudsoundsbettertothehumanear,andit’sapsychoacousticeffectthatwecan’tgetridoff.Unfortunately, mostofthetimereallyloudsongsthatlackdynamicsdon’tdojusticetotheactualmusicalcomposition. ThinkaboutthealbumCalifornicationbytheRedHotChiliPeppers.Theoriginalmastersareconsideredsome oftheworstofalltime,eventhoughthesongsarequitememorable. Startbylisteningtoyoursongfrombeginningtoendwhilekeepinganeyeonyourmeters.Youdon’twantto haveanysuddenburstsinvolumethateatyourheadroomonlyincertainpartsofyoursong. Useyourbestjudgement,andifyouassessthatyouneedtotameyourdynamicsatadbit,dropapeak catchingcompressor. Areallyfastattackandrelease,witharationothigherthan31,barelyanymakeupgain,andarelativelyhard kneeshouldbeareallydecentstartingpoint. Youshouldn’tbegettingmorethan2dBofgainreductioninthisplugin,andthatisalreadypushingitpretty hard.Remember,it’sallaboutcatchingpeaks,nothardcompression.
  5. 5. Step2:CleanUpEqualization Thisstepisallabouttaming,enhancing,accentuating,andgettingridofunnecessaryfrequencies. Forexample,youmayuseamid/sideEQtogetridofeverythingbelow90Hzonthesidestokeepyourlow endcenteredandwelldefined. Subsequently,youneedtogetridofallthesubfrequenciesbelow20Hzonthefinaloutput,asthatiswell belowthehumanhearingrange.Youmaynothearthemorfeelthem,butyourspeakersaredefinitelytryingto playthembackwhilealsocreatingunnecessaryrumble. Tofinalizethisfirststep,youcanalsolowpasstheuppermostfrequenciessomewherearound17to20kHz. Eventhoughsomeofthesefrequenciesarewithinthehumanhearingrange,italldependsonhowairyand brightyourstyleofmusicmaybe(thinkaboutlo‑figenresforamoment). Fromhereon,it’sallaboutspottingproblematicfrequenciesandcreatingawellbalancedfrequencyresponse. Unfortunately,everysongwillhavedifferentissuesbasedonitsuniquemixdown,sowecan’treallytellyou exactlywhatyou’llbefacing. Don’tworrythough,wecanstillprovideyouwithsomegeneralguidelinesandanoverallEQingphilosophyto approachthis.
  6. 6. Step2:CleanUpEqualization Agoodstartingpointistovisualizeyourfrequencyspectrumbyareasandreallyfocusonthestyleofmusic you’remaking. Ifyou’remakingProgressiveHouse,forexample,makesurethatthere’snothingharshinthemidrangeand thatitisaprettysmoothfrequencybandoverall.Proceedtoaddorremovehighfrequencycontenttoachieve theperfectamountofbrightnessandsoon. Thisisagreatmomenttopullupareferencetrack. Note:Onlyuselosslessfilessuchaswav,aiff,orFLAC. Youmayalreadyhavechosenareferencetracksincetheveryfirstmomentyoustartedcreatingyoursong, butifyouhaven’t,don’tworryatall. Simplysearchforonetrackthatisverysimilartoyoursstylisticallyandthatyoupersonallythinksoundsgreat. Onceyouhaveyourreferencetrack,asageneralruleofthumb,dropitdowninvolumebythesameamountof headroomthat’savailableinyourowntrack.So,ifyouhave‑6dBofheadroominyoursong,dropthe referencetrackbythatsameamount. That’sagreatstartingpointtocompensatefortheaddedloudnessyourreferencetrackwillhave;Inthisway, youshouldn’tgettrickedaseasilybythepsychoacousticeffect,anditwillbethesameamountofgainyou willbeaddingtoyourowntrackanyways. Youcanfiltereachfrequencybandwithalowpass,ahighpass,andabandpassfilteronyourreferencetrack andlistentowhatelementsareoverlappingandwhere.Ifyouspotreallynotabledifferences,itmaybeagood ideatogobacktothemixingstageandkeepreferencingthatsong. +9 +6 +3 0 ‑3 ‑6 ‑9 ‑12 ‑90 ‑80 ‑70 ‑60 20 50 100 200 500 1k 2k 5k 10k 20k ‑50 ‑40 ‑30 ‑20 ‑10 012dB LOW LOW‑MIDS MIDS HIGHS Pro•Q2
  7. 7. Step2:CleanUpEqualization However,ifyouassessthatbothmixesarequitesimilar,youcansimplyusetheEQtotryandmatchyour referencetrack.KeepthefollowingthingsinmindwhileEQing: •Donotcutorboostanygivenfrequencybandmorethan4dB.That’salreadywaytooaggressiveforthe masteringstage. •Ifyouneedtoaccentuateanyfrequencyband,trycuttingareasarounditfirstbeforeboosting. •UsebroadQ’sforboostingwhileusingreallysurgicalbandwidthsforcutting. •Whenyou’reabouttoprintyourfinalmaster,makesuretochangeyourEQto“LinearPhase”modeifithas oneavailable. Onceyoucorrectanypossibleissuesandachieveamorebalancedfrequencyresponse,it’stimetomove forwardandaddsomecoloringEQ. FabFilter’sLinearPhasemode. Note:ExplainingtheimportanceofusingaLinearPhasemodeontransparentEQswhile masteringisoutsidethescopeofthisbook.However,wecan’tstressenoughtheimportanceof researchingthistopiconyourown.
  8. 8. Step3:ColorationEQ Thisstepisn’timperativeandyoushouldn’tdoiteverysingletimeyoumasterasong,especiallyifit’sfora prospectiveclientthathasveryspecificneeds. ThisstepisallaboutenhancingwithcolouringEQsthebestpartsofyoursongtocreatearichersound.This doesn’tmeanthatyoushouldn’tdocutswiththeseEQ’seither.It’sjustaboutthegeneralmindsetthatyou shouldhave. Thereisalsonorightorwrongwaytodothis.Alotoftrialanderrorisactuallyinvolvedinthisstep.Justmake surethatyoudon’truinthefrequencybalancethatyoumighthaveachievedinthepreviousstep. It’salsoworthnotingthatifitisn’tadvisedtodoaggressiveadjustmentswithtransparentEQs,thenyou shouldn'tdoaggressiveboostsorcutswiththistypeofEQseither. YouneedtoresearchwhichcolorationEQsarethemostcommononeswithinyourstyleofmusic,asthereisa myriadofmasteringpluginsandhardwareunitsouttherethataren’treallyusefulacrossdifferentstylesof music. SomeofthemostcommononesthatareextremelyusefulformultiplestylesofmusicareiZotope’sOzone VintageEQs,Waves’Pultecemulations,theAPIcollection—eitherbyWavesorUAD—andtheSSL emulationsbyWaves.
  9. 9. Step4:StereoImaging Usingastereoimagerisn’talwaysnecessaryeither.Agreatamountofmoderndancetracksaremade extremelywideviamidsideprocessing,andthisisagoodopportunitytoenhancethat. Onceagain,masteringshouldbeallaboutminorcorrectionswhilefocusingonenhancingwhat’salready there. Anothergoodideawhilebeingatthisspecificstepoftheentiremasteringprocessistomakeeverything below100Hzmono.Thisasafebetandagreatstartingpointformostgenresofmusic. Tofinalizethisbriefsection,weneedtotellyoutobequitemindfulaboutpushingyourimagerwaytoohard, asoverdoingitmaycompletelyruinyourexistingstereoimageandcausemajorphasingproblems. Phasingproblemsareadefinitenoinmoststagesoftheproductionprocessandespeciallyinmastering.
  10. 10. Step5:Saturation/Exciting Sometimesaddinggentlesaturationorharmonicexcitementisjustwhatyoursongmayneedtomatchyour referencetrack…butthere’sacatch. Youneedtobeextremelycarefulinthisstage.Youmayalreadyhaveaddedtonsofprocessingtoyour individualchannelswhilearrangingyoursongpluswhateveryoudidonthemixingstage. Itisextremelyeasytooverdoitandjustthrowawayallofyourhardwork.Asaruleofthumb,pushthe saturator/excitertoapointwheretheeffectisfairlynoticeable,andthenproceedtobringitdowntoapoint wheretheresultismorefeltthanheard. Alternatively,beforeyoupushtheplugindown,youcantakesometimetolistentothewholesongwiththe saturatorengaged.Thiswillbringtotheforefrontanymixingissuesorproblematicfrequenciesthatyoumay notevenbeawareof. Afteryoudothis,itisimperativethatyouA/Byoursongwithyourreferencetrack.We’llsayitonceagain, becauseitisextremelyeasytoruinyourentiretrack,especiallywhenyoustartlosingperspectiveofyourown song. ThisprocessmayeatacoupleofdBsinyourheadroom,sobeawarethatloudnessmaybetrickingyouinto thinkingthatit’sbetter. Thisisanotherreasonwhyhavingamasteringengineerinreallyambitiousprojectsisn’tabadidea.Afresh setofearsthatunderstandsyourcreativevisionisoneofthebesttypesofhelpyoucouldpossiblyget. Thebottomlineis:youneedtoensurethatthiseffectisactuallybringingpositiveresultstoyourentiretrack. Neverstopcomparingyourresultswithyourreferencetrack. Ifyouhavemultiplesaturationpluginsavailable,wealsosuggestexperimentingalittlebitwithallofthem. Multi‑bandsaturatorsandexciterssuchasOzoneandFabFilter’sSaturnaresomeofthebestonesavailable.
  11. 11. Step6:VintageCompression Vintageorcoloringcompression,inanutshell,ishavingtheexactsamemindsetofcolorationEQplusglue compression. YoucanevenusethefamousgluecompressororanySSLemulationofyourpreferencetoachievethis.The wholepointistoaddanotherlayerorpinchofcolorationwhilegluingeverythingtogetheronelasttime. Youdon’thavetousethosespecificcompressorsthough.Therearehundredsofcompressorsouttherewith masteringcapabilitiesanduniquesonicqualities. Thisisaveryfunrabbitholetogodowninto.Researchsomeoftheworld’smostexpensivepluginsand hardwareunits. Theseexpensivecompressorsaren’tonlyforcoloringorgluingthough.Fortheirpricetheyobviouslycome readytohandlemultipletasksandcomeequippedwithmultiplefunctionalities.Although,thisisoneofthe preferredusesformostelectronicmusicproducers. Asageneralruleofthumbyoudon’twantfastattackssettingsonthesecompressors.Thereleasemayvary dependingonyoursong,usingsmallratios,andneitheralotofgainreduction. Remember,you’recoloringandmaybegluingyourwholetracktogether.You’renotdealingwithdynamics.
  12. 12. Step7:Limiting&LoudnessWars Limitingisthefinalstageinthemasteringprocess. Theattackandreleasesettingsareextremelydependantonyoursongandeventhegenre,soyoudefinitely needtoexperimentwiththose.Trystartingoffbybrowsingsomepresetsyourlimitermayhaveandusesome criticalthinkingtofigureoutwhytheymaybesetupinthatway. Bothfastandslowattackandreleasesettings,andevenunlinkingthestereochannelsisquiteusefulincertain scenarios. IfyouonlyhavethestocklimiterofyourDAWavailable,that’sgoodenough.Loadthedefaultpresetorits initializedstateandfocusontheoutput,threshold,andgain. Keepyourlimiter’soutputat‑0.01to‑0.04dBtopreventinter‑samplepeaks,andstartpushingthelimiters gainup.KeepaneyeonyourRMSmeters ProTip:Usually,youwon’tneedmorethan6‑10dBofaddedgain.Youcanalsotrystaged limitingandspreadthatamountbetweenmultiplelimitersforevenmoretransparentresults.
  13. 13. Step7:Limiting&LoudnessWars Ifyou’remasteringforloudness,trytopushyoursongtoitslimitandseehowlouditcangobeforethelowend startstocrumbleandyourhighendbeginsdistorting. Wewouldonlyliketosaythatachievinganythingabove‑4RMSisdefinitelypossible,butit’smostlikely doingadisservicetoyourowntrack.Musicneedsaminimumamountofdynamicsjustbecauseofhowour braininterpretssounds,andthisisprettymucharounditsupperlimit. Ifyouwanttogobeyondthatandyoufirmlybelievethatitsoundsgood,goforit.Justmakesureit’snot producersegogettinginyourwaywhileboastinghowloudyourtrackis. Thisissomethingthatthousandsofproducersandengineersbelieveisdoingadisservicetomusicasa whole. Wefoundoutthattoushumans,loudsimplysoundsbetter.Withtheintroductionofdigitalsignalprocessing, wekeptfindingwaystomakeeverythingloudertothepointofsacrificingqualityforlevels. Andnow,youalsoneedtobeawareofthatstreamingserviceshavebegunnormalizingtracks.Nowadays,it isn’tenoughtomasteryoursongonce.Ifyou’replanningtouploadittostreamingservices,youneedtohavea mastercateredtostreamingplatforms. Thisisoneofthefirststepsthatcertainareasofthemusicindustryhavebeguntoimplementtostartfighting backagainstthiswholeloudnesswarsissuethathasbeengoingonfordecades. Wecouldactuallydoanentiremanualthattalksabout“thenew”loudnessmeteringsystems(atleastin music)andthereasonwhythisisbeneficial. Sowehighlyencourageyoutodoadditionalresearchonyourown,but‑14LUFSisanamazingvaluefor moststreamingservices,oneofthembeingSpotify.
  14. 14. FinalThoughts Thisisit! Inthisbookweprovidedyouwithprettyin‑depthinformationaboutmastering.Aswepreviouslymentioned, masteringisanartformonitsown,somepeoplespendalifetimebecomingexpertsinthisfieldwithouteven creatingalotofmusicforthemselves. Trustus,alotofengineersactuallyreallyvaluehelpingotherartistsbringtheircreativevisiontolife. Ontheotherhand,youwouldbesurprisedbyhowmanysuccessfulsingleshavebeenmasteredwithapretty similarchaintotheonewejustprovidedyouwith. Andthisbringsustoourfinalpoint.Wehighlyencourageyoutoexperimentwiththeorderofthedevicesin thismasteringchainwhilealsoaddingorremovinganytypeofprocessors. Thismasteringchainisn’tdefinitiveorbeallandendall,it’sjustacommonsettingthatworkswellformultiple stylesofmusic. Forexample,trydoingcorrectiveEQbeforedoinganysortofdynamiccontrol.Thereisn’treallyarightor wrongwaytodothis.Youjusthavetobeawareofwhatyou’retryingtoachieve,referenceprofessionaltracks, andexperimentendlessly. Itisverycommonwithinthedancemusiccommunityforproducerstodeveloptheirownmasteringchains, whichactuallycontributesalittlebittotheirownuniquesound. Justdon’tforgetthatadecentamountofmasteringengineersouttherearealsoworththeirpricetag.Someof themevenownhardwareunitsandacousticallytreatedspacesthatmostproducerscouldonlyeverdreamof using.Asecondsetofearswhounderstandsyourcreativevisionisoneofthemostvaluableassetsyoucould everhave. Letsomeoneelsebeinvolvedinoneofyourprojectsatleastafewtimes.Asweinitiallymentioned,youmay endupwithaverypleasantresult. Happymastering!
  15. 15. 60DayAbletonLive10Routine Step1:AssessDynamics Beforeyoustart:Pickareferencetrack&startanewsession Step2:CleanUpEqualization Step3:ColorationEQ Step4:StereoImaging Step5:Saturation/Exciting Step6:VintageCompression Step7:Limiting TheMasteringChecklist Doesyourtrackhaveloosedynamicsorroguetransientsatanypointduringyoursong?Doyoufeellikeitcouldbetighter,ordoyousimply wantsomeextraheadroom? Useapeakcatchingcompressor. Pickonetrackthatisverysimilartoyoursstylistically;youmayalreadyhaveoneifyoureferencedatracksincethecreativestage. Startabrandnewsessionandputitinanotherchannel.Asgeneralruleofthumb,loweritbythesameamountofheadroomyouhaveavailableinyourtrack tocompensateforloudness. Youshouldonlyhave2channelsinthissession,yourreferencetrackandaprintofyourmixdown. Getridofunnecessaryfrequenciesonbothsidesofthefrequencyspectrum,tameharshfrequencybands,andtrytoachieveaproperfrequency response/balanceusingyourreferencetrack. Thisstepisn’timperative.Doyoufeellikeyoucouldaddrichnessorsomecolorationtoyoursong?ExperimentwithvintageEQsandtrytoget arichersoundwithoutruiningthebalanceyoumighthaveachievedinthepreviousstep. Thisstepisn’tnecessaryeitherineverysinglemasteringsession.Listentoyourreferencetrackanduseyourbestjudgementtodetermineif youneedtoenhanceyourstereoimage. Remembertoneverpushstereoimagerstoohard,astheycouldcompletelyruinthestereoimageyoubuiltduringthemixingstage.Ifyoudidn’t makeyoursubfrequenciesmonoduringyourmixingstage,thisisagreattimetodoso. Doesyoursongneedsomeextraenergyoroverallbrightness?Considerusingmildsaturationorharmonicexcitementtogiveyoursongthe finishingtouchitmayneed. Remembertobeextracarefulinthisstepthough.It’sverylikelythatthere’salreadyalotofprocessinginyourtrackasawhole;Overdoingthiscan ruinyourentiresongveryeasily. Vintagecompressioncouldbeseenasthecherryonacake.Ifyoufeellikeyoucouldstilladdsomefinalgluetoyourentiresongoranextralayer ofcolor,feelfreetoexperimentwithverylightcompressionwithanynon‑transparentcompressor. Referencetheloudnesslevelsofyourreferencetrackandusethatasabenchmark.Wedon’trecommendgoingabove‑4RMS,butthefinal decisionisuptoyou. Feelfreetoexperimentwithstagedlimitingtoachieveevenmoretransparentresults;Don’tforgettochangetheoutputofthelastlimiterto somewherearound‑0.01to‑0.04dBandsimplypushthegainup.
  16. 16. 60DayAbletonLive10Routine 7.FabFilterPro‑MB 8.UADManleyMassivePassive 9.ShadowHillsMasteringCompressor Top10MasteringPlugins Multibandcompressioncanoftenbeseenasafinerdetail,notworth wranglinguntilthelatestagesofatrack,ifnotthemasteringstage.Butwith Pro‑MB’sintuitivecontrols,producersandengineersofalllevelscanenjoy thebenefitsitbrings,evenbeforethemasteringstage. Pro‑MBisalsouniqueinthatitisacompletedynamicsprocessor.This meansthatitallowsforvarioustypesofdynamicsprocessing,including compression,expansion,limiting,andgating. ThisincredibleequalizerisbasedonManley’sclassicMassivePassiveEQ.With multipleemulationsavailablebydifferentplugindevelopers,theaudiocommunity stillagreesthatUAD’semulationisthemostfaithfuloneoutofallofthem. ThisEQhastwomodesavailable,astandardversionandamasteringversion.Both havedifferentgainranges,filterfrequencies,fourbandsofparametricEQs,and steppedfilterfrequencieswithindividuallyselectablefiltershapes. TheShadowHillsMasteringCompressorisanextremelyversatileunitthatcomes built‑inwithmultiplecompressionmodes. Thetransformermodeisincrediblygoodataddingpleasantdistortionthatis usuallycharacteristicofthistypeofcomponents.It’sopticcompressionmodeis quitehandyforanytypeofdynamiccontrol,whiletheVCAmodeworkssuperbly asagluecompressor. BUYNOW BUYNOW BUYNOW
  17. 17. 60DayAbletonLive10Routine 10.UADPultecPassiveEQCollection Top10MasteringPlugins ThePultecEQ’sarearguablysomeofthemostcommonhardwareunits— oratleastthepluginversions—thatyouwillfindinthetoolboxofalmost everysuccessfulproducerallaroundtheworld. TheseEQ’swillgiveyouthatthatsignaturesmooth‑as‑silkvintagetonein whateveryouuseiton,fromindividualtracks,tobusses,orevenyour masterbus.Youcandialupextremelevelsofboostsandcutswhilestaying naturalandmusical. BUYNOW
  18. 18. 60DayAbletonLive10Routine 1.iZotopeOzone8 2.FabFilterProL‑2 3.A.O.MInvisibleLimiter Top10MasteringPlugins iZotope’sOzone8isperfectforthoseofyoulookingfortheidealaudio masteringexperience.Thismasteringsuiteincludeseverythingyouneedto prepareatrackforcommercialdistribution. ItfeaturesmultipleEQs,compressors,imagers,limiters,andmuchmore. Theadvancedversionevenfeaturesquiteafewmodulesthatarehelpfulin themixingprocessofyourtrackpre‑mastering. FabFilteriswidelyknownformakingsomeofthebestmixingandmastering pluginsonthemarket,andtheirbrandnewProL‑2isnoexception. Thislimiterhasmultipleaddedfunctionalitiessuchasunitygain,limitingaudition, targetloudnessmeters(LUFSincluded),andanastoundingamountof8different limiterstyles. Ifwhatyou’relookingforisabrickwalllimitertoraisethevolumeandkeepthe detailsofyourtrackintact,withoutthehassleoftweakingmanyknobs,thisisthe toolforyou. A.O.Mwentaboveandbeyondwiththisplugin,asithasthereputationofbeingone ofthemosttransparentandclearsoundinglimitersontheentiremarket. BUYNOW BUYNOW BUYNOW
  19. 19. 60DayAbletonLive10Routine 4.KazrogKClip3 5.DMGEquilibrium 6.SonnoxOxfordInflator Top10MasteringPlugins KClip3isthenewestversionofKazrog’shighly‑praisedmulti‑band saturator,masteringclipper,andloudnessmeter. Kazrogisahighlyrespecteddeveloperwithintheaudioengineering community,andwiththisunbelievablepluginyougetanall‑in‑onesolution withthepricetagtomatch. Multipleproducersandengineersargumentthatonceyougetpastthelearning curvethisEQhas,youwon’teverfeeltheneedtobuyanyotherequalizeragain. DevelopedbyDMGAudio,Equilibriumofferscrystalcleardigitalcurves,circuit modelsofvintageEQs,andmultipleengineeringfilters. TheOxfordInflatorisn’taconventionallimiter,asitisinawaysomekindof distortiongeneratorthatgivestheimpressionofgreaterloudnessbyproducing harmoniccontentthatwenaturallyassociatewithloudsignals. ThemaindownsideofthispluginisthatyouneedaniLokdongletobeabletouse itorownaUniversalAudiosoundcard. BUYNOW BUYNOW BUYNOW

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