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Audio Sequencing Workshop: Mastering

For more songs the process looks a little bit different. In our case we have just one song to master.

First we need to create a new project, name it something like "song1Mastering". Import the bounced stereo-file to a new stereo track. There are countless ways to master but this shall show the most comfortable and easiest way in my eyes.

Insert a stereo eq and a stereo compressor into the audio track. Put a limiter into the main output.

Open the eq, set a lo-cut at about 20Hz. There is no useful information in this area. Now add some highs with a high shelve (about +3dBfrom 10kHz to 20kHz). This gives more "air" and freshness to the song. Now try cutting some of the frequencies between 250Hz and 600Hz with about –1dB to -4dB. The cut of mids and boost of highs is what makes songs sound "fat".

Now use the compressor gently. The attack should be above 15ms with a long release. The gain reduction should be less than 3dB, so the sound is not distorting too much. Now adjust the output of the compressor so the limiter is working but not audible. Just try with the eq and compressor until you get the desired result.

Make the final fade in and fade out, bounce your song in 44,1kHz and 16 Bit (because this is the format usual audio CDs are working with) to the hard disc.

That’s it: your final version of your own recorded, edited, mixed and mastered song.

I hope this workshop was useful to you and had some fun reading this.

(Be aware that Steinberg, Apple, Digidesign and the other companies are all trademarks of their respective owners and here just named for educational reasons.)

Benjamin Kapidzic

About the author:
Benjamin Kapidzic, born in 1984, lives in Hamburg (Germany). Studied audio-engineering at the SAE-college and works as an live/studio engineer and is mixing/producing several projects.
Need help with your projects?
For more information contact: kapv@gmx.de