The Advanced Mastering Course is a professional level guide to mastering in the modern home studio environment. Building on the skills learned in the Basic Mastering Course, you will learn advanced mastering techniques using mastering grade plugins. Mastering demonstrations are part of every lesson with specific techniques for different styles of music.
This class sets the foundational principles of the art of mastering. It establishes the criteria that defines a great mastering job. The following lessons define the approach, tools and setup necessary to achieve those results.
The most important step in creating a great master is to start with a comprehensive listening and evaluation of the mix. From this evaluation, an effective approach can be determined and implemented.
Equalization plays a vital role in the perceived height and separation of instruments in a mix. The role of Equalization in mastering is to help enhance the work of the mix engineer as is appropriate to the production style and instructions of the client. This class focusses on fundamental mastering equalization techniques and the use of transparent equalizers.
This class picks up from Part 1 and brings mastering equalization into the modern era of Class A components and the benefits of modern DAW based processing. It also brings back the traditional Mid-Side approach to processing masters as well as some modern tilt EQ and dynamic equalization techniques.
Compression is one of the most powerful tools the mastering engineer has to solidify the imaging density of a mix. It can breathe life into a dead mix or transparently increase the perceived level without crushing the transient peaks. Each type of compressor offers different advantages for particular tasks in a mastering. This class begins that journey.
This class picks up from Part 1 and brings in the power of VCA compression and emulations of some modern Class A compressors including the Vertigo VSC-2, Shadow Hills mastering Compressor, Brainworx V3 and the Elysia Alpha Compressor. The class will also feature Mid-Side Compression Techniques and using Tape emulations for compression.
The modern DAW era has given rise to the power of dynamics processing that in the analog realm was at best theoretical. The ability to apply compression on a multi band level is not exclusive to the digital realm, but the control and precision of in-the-box processing is unparalleled. Working with MultiBand Dynamics is not without its challenges and a deeper understanding of the role of different frequency ranges and how to weave them together is essential to using tool correctly.
The real art of mastering is freeing the song from the speakers they are playing through. A high quality mix escapes the speakers and images solidly as if it were sharing the same space with you. When this happens, the music sounds dynamic, alive and present. If the final mix production lacks this depth and vibrancy, it is sometimes necessary to bring in tools that will bring in depth, openness and presence without unnecessary hype or excessive processing.
Maximizing the loudness of a master is so much more than slamming a brick wall limiter on the end of your processing chain. It is more about the cumulative gain structuring approach through each level of processing so that the final stages of maximizing the final master are transparent and free of distortion.
Rock music is a very broad category including everything from Popular radio to Death Metal records. The approach to mastering such titles varies greatly depending on the meaning of the song within the specific production. Reference masters are a great source for determining the best approach to processing. The mastering examples in this class will detail the thinking process and approach to each style.
This class features the mastering of R&B, Hip Hop, EDM and House/Club records. The mastering examples will focus largely on preserving (or creating) a rich, deep and powerful low end that is their signature sound. The imaging quality of the low frequencies is critical to the final masters translating form system to system.
Acoustic, Jazz and Orchestral records offer different challenges to the mastering engineer. Because the dynamic range of performances in these styles are more clearly exposed than in most modern pop music, careful attention must be paid to preserve the integrity of the performance dynamic. This class features mastering examples of Acoustic, Jazz and Orchestral records and how to adapt the processing to preserve the natural dynamics and deliver a professional quality commercial release.
Love it or hate it, iTunes is the modern audio playback standard for digitally released music. Mastered for iTunes is a high resolution AAC encoding process created by Apple and released in 2012. The purpose of this new format was to significantly increase the audio fidelity of the AAC iTunes format. Understanding how to master your audio for iTunes and the MFiT format is the focus of this Bonus Class.