How to learn mastering?

Mastering is the process of Processing a mix into the final form to be readily distributed after that. It usually includes transitioning and sequencing of songs. Mastering can be difficult for using the same space used for mixing as it creeps on this space that can be used for mastering. But mastering at home is not impossible, even though it may be difficult.

The most considerable help in today’s age is that eight is much more technologically advanced, and one does not need thousands of dollars of equipment to do mastering. One can easily upload a master from The $300 laptop. But just because someone can do something does not mean that it makes it a good idea. So these are the following steps which one can follow to get the best master of their mix at home.

Too many plugins

Plugins are essential to do mastering. But there is a point where too many are too much. Usually, many people, especially in a YouTube mastering tutorial one, may have up to 8 to 10 completely unnecessary plugins. One can have a maximum of three processors in their mastering chain: EQ, compression, and limiting.

But one shouldn’t be limited in their creativity as in some songs it may be necessary to get more plugins, but it shouldn’t be a staple.

Using both compression and limiting

Sometimes when masterings a song may start sounding lifeless and dull. This usually happens when someone pushes the limit too far. It can also be when the compression starts sounding thick and heavy. Do compressors and limiters are synonymous, but they are used with different settings to get different results. Limiters help to do the short-term work very fast and cleanly. Compressors are best to work with time in slower and gentler processes of mastering.

Mastering while on the mix bus

A lot of people make the grave mix of mastering while already being on the mix bus. Mastering is not like making a song where the instruments need to be balanced but rather heard these songs need to be balanced. So it is easier when the files are lined up against each other so that the EQ and the compression levels can be compared easily and thus helps to do the mastering more efficiently. Also, when trying to do it on the mix bus, it can lead to processor overload, frying the chip completely.

Premade presets

Presets are great for beginners as it helps to get the work done quickly, but they cannot always be used for all kinds of music. Also, presets are usually made for individual use, So what one may find good in their mix may not be suitable for someone else’s mix. So always make your own music.

Don’t peak too high

The peak meter should not go above -1 since:

  • It is the recommendation of AES streaming guidelines, IT U broadcast standard, and mastered for iTunes guidelines.
  • It helps later to encode and decode two other formats.
  • It also reduces additional distortion in particular converters.


Sometimes a mix can be two dynamic or oo quiet, neither of which is a good option. Music should never be too soft, and music should never be too loud. It’s almost always hitting the sweet spot to get it right.

Final thoughts

These are basic pointers for people who are just starting in their home studio to do mastering. There is no exhaustive list of how to do it right, and one can never go wrong with their creativity. But these are just some staple guidelines that are good if followed. But still, if someone is having problems mastering the mix, one can always consider an online class or undertaking or mastering tutorial to get ahold of it better.

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