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Saturday, March 7, 2020

How to master a song with free plugins part 2/3: the core of mastering!



Once we have our mastering project open and with a minimum knowledge of which are the tools required for each individual task, you will find that it's a rabbit hole as deep as the mixing itself, and different to the point that there are mastering engineers that earns a living just by doing that.

That's how different it is, and in the most expensive studios mastering engineers have whole outboards of hardware processors dedicated just for that.
Since you are reading this, though, I assume you are not one of these mastering engineers, so here's our article with the Best 5 free mastering plugins 2019, which should already give you a nice array of new tools, if you're not satisfied with what you can find bundled in your DAW.

What matters here, in the core of mastering, it's the subtlety: we don't want to modify the complex and delicate balance of our mix, so what we need is to make the sound just a bit more stable, smooth and euphonic before pushing the signal with the limiter, that's why many prefers, instead of a regular broadband compressor, to use a multiband compressor (click here for a dedicated article) in order to keep things in place without coloring or altering the whole spectrum.
If we see that through these subtle modifications and corrections still the mix is unstable or unbalanced, we will have to go back to the mixing project, fix it from there and re-export the track.

Now it's time to create the song metadata (click here for a dedicated article), which will be the information hard coded in the song, such as the song title, the name of the band, the year and so on.
These informations once were optional, but today are essential since they will be the criteria based on which your song will be indexed in the computer, in your mp3 player or in your smartphone.

Pass this phase and the track will become completely impossible to find.

Now to see more in detail the mastering project it's time to check out our second mastering article: the Minimal Mastering Chain, which will explore furthermore which are the most important tools to be loaded into a master track: if in the first part of this article we went through a very broad article with ALL the tools, this one focuses just on those that are really useful, the others are all situational.


CLICK HERE FOR PART 1/3

CLICK HERE FOR PART 3/3


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