Up until recent times, mastering audio has been something of a mysterious art that required mega dollars and experience to get release-worthy results... With the rapid evolution of dedicated software and technology, getting professional, release-ready results is now a possibility for everyone with the right knowledge and understanding
Mastering Now - The Complete Guide is a comprehensive, in-depth look at audio mastering and will give you exactly what you need to begin or go further with your audio mastering with real confidence. The course consists of over 6 hours of dedicated mastering tutorials, including 3 real life example tracks mastered from start to finish, a guide to the tools of the trade, some of the more secret tools and processes used, and a look at how to improve your critical decision making. There is undoubtedly something in this course for everyone!
The tools and the theory you need to compete with today's mastering standards are covered in a personal manner by Berlin-based and seasoned Mastering Engineer - Nicholas D'Ombrain. As the director of Zeitgeist Mastering and with years of experience mastering some big names and record labels across Berlin and beyond, you can rest assured that this course is tailored to your needs and is packed full of valuable tips and mastering know-how.
1. BONUS MODULE - Preparing a Track for Mastering or Premastering
Covering the necessary steps and essential tips to prepare your track for optimum Mastering results. Mastering is only worth it if your track is correctly prepared. A total of 9 essential Premastering tips on how to go about it.
2. What's It All About?
A look at what Mastering is in today's industry, including some helpful tips on Acoustics, Monitoring, Mastering Environments and the general attitude towards the overall concept.
3. Analysing your audio and knowing what to work towards
Knowing what to work towards when Mastering can be very tricky to come to grips with, especially in the beginning, so this module looks at the ways in which we can effectively aid these daunting decisions. We'll take a look at analysing waveforms, spectral analysis and what to expect from our audio.
4. Analogue Vs. Digital Processing
A brief look at Analogue and Digital Processing in modern Mastering applications.
5. The Signal or Processing Chai
Some helpful advice on the Mastering Signal Chain including some rules to remember and the possibility of changing the processing order.
6. Tools of The Trade - EQ
An in-depth look at Mastering EQ principles and possibilities, including the aided use of frequency spectrum analysis.
7. Tools of The Trade - Compression
A detailed look at Singleband Mastering Compression, Level Metering options, know-how and best practice.
8. Tools of The Trade - Multiband Compression
An in-depth look at Multiband Mastering Compression and best practice.
9. Tools of The Trade - Stereo Enhancement and Imaging
Some of the fundamentals behind Stereo Imaging, including accurate metering, treating common issues, adding stereo enhancement and some tips on mastering for vinyl.
10. Tools of The Trade - Maximising and Limiting
A complete look at Mastering Limiting/Maximising, RMS levels and metering scales, and an overview of the Loudness Wars and what they’re all about.
11. Tools of the Trade – Dithering or Applying Dither
Explains what dither is, when to apply it and some of the best dither types available
12. Secret Tools - Reverb
A look at using Reverb in the Mastering environment.
13. Secret Tools - MaxxBass or Low Frequency Punch
Possible techniques and plug-ins used to treat the often lacking low end of a track… Whether it’s adding more Sub Bass or punch, or making the bass more pronounced on a range of systems (including small speakers), we look at some possible Mastering options.
14. Secret Tools - Harmonic Excitement
A guide to adding some excitement, sparkle and shine to a track using industry-changing effects such as the Aphex Aural Exciter.
15. Secret Tools - Tape Saturation or Analogue Warmth
A look at introducing Analogue warmth to a track in a digital world!
16. Putting Theory into practice - Mastering from start to finish - TRACK 1 (Waves Plug-ins)
Mastering a track from a Berlin-based Electronic duo from start to finish, using predominantly plug-ins from the Waves collection.
17. Putting Theory into practice - Mastering from start to finish - TRACK 2 (A loud Master with iZotope's Ozone 5)
Here, we look at satisfying a client's request and competing with the Loudness wars, as we Master an Electro track purely using iZotope's Ozone 5 to a loud standard. Some more in-depth mastering techniques such as parameter automation are looked at.
18. Putting Theory into practice – Mastering from start to finish – TRACK 3 (A range of Plug-ins)
Here, to mix it up, we cover the mastering of an Italian pop rock track and use a range of the most appropriate plug-ins available.