Being proficient is absolutely essential to creating a professional sounding track. However, this can be one of the most difficult parts of the production process, especially if you have never done it before.
That’s why we’ve put together these tips to help artists master their songs. This blog will teach you how to avoid common mastering mistakes, shape your sound, and make sure your tracks translate to every system.
Considering your delivery method will help keep track of things and make sure your mix doesn’t sound too loud or distorted when played by the listener.
Some streaming services like Spotify and YouTube adjust their master level to ensure that all tracks are within a certain volume range.
Before streaming sites began standardizing, artists and record labels pushed their teachers to their limits. They did this when humans realized that higher songs had more clarity in higher and deeper lows than higher songs.
There’s no way to ruin the transition and dynamic range by pushing a track so hard that it causes distortion.
Once a streaming site standardizes music, the comparison between a loud and quiet track is ultimately “correct.” That means the louder track no longer looks like it has more clarity or rich bass, and you all start to hear imperfections like a lack of pressure and terrible distortion blurring the sound.
Use Reference Mix
Mastering without mixing references is like painting in the dark; This might be great, but it’s probably a little tricky because you can’t see what you’re doing.
Benchmark mixes provide a roadmap to follow. Find professional-looking songs in a similar style, tempo, and style and compare them to your mix to get a feel for where your song is struggling. It’s better to use a lossless WAV file, but MP3 will work in a pinch.
Reference is one of my go-to plugins for all teachers because it allows me to compare tracks quickly and accurately. Drag and drop your benchmark mix into the wave transport and enable the level match feature for a more accurate and fair comparison.
Switch between the original mix and the benchmark mix and listen carefully to see the difference between the tracks. You can also check out Trinity Display for a detailed comparison of each track’s frequency balance, stereo width, and compression characteristics.
Remember that the purpose of using benchmarks is not to make your master look like someone else, but to compare your master to other marketing tracks to make sure you are on the same level.
Hear the big picture. Is your path bright enough? is it muddy? Is it too compressed? If so, go back to fix the problem.
Use Reference Mix
Use the Quality Measurement Plugin
A reliable measurement plug-in is essential to mastering because it will allow you to confirm what you’re hearing. The meter can be a very useful tool for composing a perfect sound, especially in conjunction with a reference track.
Keeping track of the various technical aspects of your mix is a challenge, especially when most measurement plugins are confusing and unappealing. Luckily, LEVLS is a super simple measurement plugin designed for producers who want to stay in their creative flow while avoiding all the technical hassle.
Use the Peak tab to measure your track’s actual peak levels in decibels to make sure your mix isn’t clipped. Keeping your peak below -0.1dBTP can make the sound clearer. Note that the level meters on your DAW are not accurate peak meters and do not accurately measure whether your audio is clipped when listening through speakers.
The LUFS parameter allows you to measure short and long term loudness in LUFS. This is useful for making sure you’ve optimized the volume for the delivery method you’ve chosen.
The Dynamic Range tab uses an oscilloscope to show the dynamic range of your track. If you have over-compressed or over-limited your track, LEVELS will warn you by setting the oscilloscope and dynamic range to red.
The Stereo Fields tab uses VectorScope to show the stereo width of your audio. When the picture is spread across the circle, your teacher seems wider. If the picture shows only a thin line in the middle, your teacher is in mono.
Use the correlation indicator on the left to check your mix balance. A reading close to +1 indicates a balanced mix. If the pointer moves from the midpoint to -1, you may have phase problems in your mix.