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– TC Spitfire (Engineer / writer / producer for Paul Oakenfold)
What is it?
The quickest way to explain what the masterclass is all about, is to show you the trailer video. So, here it is !
Introductory “Getting Started” video: “Home Mastering Essentials”
This video gives a broad overview of the course, explaining:
- The simple three-stage process I use when I master every single song I work on
- How to calibrate your mastering system by choosing an optimal mastering monitoring level
- Straightforward rules of thumb to guide your decisions for deciding levels, EQ balance and compression settings
8 Weekly Mastering Masterclass videos – “sit in” on a series of mastering sessions with me
Watch over my shoulder with a series of screen-capture “mastering masterclass” videos. I’ll master a different song every week, and tell you what I’m doing, why I’m doing it – and how
Weekly “Q&A” podcasts
Each week, email your questions to a dedicated address – ask me anything ! Every week I’ll record a podcast as many of the popular and interesting questions as I can. Tell me what youwant to know !
Access to the private Facebook group
Connect with me and other course members in a friendly, informal environment. Ask questions, discuss the content, get help with problems and share hints and tips. The quality of discussion is very high: “This FB-group is great, such a fine and helpful group of people. Thanks for all the good input, I really appreciate it” – Dag Ove Vareberg
Regular assignments to improve your skills
Every week I set you a new goal. These exercises are based on the highly successful methods I use to assess and train new engineers. Starting simply, you’ll learn how to listen and think like a pro mastering engineer – and transform your music as a result
Universal techniques – “it ain’t what you use”…
The videos show a large selection of software packages and plugins in action, including Pro Tools, Logic, Reaper, iZoptope Ozone, T-RackS, Waves and more – learn how to apply the techniques with your software of choice
All the essentials…
A comprehensive range of fundamental mastering techniques. I’ll show you the core elements of every mastering chain- EQ, compression and limiting – and how to use them effectively
…plus more advanced techniques
These only get used on one in ten masters – but when they’re needed, they’re invaluable. Learn how I use stereo width processing, Mid-Side EQ, parallel compression, stem mastering and more
A complete summary of my mastering chain, my process and philosophy
The final Home Mastering Overview video summarizes the masterclass videos, adds all the nitty-gritty details (file formats, masters and meta-data like CD Text and ISRCs) and brings everything together – all the information you need to get started mastering in your home studio today
Thanks for the help and the great advices.” - Diego Colombo
Bonus in-depth interviews
Whenever I work on a real mastering session, I always take some time to talk to the client, to find out more about their music – how it was recorded, how they would like it to sound, and whether they have anything particular they hope to achieve with the mastering. I’ve done the same for these videos, via Skype, and recorded the conversations so you can eavesdrop on this part of the process, too.
I’d originally intended these interviews to be an optional bonus, but what surprised me was that the results are far more valuable than I ever expected !
Between all the songs we covered a huge range of topics, so there’s a mass of helpful information there about writing, recording and mixing as well as mastering – so, I’m bundling them in with the videos and I strongly recommend you listen to them as well as watching the videos, to get maximum value out of the package.
Topics covered in the interviews include:
- Professional mixers – the benefits and pitfalls
- The advantages of using real instruments – how to fake a string section, or even get a real one on your recording
- The loudness war, and the thorny issue of loudness in clubs
- Fear of bass – and several different approaches to handling it
- Getting a guitar sound – amp, pod, or plugin ?
- Why mixing is like cooking a steak
- Acoustic treatment and monitoring – simple, effective tweaks
- When mastering isn’t necessary – or reverb, either !
How It Works
There’s a new Masterclass video and interview to download every week, covering more and more advanced mastering techniques. Finally you’ll get the concluding “Home Mastering Overview” video, which pulls everything together and adds more detail to some topics.
Here’s the schedule:
Week 1: Home Mastering Essentials Video & “Obvious” by the Freefall Music Co.
A professionally mixed pop tune to get us started. Topics include EQ, compression & limiting
Week 2: “UR Now” by Fi-Check
Storming electro house tune. Topics include EQ in more depth, stereo image processing and multiband compression
Week 3: “Roads” by Dominik Johnson
Beautiful acoustic soundtrack score, with Real Strings by Pete Whitfield. Feature topic: Parallel compression
Week 4: “Such Is Life” by Any Last Words
Masterful Aussie metal. Feature topic: using distortion and saturation effects
Week 5: “Behold” by Joe Gilder
Pop/rock epic (with gospel choir !) Feature topic: Mid-side EQ
Week 6: “Snow” by Terry Emm
Eccentric English folk (with dark rocky undertones). Feature topic: Stem mastering
Week 7: “Naim” by Sigurdor Gudmunsson
Icelandic jazz. Topics include dealing with EQ build-up, compression, stereo width
Week 8: Home Mastering – The Overview
“One concern I had was I did think it was a bit pricey……just being honest….. it’s actually why I didn’t grab it right away, and then I figured, what the heck, go for it, and I am happy I bought it.
I really enjoyed it and here’s why. It was simple, easy to understand and made sense to someone like me. A lot of stuff out there is way to detailed and confusing, you just got right to the point and made sense…..that’s a skill my friend.
I find when I read some stuff, I learn a lot but am left more confused than when I started….I have more questions about what I learned than answers, ya know…..but not after your book…..and the video was a great way to see it in action. The learning curve is huge!!!! But I think I’m getting somewhere lately, and you have really helped.” - Ian Hudson
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