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Production Advice

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Mastering – keep it simple

by Ian Shepherd

Some of you will know about the Home Mastering Masterclass already. It’s an 8-week online course, where you get to be a fly on the wall of my home studio, and hopefully learn something in the process – you can read all about it here, or just watch the trailer above.

I’ve run the course several times now, and it’s always been a great success – the members have loved it, and hopefully you will, too !

And every time I run it, a message comes through clearer and clearer – mastering is simple. We all like to make it complicated, but the truth is, in essence the process is very simple:

  • Choose the right level.
  • Choose the right EQ.
  • Compress or limit if necessary.

That’s it !

Well OK, it’s a little more complicated than that – I wrote about the process in more detail here. But it really is true – at it’s heart, mastering is a simple process, and the more we keep that in mind, the better it’s likely to turn out.

Which doesn’t mean there isn’t a mass of information on the Home Mastering Masterclass course to help you do the best job you can of it, though !

So please check out the trailer, or click here for more information to see if you want to find out more – and perhaps I’ll see you on the course !

And either way, remember – if mastering ends up getting too complicated, you may be doing it wrong !

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5 Responses

  1. John Eleazar says:

    I just came across your website this evening; you’re a saint for offering up the information you have. I’ve already learned more in just a few hours delving into your videos than I have in months of painstaking research and sleepless nights trying to solve mixing problems. THANK YOU for doing this!

    Dr. J

  2. John Smith says:

    Thanks again Ian, I’ve always taken this approach, and I wasn’t fundamentally wrong.
    I begun home recording playing classical instruments which are easy to ruin the sound of with well, anything less than auditoriums and pitch perfect hearing.
    Your details just add to the usefulness of your site thanks for taking all the time and effort and cost to host it.

  3. Guit Boy says:

    One question Ian: do you always record your pieces without any effects added by preamp/interface and add them later in mastering phase (when you can still revoke it)? Or maybe rather you set your preamp/interface to add some compression (or EQ) because you are sure you will need it in your record…

  4. Ian Shepherd says:

    Hello, I usually record clean (i.e.. without compression or EQ) and add processing as necessary in mixing. Other people do it differently, though !

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