Do you need more plug-ins? Or more skills?
What is this strange-looking piece of equipment?
How much difference does mastering really make? [with audio]
The Waves CLA-76 compressor plug-in on snare drum, with video
Q: Why do I have to record acoustic guitar twice?
What is production? Part 3: Recording
Q: "Why is the signal from my microphone low in level and noisy?"
Why your new monitors should make your mix sound bad
When using a drum virtual instrument, should you record each drum to its own individual track?
Exploring the MASSIVE headroom in your DAW
Subscribe to access our latest, up-to-the-minute articles with hints, tips and adventures in audio in the weekly Audio Masterclass Newsletter.
audiomasterclass.com visitor Pram Maven disagrees with the article on mastering at home...
I'm sorry to say this, but you are WRONG!!! You CAN very well master your own recordings; I've been doing this since 1999. But the trick is in HOW you do it. I don't do it the standardized way; I actually mastered AS I record. Sound wrong? Well tell that to the guy who put one of my songs in his movie, or the company that used some of my other songs in three commercials. I'll even invite you to listen for yourself: myspace.com/prammaven
Trust me, I know what I'm doing, and there's more than one way to skin a cat. You have some good articles, but as far as the one about mastering...Don't listen to yourself.
David Mellor replies...
Thank you for your opinion. Mastering at home may well work for you. However, if people working at the top of the industry use professional mastering engineers, then clearly they see an advantage in that.
RP advice to anyone is to get the best mix you possibly can with no master channel processing other than maybe a little EQ. Make multiple copies of that and keep them safe. Then go ahead and apply other master processing if you like. You then have the security of having both mastered and unmastered versions.
Having had the opportunity of hearing many good recordings spoiled by inappropriate mastering, I am confident that this is the right thing to do for most people.
If the opportunity ever comes along to have your work professionally mastered, then you have the unprocessed original ready and waiting. Who knows, perhaps the pro who has done mastering every day of his working life for maybe twenty years or more won't be able to do any better than you.
Good advice to anyone is to consider where the core of your skill lies. Are you a writer, a musician, an engineer, a producer, a mix engineer or a mastering engineer?
It's perfectly possible to have skills in two or three of these areas, but if one person claimed that they could match the best specialists in the world in all of these areas, then they would be a genius indeed.
We would love to hear from anyone who is getting really great results from mastering at home. Please send us a short sample that includes both the unmastered and mastered versions of your mix, say 30 seconds unmastered then 30 seconds mastered. Upload audio here... (We'll need a description of your mastering process please.)Come on the FREE COURSE TOUR