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The Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering

The Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering
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All enrollments have a 30-day no-questions-asked, full-refund guarantee

Confused about mastering? Ready to take control all of its techniques and tricks? Start here...

The Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering - Full online course with assessments of your practical assignment work leading to an Audio Masterclass certificate on successful completion.

Gain great skills with great training

Twelve modules - everything you need in mastering from start to finish

Also included...

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How you will learn in your course

The Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering works by online distance learning. We have students in more than 120 countries all around the world. All you need to come on the course is a basic home studio setup and an internet connection, and of course a strong desire to produce recordings of fully professional quality in your own home studio.

With this course, you will learn all of the essential techniques of mastering as used in professional studios every day.

Tutorials and videos

Course instruction is through world-class online textbook materials, audio tutorials, and supplementary video materials where appropriate. We show you the important techniques of audio that professionals use every day, and you can use yourself in your own home studio. All of the course materials are available online, and also enhancement learning materials including videos shot at Abbey Road Studios 2 and 3. You can print, save or download all of your course materials as you wish to keep permanently.

In this professional course, most of the theoretical material and audio demonstrations are contained in an introductory Module 0. The further twelve modules of the course are orientated around practical assignments that you can carry out in your own home recording studio and send in to Audio Masterclass for our detailed and helpful assessments and comments.

Audio examples

Our tutorials and videos are supported by a wealth of audio examples, which are also downloadable. We recommend that you load these examples into your digital audio workstation so that you can listen to them in exactly the same way as when you're recording yourself.

Many of the audio examples will show you what you should aim to achieve. Others will show you how things can go wrong - and we'll show you clearly the difference between good audio and bad, and explain the reasons why.

Practical projects

The best way to learn audio is to *do* audio - recording, editing, processing, mixing and mastering. And don't forget the importance of close, attentive listening. The more you do it, the better you'll get.

So the Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering & Dynamics features a range of practical projects relating to the modules of the course. The practical projects will set you a task to complete, show you how to do it and point out what could go wrong. And when you have completed your project, you can compare your work with our examples - many of which are created by Audio Masterclass students.

Assessment

We will listen to all of your practical project work. We will listen carefully, then send you a detailed report with grading of all of the factors that we look for in a successful project. We will also describe for you any faults that we hear, and advise you on how to correct them. You can resubmit assignments at any time so that you can move steadily closer to perfection.

Student advice team

All Audio Masterclass students have access to our Student Advice Team for the full duration of their enrollment. You can ask questions on any of the course topics and receive a personal response.

Flexibility

Because Audio Masterclass works by distance learning, you can learn entirely at your own pace. There is no set schedule and you can move quickly or slowly through the course as you wish and take breaks at any time.

Enrollment

Your Audio Masterclass enrollment will be valid for one full year. You can save, print or download all of your course materials to keep permanently.

Certificates

Although no certificate can guarantee you a job in the audio or music industry, you will want something to commemorate your success on your Audio Masterclass course. On assessed courses, when you complete all of the practical work successfully, we will prepare your certificate and mail it to you anywhere in the world. There is no extra charge for this.

Our experience in audio education

Audio Masterclass has experience in audio education going back to 1986. We have been running online courses since 2001 which is longer than any other audio training provider on the web.

Summary

At Audio Masterclass we want to give you the fastest, most effective route towards a professional standard of work in your own home studio - a standard that is fully equal to professional studios and commercial releases.

We do this through effective, comprehensive instruction through tutorials and/or videos, audio examples, and practical projects that relate closely to real-world professional practice.

If you want to make fast progress, then Audio Masterclass is here to help.

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What you will learn in your course

Module 01: Analog and Digital Audio

Module 01: Basic mastering processes

Module content: The mastering process starts with topping and tailing, and fixing faults in the stereo mix. This module examines these important processes of preparation.
Assignment 1 - Basic mastering processes: This assignment will ask you to demonstrate the basic mastering processes of the module using supplied problematic material to work with.
Module 02: Microphones

Module 02: Investigation of clipping

Module content: Clipping is a serious problem in audio. It should be avoided, but it does happen all too often. A mastering engineer needs to have a good practical and aural understanding of clipping problems, from minor to major.
Assignment 2 - Demonstrations of clipping: This assignment will ask you to create demonstrations of clipping that range from only just audible, through mild to severe. The object is rather than to fear clipping but to develop an awareness of how it can affect a recording and how it can potentially have creative uses.
Module 03: Microphone Preamplifiers

Module 03: Equalizing the mix

Module content: It is a rare stereo mix that has a fully finished frequency balance, suitable for a wide range of listening systems. The mastering engineer's knowledge, skills and experience will help create a mix that sounds great anywhere.
Assignment 3 - Equalizing the mix: Equalize a given recording that is well mixed but has a poor overall frequency balance. Give it a similar frequency balance to successful commercial releases.
Module 04: Equalization

Module 04: Compressing the mix

Module content: Although not essential, compression can often bring the sound subjectively more forward, without actually making it louder. This module will explore the effect of compression on the mix.
Assignment 4 - Compressing the mix: Compress a given mix to achieve a similar dynamic range to that commonly expected in commercial releases.
Module 05: Compression

Module 05: Limiting

Module content: Limiting is usually considered essential in mastering. Until recently the trend was to make the master as loud as possible. Current standards however call for the master to have a controlled subjective level. A full understanding of the mastering limiter will be significant in this.
Assignment 5 - Demonstrations of problems in limiting: Limiters can easily be pushed to a point where the audio starts to degrade. This assignment will ask you to intentionally degrade a recording in various ways so that you acquire an understanding and feel for such problems, even when most people would not be able to hear them.
Module 06: Recording Software

Module 06: Low-frequency merge

Module content: Some applications of mastering, particularly for electronic dance music, call for the bass to be accentuated. But turning up the level of the bass can make the limiter kick in in the club's playback system. Merging the left and right channels can however make the bass louder without such problems.
Assignment 6 - Application of low-frequency merge to varying degrees: This assignment will ask you to merge the low frequency region of a track to varying degrees, typical of how the technique might be used in vinyl record production, and in music for live reproduction.
Module 07: Effects & Plug-ins

Module 07: Crossfading

Module content: Although not so useful for radio plays, it is quite common on an album for one track to crossfade into another. This is both a technical and musical skill that is explored in this module.
Assignment 7 - Crossfading with both technical and musical accuracy: Crossfading is both a skill and an art. This assignment will start with a seemingly simple, but surprisingly tricky butt edit, progressing through a simple crossfade, to a crossfade between the student's choice of tracks.
Module 08: Synthesis & Sampling

Module 08: Stereo width

Module content: The mastering engineer has control over the width of the stereo image. The width can be reduced if the mix is too wide and sounds uncomfortable on headphones or earbuds. Or the width can be expanded if it is too narrow.
Assignment 8 - Demonstrations of stereo width from mono all the way to super-wide stereo: Although the width of the stereo image should be well within the mix engineer's control, the mastering engineer has the final say and should be totally in command of the process, all the way through to super-wide stereo.
Module 09: Recording Techniques

Module 09: Dropout repair

Module content: Sometimes tracks that are faulty require mastering and there is no way of going back to the original multitrack. This module examines how a tape dropout can be corrected.
Assignment 9 - Dropout repair: Dropouts are particularly common in archive recordings, many of which still have significant commercial value. A fully skilled mastering engineer must be able to optimize any dropouts using only the material and tools they have available.
Module 10: Mixing

Module 10: Harmonic generation and warmth

Module content: Digital recording can sometimes be too clean, clinical and sterile. Adding warmth to the finished master can bring the mix to life.
Assignment 10 - Creating warmth using harmonic generation techniques: In this assignment you will be given a a recording that is quite dry, to the point of being sterile. The assignment will ask you to warm it up using whatever plug-ins you have available, but with great consideration given to the artistic quality of the end result.
Module 11: Mastering

Module 11: Multiband compression

Module content: Multiband compression has been used in the past to maximize subjective loudness, and this is still an important technique to learn. It can also however apply compression tastefully to the parts of the frequency spectrum that would benefit from it without affecting others.
Assignment 11 - Multiband compression from first principles: Using only the plug-ins that came with your DAW, this assignment will ask you to create the technique of multiband compression, as commonly used as a component of the mastering process.
Module 12: Marketing Your Music & Recording Services

Module 12: Mastering project

Module content: In the final module of the course, the student is asked to apply most or all of the techniques previously learned to create a finished master from a stereo mix.
Assignment 12 - Complete mastering project: For the final assignment of this course we will give you a track that is very well mixed, but is somewhere short of a commercial release standard in terms of mastering. This assignment will ask you to give the track the final mastering polish.
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What our students say about their Audio Masterclass course...

[Some elements of the comments below refer to other Audio Masterclass courses and modes of delivery.]

You did a great job!

Excellent material, audio and videos are really good and clear.

I appreciate the depth, very informative and useful. I increased my knowledge in the area I am so passionate about. I was able to implement a lot of new procedures in my own sound and musical projects.

My gratitude and best regards

Anton Strecky, Slovakia

With my employment in health service established years ago, music and recording is an essential withdrawal from professionalism to me, rather than a significant possibility to provide a supplement to earned income. But with growing interest and investment, achievement of professionally acceptable quality became a must. At that point studying at Audio Masterclass had only pros and no cons to me, and no equally accessible alternatives of world-class standards.

The book "How to set up a Pro Home Recording Studio" [by Audio Masterclass] and other information concerning hardware and software helped me to find "my way" in the jungle of possibilities, and it actually had a money saving effect.

Assessments of practical assignment projects were of especially great importance to me. It is easy for the beginner like me to have an illusion that the produced work is good, while actually it is not. Additional valuable information can be derived from individually provided comments too.

It is very comforting to have tons of audio examples at hand. Even after the course I use some of them as benchmarks of specific quality.

The most special experiences along the way of the course were moments of approaching the presumed limits of creative possibilities… stepping beyond… and finding that there is something more out there. And this kind of training may have implications that are not immediately obvious, but may prove to be of great importance in any intellectually demanding/competitive situation of life. All in all, I consider that to be my greatest gain achieved at Audio Masterclass.

Egidijus Nemanius, Lithuania

I was looking for an audio school online that could give me the information I was missing. I also needed someone to tell me "this is good, here you were wrong, you made such a mistake ...", in fact, I needed a guide! That's when I discovered Audio Masterclass.

Even though I was very interested in what was announced, I still had a great fear; I was afraid that the education provided would be purely theoretical. Several times, even for weeks, I went through the site of Audio Masterclass up and down and compared it with other schools of the same type.

Eventually Audio Masterclass won my membership because it seemed to me to be the most consistent. From the first lesson, I knew that I was not mistaken! Yes, there is a theoretical teaching but it’s really practical and very effective. The lessons are precise and free from the superfluous, what is taught is what is needed to be immediately effective.

After following the 12 modules proposed, I can affirm that I was able to deepen my theoretical and practical knowledge: 1. For example, I used the microphones by instinct or empirically, with more or less happiness. Now I know their characteristics, I know why and how to use different types of mics, how to place them, etc ... 2. In terms of acoustics, electro-acoustics and synthesis, I learned a lot. And you know what? I who was not at all good at maths, I had no trouble to assimilate what was taught because the explanations provided were really very clear. 3. Knowing one's work tool is very important.

I can assure you that the teaching of Audio Masterclass on compressors, EQ's, preamps is very valuable to me. Now I know how to deal with possible issues and also why devices sometimes react in such and such other ways. 4. Today, every time I handle an audio file, I have a thought for Audio Masterclass. I rely on what has been taught me both on a practical level and on the rigor, that must be exercised. I insist on this last point because do not deceive yourself, the correctors hear everything, even the smallest details and they do not let anything pass; Thanks to them!

Finally, if I have any advice to give to any student who wishes to make the best of the proposed teaching, it would be to act in 2 steps: a) For the theory, do not hesitate to read and reread the course several times, do the questionnaire, read the course again, repeat the questionnaire, etc. b) For practice, do not limit yourself to simply performing the proposed exercise. But once the corrector has evaluated the work, repeat the same exercise several times with other audio files, it is really the only way to master it. If I had a suggestion to say to at Audio Masterclass, it would be precisely not to be limited to one exercise per module but to give several before validating the level; I know that it is probably not possible to realize in practice ... This is my experience with Audio Masterclass.

You know what? Audio Masterclass has been a real game changer for me and if it was to redo, I would refer it without problem!

Georges Niacadié, France

Hi David [Gatis refers to David Mellor, Course Director of Audio Masterclass], I very happy that I signed-up for your course and that I've graduated it!

Actually, before I made my mind, I did a lot of research on web about your course, because at that time I just finished my studies at America Audio Insitute, but I felt like it's not enough for me to get on next level - as I wanted it so much. So I found Audio Masterclass. I found just one review on google, where somebody told that: "you won't get what you as an engineer really need etc, it lacks of deep dive in subject... this and that...." - I thought to myself: "well... maybe this guys is all wise or he is not opened for new experience and knowledge, or he was a bad student". So I decided to take a risk as I had no clue what is will look like.

The first thing that made most sense to me is practical assignment - that is "everything"! But in many other online-schools (like America Audio Insitute or Detroit Recording institute), it's the biggest defect of the program. If you can send your material for constructive feedback, it's the most valuable learning point!

Next thing: Every time I got feedback on task, at first I started learn it with your written feedback - that had greatest value to me. Another great thing is that by reading your feedback, you really get this feeling that somebody is listening to your work and paying attention to details.

About content: the structure of the course is very similar to many other courses but the difference in content is huge! And by this I also mean the language - how you explain things and details. This is very important to me as I'm not comming from english speaking country, but here it's easy to perceive the information. There are many great recording engineers out there, but not everyone has capability to teach others - but you can teach! (and I mean it, especially if I compare with my previous courses on America Audio Insitute Detroit Recording institute).

Other student audio examples: - very good in understanding what to do, and what to avoid! Sometimes if you have nothing to compare your work with, then you might think that "oh, yeah, great record!", but when you start to listen to others ...hmmm.... it become a challenge - it's like setting benchmark.

And yes, for me, as a small studio owner, has no huge budget or possibility to try out some top-end mics, the files with pre-amp and mic samples are awesome - now I have an idea how U87 sounds! : )

About improvements - actually I don't have anything to add to this, because from all this course I can feel that it's all made with professional attitude.

Overall - I've learned a lot, but most important to me is that by having many "aha" moments, I've developed completley different mindset when I start to think about recording, mixing and mastering - for me, it's the biggest achievement! ...and I want to learn more!

Ok, again, thanks for everything - I got the certificate - it's a very important milestone for me towards my GRAMMY! : )

P.S. I've already decided, to save some money and enroll to your professional courses within few month, so see you soon!

P.S.S. I've also attached my picture from my home studio.

All the best.

Gatis Pastars, Latvia

“I have to thank you and your team for helping me better understand the complex, and sometimes difficult to discover, secrets of audio engineering ! I'm very happy with my choice of enrolling in your captivating and well structured course !

Thank you and best wishes.”

Tudor Rogoz, Romania

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This course is for you if...

Enroll in the Audio Masterclass Professional Course in Mastering

$299 including assessments and certification
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30-Day Money Back Guarantee

If for any reason you do not find your Audio Masterclass course fully suitable for your needs, just send us a quick email and we will refund your purchase price in full, normally within one business day or faster. We ALWAYS honor this guarantee on the rare occasion it is requested. Our payment processors would refuse to work with us if we didn't.

About Course Designer David Mellor

Course Designer David Mellor

David Mellor is the founder and Course Director Audio Masterclass, currently residing in the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. He has worked in audio education since 1986 in hands-on training, lectures and online. David Mellor holds the degree of B.Mus (Tonmeister) from the University of Surrey where he studied music, piano performance, acoustics, electronics, electro-acoustics and recording.

Live Sound and Recording Engineer

David Mellor worked as theatre sound engineer at London's Royal Opera House, with responsibilities including sound design, front-of-house operation, stage monitoring and electronic design satisfying the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Karlheinz Stockhausen. David Mellor toured with the Royal Opera Company to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, USA; the Odeon of Herod Atticus, Athens, Greece; the Sejong Center, Seoul, South Korea; the Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan.

Musician and Composer

Since 1985 David Mellor has had more than 1000 works published in the field of production music, including the Chappell and Carlin music libraries (now combined into Universal Publishing Production Music) and his own music library for which he has produced seventeen compact discs. Notable uses of his music include the BBC's Horizon, Fahrenheit 911, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Writer and Educator

David Mellor has been actively involved in Audio Education since 1986, teaching students of City of Westminster College and Westminster University, and also returning to lecture at Surrey University. He has also written for magazines including Sound on Sound, Audio Media, Studio Sound, Home & Studio Recording, Performing Musician, Sound & Video Contractor, Recording Engineer & Producer. He has also written four books on audio and video technology. David Mellor now specializes in online audio education and has been Course Director of Audio Masterclass since 2001.

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