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 leading to your Audio Masterclass Certificate on successful completion.
- The problem: Your mixes sound weak compared to commercial productions. They are quiet, thin, and although well-balanced they don’t sound fully professional.
- The solution: A twelve-module course that will show, explain and demonstrate the techniques of mastering, and how you can transform your mixes in to polished commercial release ready productions.
- Your achievement: The ability to get the best from your mixes through mastering techniques as used by pro engineers.
Gain great skills with great training
- Twelve-module online course
- Audio examples in every modules, all downloadable to keep permanently
- 12 practical assignment projects
- Assessment of your practical assignment projects (requires upgrade)
- Tutor support
- Student advice team
- Complete in 12 weeks or spread your course out over up to one full year or longer.
- Study when and where you like
- Available worldwide (we have students in more than 120 countries)
- Your Audio Masterclass online Student ID (you can use this to seek discounts on software and equipment)
- Your Audio Masterclass Certificate on completion of your course
- 30-day full-refund, no-quibble guarantee
Twelve modules – everything you need in mastering from start to finish
- Basic mastering processes
- Investigation of clipping
- Equalizing the mix
- Compressing the mix
- Low-frequency merge
- Stereo width
- Dropout repair
- Harmonic generation and warmth
- Multiband compression
- Mastering project
How you will learn in your course
The Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course 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 Audio Masterclass, you will learn basic studio techniques, mixing and creative recording. Following completion of your course, you can go on to enroll in our Professional Courses with topics such as Equalization, Compression, Reverb & Effects, Mixing and Mastering.
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.
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, whether the topic is EQ, compression, mixing, mastering etc. 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.
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 Music Production and Sound Engineering Course 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.
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.
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.
Your Audio Masterclass enrollment will be valid for one full year, which is easily more than enough time to complete your course. You can save, print or download all of your course materials to keep permanently.
Your Audio Masterclass Certificate
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. Your course will lead to the award of your Audio Masterclass Certificate, which becomes available for download when you have completed 80% of your course or more.
Diploma upgrade option
As well as your Audio Masterclass certificate, it is also possible to achieve the Audio Masterclass Diploma. This is a traditional paper diploma with our signature, stamp, and seal, sent to you by mail anywhere in the world.
The Audio Masterclass Diploma is assessed through practical assignment projects, one in each module, that are submitted online for assessment.
When all of your practical assignment projects have been assessed to a satisfactory standard, your success on the course will be noted and your Audio Masterclass Diploma prepared and mailed to you.
Assessments of your practical assignment projects leading to your Audio Masterclass Diploma on successful completion of your course is a paid-for option, at $277 USD in addition to your regular course fee. You must be enrolled on an Audio Masterclass course before adding the Assessments and Diploma upgrade.
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.
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.
What you will learn in your course
Your Audio Masterclass course includes a massive wealth of learning content, audio examples, and practical projects. And as well as all the knowledge, skills, and experience you will gain, your Audio Masterclass Certificate will be available for download on completion of your course. (Diploma upgrade also available.)
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.
Project – Basic mastering processes: This assignment will ask you to demonstrate the basic mastering processes of the module using supplied problematic material to work with.
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.
Project – 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.
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.
Project – 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.
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.
Project – Compressing the mix: Compress a given mix to achieve a similar dynamic range to that commonly expected in commercial releases.
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.
Project – 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 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.
Project – 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 content: Although not so useful for achieving 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.
Project – 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 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.
Project – 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 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.
Project – 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.
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.
Project – 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 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.
Project – 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 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.
Project – 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.