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Learn how to master at home.

Mastering is not about making your music louder to compete with others. It’s not about making a track punchy or making your bass louder and it’s not about adding “air” or “highs”. In fact, contrary to what most “mastering tutorials” are telling you, loudness is irrelevant. Stop learning misguided dogmas and practicing them to mastery. Learn how to master your music properly with this intensive 8+ hour tutorial.

Sample Video

Course Details

For Mastering, we investigate the art and science behind professional mastering for electronic dance music and how you can accomplish great results at home. Since mastering is so heavily dependent on an understanding of what’s happening inside the music we begin our tutorial with an examination of bit rates, sample rates, weighting, levels, and meters. Here we introduce and discuss the differences in meters, why they’re so important for mastering and also introduce the different measurements such as LUFS (LKFS), dBFS, VU, R128, ITU-R B 1170 and the CALM Act. We then show how to set-up and begin to use your meters to accurately depict what’s happening with the music.

From here we move on to further important topics such as maintaining PLR, PSR and crest factors, the problems with inter-sample peaking, RMS vs Peak, and the importance of measuring true peak. We show how to follow AES Streaming guidelines, how to master properly for iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Pandora and other online streaming services and how to ensure your mix sounds the best it can on all of them. We also examine the problems inherent with dithering, quantization noise, an explanation and the uses of mid-side and dynamic EQ, true peak limiting and multi-band compression.

We also cover how to gain objectivity, what to listen for and how to listen before finally mastering 5 tracks submitted by our DMP community. Here, we show how all this theory ties together and applies in practice, mastering the 5 tracks each from different dance music genres, and showing how to best use your tools and meters to produce professional results rather than the all too typical dynamically restricted noise that many would have you believe constitute a master.

During the course of the tutorial, we also examine the sonic differences between mastering in software and hardware. Using top-flight studio hardware including SSL, Empirical Labs, API and Chandler we compare the results to mixes mastered completely in software. Finally, we then run a comparison of LANDR’s automated mastering service against our masters to see if their service truly offers “professional” results

Course Contents

Session 01: 20 Minutes.
An introduction to the tools required for mastering.

Session 02: 15 Minutes.

An in-depth look at dithering and its importance.

Session 03: 10 Minutes.
An introduction into intersample peaking.

Session 04: 12 minutes.
The importance of LUFS and frequency weighting.

Session 05: 10 Minutes.

An introduction and how to use the K-System.

Session 06: 20 Minutes.
What are crest factors and are they important?

Session 07: 10 Minutes.
An introduction to the PSR and PLR measurements.

Session 08: 10 minutes.
An introduction to the application of mastering EQ.

Session 09: 16 Minutes.

Dynamic & Mid Side EQ.

Session 10: 22 Minutes.
Multiband Dynamics

Session 11: 17 Minutes.
Bus Compression

Session 12: 13 minutes.

Session 13: 24 Minutes.

Ear Training 1.

Session 14: 12 Minutes.
Ear Training 2

Session 15: 7 Minutes.
Ear Training 3

Session 16: 19 minutes.
Setting Up.

Session 17: 11 Minutes.

Mastering Close it Down Part 1.

Session 18: 7 Minutes.
Mastering Close it Down Part 2

Session 19: 9 Minutes.
Mastering Close it Down Part 3

Session 20: 13 minutes.
Mastering Close it Down Part 4.

Session 21: 10 Minutes.

Mastering Close it Down Part 5.

Session 22: 10 Minutes.
Mastering Soul Weaver Part 1

Session 23: 4 Minutes.
Mastering Soul Weaver Part 2

Session 24: 11 minutes.
Mastering Soul Weaver Part 3.

Session 25: 20 Minutes.

Mastering Soul Weaver Part 4.

Session 26: 8 Minutes.
Mastering FlapSnapper Part 1

Session 27: 8 Minutes.
Mastering FlapSnapper Part 2

Session 28: 22 minutes.
Mastering FlapSnapper Part 3.

Session 29: 12 Minutes.

Mastering Unknown Fires Part 1

Session 30: 10 Minutes.
Mastering Unknown Fires Part 2

Session 31: 10 Minutes.
Mastering Unknown Fires Part 3

Session 32: 10 minutes.
Mastering Forever Fly Part 1.

Session 33: 18 Minutes.

Mastering Forever Fly Part 2

Session 34: 9 Minutes.
Mastering Forever Fly Part 3

Session 35: 9 Minutes.
Mastering Forever Fly Part 4

Session 36: 39 minutes.

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