Demo: Mastering a Dance Track


DIY Mastering


Lesson Info

Demo: Mastering a Dance Track

The first truck we're gonna dio is from our friend grass who's right here in the studio and I was happy to be able to pick his truck because it was the best sounding one of all the electronic trucks so it'll make my life easy he did a great job on this so I'm psyched to do this so let me also first um say this is that ah this is not my studio this is not an ideal monitoring the bar I barely have ever worked on the speakers I'm going to do everything I can off thes speakers and react to this is this exactly what I would do at home and if you hear me going woo that doesn't sound too good you might be more familiar or is your speakers than I am but I'm going to show you what I do and how I process as if this was my own serious so you can learn from that and make your own decisions when I get home I'm going to master all these tracks for free that we do today and I'll send them all to you on dh then you can hear that as well so how cool is that that's gonna be fun I want doing this self le...

t's get started with this so the first thing I obviously want to dio is I want to make a way to master tio listen to graz is track without hearing anything on it, so I know the difference, just like we talked about yesterday needs and maybe so the one thing is because we weren't able to license the entirety of the music catalog, I can't really compare it to real world things, so I'm going to try to get this to sound good of what I know the answer is a sub good and do justice to his original master, so the way I'm going to do that is what I just did. There is, I put out put three four his unmask turd mix, so the one thing will notice though first is if I put up his own mastered mix it's pretty quiet compared teo, even my master with no tracks on it. So we're going to put on a brick wall women or that lightly hits it to just hear what his track would sound like if it was brought up toe with no harm done pretty much so I'm gonna just this really fast listening to what we're going to call the un master track way cool, so that brings it up to about zero, where I'm gonna be able to do a good abie and make sure I'm doing right by this, so here I have the typical mastering chain we've been seeing me use all along the way. Fuck sara is already set I have a flat e q with just a little bit of a twenty three hurts roll off we saw an alchemist set to the five bads ready to go but turned off an air distortion turned off ed that was a bad flub and a fab filter saturn turned off well, I correct the fact that I just did that don't make a thing so, um what I'm gonna do my first processes is I'm gonna listen a little bit to his track so this is the young master version of his truck wait, yes. So what I'm doing here is I'm measuring to make sure that I'm listening at eighty two d b I'm obviously not in the most equal lateral triangle of all time, but we're going to make the best of this like I mentioned yesterday, this is a sound meter app that you could get for your iphone android, ios there's ninety nine cents ones if you just look up sound meter or view meter on there, so now that I know that we're at a good value, I'm goingto start deciding what I want to do this, so the first thing I'm hearing is that I would like to do some broad strokes to the frequency spend so before I even get into dynamics I'm going to turn off my suraj and everything else is there I have the brick wall winner set up I'm going to get that up to the volume I established over here to just be ableto work so we're not really touching in determining a loud this yet wait wait you know so what I just did there is I kind of established that I wanted this to be a little bit brighter than I heard the original mix I wanted there to be a little bit more punch in the bottom end but there was a point in the bottom and when I started bringing it up that I was hearing that was making a little bit of mud so the first thing obviously I established that high end since that was the thing that bothered me the most and usually I go in that order and do that once I get out loud or I'm gonna come back and set this but for now twenty three hertz is a pretty much do no harm especially on speakers this small we're not doing much but I'm going to see what feels best once we get a little bit more volume going so now that I have that established I'm going to start seeing what I can do to the dynamic since I have some broad strokes established so first I'm gonna engage my sarosi since it's my friend yes yeah cool so I like where that sarah's sitting it's bringing us a little bit more punch just theo, making the beet hit a little bit harder. So now that I established, that must start figuring out what we can do to smooth this out a little bit more. Yes, yes, yeah. Wait. Yes, yeah. Wait, wait. Let's, talk about what? I just did a little here since I just darted out in tow. Multi beam lands. Can I just say that I love watching you nerd out, seriously nerdy, thie intense unibrow thing I wanted to follow up on to is that, like, this kind of example, it's. Like, well, I've seen, you know, all of the demonstrations and and other things. But to actually see this happen on a track that you've made yourself is a whole different ball park it's, like, you know, every little piece of it and to know how it originally sounds gives you so much of a better understanding of how each element is changing too. It's. One of the reasons that all of us mastering engineers charge more free to be there because we have to charge the neck breath admission price. You know, I know it's so interesting. I love watching alan and jamal. Master my tracks because it really is it teaches you and you know, with one of the other things like that's great to establish you know, one of the things is if you do work with it outside mastering engineer is establishing a relationship because, like, you know, like where I tell some of my consul my dude, I cut sixty hertz on every mix you send me every week for the last month? Well, we go a little easy on sixty hurts sometimes like, and you know it so it's like that thing of developing a relationship with the mastering ji, if you work with someone else is a really, really important aspect of this too. I know we've been talking about d I y but you know, that's also a thing you can watching your own work like I know in my own work I like those boost I do, but I also when I noticed that well, for example recently I was like, man, I'm having a lot of trouble with vocal lessons lately like I'm really having to work with us, and so I'm like, wow, we figure out what this is, and I realized my mike pre had gotten super s because it was dying is all the tubes and it you were seven years old and worked three hundred days a year and so they went to the shop and that my vocal sound great again and I think that's a great point is that you know, watching this and wearing this you learn things about it and it's the other part of it too is that you learn what you're cutting out so that's that's phenomenally helpful t would be like, oh well, you know that that bit of room has been you know, removed in order to make room for this and so that you know, just having that in mind while in the mix rather than doing it in your host told away incredibly insightful one of the things we're talking about is yeah, you see that you're doing this it is sometimes wise to go backwards so let's talk about what I did here so one of the I'm going to do my little trick of not turned the sun so we can watch so as you saw usually I would had this red band around one eighty but I moved it all the way up to two, eighty five it looks like that says because I wanted to do a warm, narrow cut in the mud range um on this stuff because it wasn't necessarily muddy but there was a portion in there that I felt like I could do it separate control and when make this happen, why didn't notice when I was engaging the bypass on this compressor on this track is when it was starting to tame down the highs in the mid I wasn't really liking what it was doing so I kind of set those pretty light on every time I was bypassing was going well I like the way it sounded better when we have bypassed I'd say yeah, but I like that better so I'm gonna keep that going so as you can see I'm doing very little in the blue and the green region and absolutely nothing in the purple and so for now that's where I'm at but the next thing I want to engage also the other thing though I did shoot back and do well we went through this was I adjusted our multi band compressor because now that we've been compressing and pushing things up with the surrounding the cue this was getting hit a little too hot for me and I started noticing we're getting some flooding there so I pulled this back a little bit to work but now it's working in a muchmore comparable range so one of the other things I want to say is right now I might still adjust this but where you're seeing it is a very common thing for music like this especially since this is so up tempo with these bass drums a lot of time you can get rid of you can get away with kind of going a little bit crazy with the distortion on the bass drum and stuff like that so I wouldn't always recommend this for a lot of the medium trucks but this track so far it's working I'm gonna toy with this little bit more about first the biggest thing that makes me want to adjust this thing is my fab filter saturn I can also say that I don't hear myself using the air distortion that we've been seeing me use on this truck it doesn't seem like it's the type of distortion I'm craving food because I actually hear some of it in the snare would I like that this does I already am getting out of my high mids from the mix you didn't just on your own so but I am goingto mess with my friend found filter saturn so let's do that so one of things I should also say if you notice I keep going back to the heavier part of the song that seems to be the part that is showing me where the problems are the most so when I'm in here particularly that already sounds pretty damn great so I want to see if I can make this work and then when I do my a being back and fourth I'm gonna make sure I didn't know our way yes yeah wait club people having a great time you know because you think they're playing nightclubs people thinking they're having a good time they're really good vocal break wait, booth. So I'm really starting to like this, there's, one thing in the bottom and that's, really russell in my jimmy's, to quote the internet. Um, I'm gonna try to find someplace with a really thin cut to try to just get some clarity out of that bottom end. Wait, yes, wait, wait, yes, yeah, all right.

Class Description

Mastering is often the difference between a good recording and a bad one, but mastering is notoriously difficult to understand. In this two-day workshop, sound engineer Jesse Cannon — who’s worked with the likes of Ross Robinson, Saves the Day, Animal Collective, The Misfits and Man Overboard — shares what he’s learned about mastering from working at top-tier studios like WestWestSide Music and Cannon Found Soundation. 

While there’s no substitute for having an engineer master your music, that’s just not feasible for many artists. This class is the next best thing: a comprehensive guide to DIY mastering.

Jesse breaks down the mastering process from start to finish. You’ll discover the basic principles behind mastering, and learn about the processes and tools at your disposal. Jesse will identify and troubleshoot basic rookie mistakes, discuss lesser-known essential concepts as well as share his essential behind-the-board tools as he takes you through a few real-life examples.

After two days with Jesse, you’ll have everything you need to master your tracks with affordable tools.


Michael Pena

This class was awesome. Jesse goes into detail about the mastering process and best practices for mastering in an easy to understand way. The live mastering session was very informative and educational.