Example Masters


DIY Mastering


Lesson Info

Example Masters

We've been hearing a lot from glove electric this awesome ban and so I'm going to start showing what I went through and what I did to make this master happen. The first thing I did was put on this folks are off so what's a notice here is on this plug in there's not a lot of things to tweak um, which is I kind of find this thing makes such a great sound so like I said, this is more of a transparent compressor that they make men for almost riding the game, but I really, really like it on the mix bus as you're about to see since I have it all over here so what uh is happening here? Is it? I talked about this, I have the output game pulled down because I clipped the mix of this song, but I still managed to make it so great and I liked the way that sounded from that turned out to be fine, as you can see there's not a lot of compression out of one hundred percent, I'm only at thirteen percent of the snob this thick. This knob is the only other thing I've adjusted aside from the mode which is...

static now so the mode I should explain before I get to this thickness, you know, if you look at these different modes it's dynamic, deep, dynamic, soft or static static basically just means the levels don't change a whole lot with a mix compared to a vocal statics a very appropriate setting um so let's listen a little what it sounds like with it without this bucket what it's turned up so you could hear the difference of the becks face your fool hey baby let's get you teo you get your kicks from kansas got your bed made so what I love about this plug it is especially like there's those brakes on it um we he just pops the kick drum we have a ton of room mike in this mix you can really hear the high end of the kick what? I engage it back on and it just brings out a punch in a detail in the mix doug and jordan are just awesome singers with a lot of detail on their voice and what I really like to is like I can really hear the growl and doug's voice and like jordan, I hear like a little bit more that angry throat thing he has whenever I turn this on and like it's just really brings that out so this is usually the first thing in the chain because for me here because yet again this is one of those songs where I'm boosting the bottom end in the um and I don't want to boost the bottom and before I get to the compressor um so um as you can see here since we just got to the queue I have a twenty three hurts uh roll up on my high pass filter at a twelve uh d be proactive ah ratio twelve or six is generally what you're going to use for a mastering thing I know you can go up to twenty four and that's great for what you're doing filter sweeps and your dance breakdowns but in general twelve sixty b is a little bit more musical for a mastering purpose as you can see I'm doing a wo n shelf um at one hundred ten hertz and ah high and shelf at six point five kilohertz this goes back to the same thing I said that when I've learned about my mixing styles I tend to like to mix in tow high and a low shelf now as you could see this looks nothing like the high and low shelf I talked about before because I improvised because while I know I like to mix with that sometimes I have to change mission and go around and tweak it a little bit to get the polish I want this song sounds a lot different than a lot of the pop punk stuff I do where I do you know around a fork a high shelf and I usually do the base roll off a little bit higher are based on boost a little bit higher on those but I think the more interesting thing here is I'm rolling out three hundred thirteen hertz with a pretty narrow queue at four point five that's to get rid of some of the mud and I really wanted a real pop polish on this so you might say why don't you do that on the alchemists because you get rid of mud there I'll play on this show as you can see I'm getting rid of around that same frequency there too on the yellow band there because I want to do both I didn't felt like this alchemist I was working too hard if I compressed even hard this because that's a pretty hard compression of the body area um but it was working too hard and the poo that gives it some help so because this is constantly cut that means that didn't have to work so what a traditional purists theory would say is well you're making your compressor work too hard if it doesn't work hard why don't you just do more of a cut I experimented with doing that cut so the compressor wouldn't have to work hard at all but there's something about the sound of the multi band where it leaves that mud in when it's not too excessive and pulls out that this was the happy medium between the two um so with that you could also see I haven't out button on europe which means I turned off the cq at one point I was playing around trying to find how to get rid of something in the mid range. I then decided that didn't sound right. There is a lot of time that I go in and I overly q what I find frequencies I don't like and then I turned it off and it's sacrificing something else on the overall mix, and I realized I should adjust it in my tracks, so I probably turned this one point eight kilohertz cut off and I went in and found whatever instrument I didn't like that on and I win did it? I went back in the mix, just like we told you one hundred times you could d'oh so next let's, talk about this alchemist, so actually, let me play the difference with the yuan and offer so we can also see. So this is a pretty suddenly q, but it'll still make a pretty different big difference maybe baby, don't let it get you, teo, you get your kicks from candy got your bed made, general less flat cardboard e sound and, you know, more excitement. I love what I hear in the vocals when I hear that high end in the vocals, the punch in the bottom and it really just helps a lot so now to the fun stuff. The multi bad compressor, which I'll let to its job. Well, I talk so as he could see the bottom end, I'm really going pretty easy on it were yet again at a very light ratio in the bottom end on this stuff and it's not even hitting on a lot of the stuff. Um, let's going on, it seems like most of the kick trouble hits are getting a little bit of a as I just talked about, I'm hitting the mud really hard, you know, when you're trying to make a song that could compete with pop standards, you've got to get rid of that bud. You either have to get rid of it in your tracks or your master must it's two different sounds to get rid of it in the tracks or the master bus. I really, really liked the way it did it here, and truth be told, if I had this mix up, you'd see me getting rid of a ton of it on the guitars you'd see me getting rid of it, a ton of it on the kick drum. A lot of modern pop is about not having that frequencies there. You here, it's so scooped on some of these big pop songs, uh, that you hear on top forty radio, um, as you could see their, I'm also using the same ratio as usual, just that one point side and that as I get to my mid, I'm using a little bit of a stronger ratio. So this is the other thing is, as we was this song, everything pretty much in the song is happening in that green zone, every instruments playing, they're so hitting that hard, I wouldn't want to hit, as I've pretty much never hit that frequency as hard as the rest, but what's funny about this is because I'm boosting these other frequencies, it's almost like I'm cutting that frequency, because as you could see this cut barely inches in tow where that is, um what I'd really like to say about this section is that what I always fight with compressing that is, if I feel like I have to hit that frequency hard, that means I'm doing something wrong in the mix that's where all your clutter is and that's where all your clarity is going to be because that's where everything's competing and you need to carve out niches for that they're so in general for me, I'm not really gonna do it like eyes. You could see it's not even hitting at certain times in there. I'm going to do a lot of carving any queueing, so that compressor doesn't have to work there now because I don't have a traditional bus compressor here. I don't mind that this is doing a lot of compression like as you see, this is going down three d b and that yellow band is going down about four five devia times. Um, that's basically because there's since there's no real bus compressor there's. Just that suraj doing some natural fader riding that that works our last two are this blue and purple bad which, you see, the purple band almost never comes out except for some still a bit of the vocal. And the blue bad is just comic dowd the guitar attacks, the vocal scylla bids in a few other little things. Let's, turn it on so we could show what it's like with it without this face, your fool. Maybe baby, don't let it get you, teo, you get your kicks from candy. Oh, got your bed made. Says he could hear this is about smoothness. And in general, what I like to think of the multi band compression about is about is smoothness it's just so much exactly that, like itjust tames the frequencies, makes it so everything works better and his dial back, right so next we get teo the air distortion which we went over before, but I want to show how it works in this mix so here's a quick example of what it's doing to it you're a fool maybe baby, can't you? Teo so the interesting thing I know we did yesterday we pulled up this mix, but what about all these other knobs? So the funny thing about this plug in I think is is that you know, when you're doing a whole mix this high cut while it can sound good if you have too much high is to do this you're a lot of the time if you take it that high cut you're sacrificing your frequency band because it's gonna literally the more you have the mix of it it's going to take off some of that air and as you saw in the multi band compressor, the air up top is what I go wiest heavy on because I want to maintain that air and all the nice things that happened up in the high frequencies like, you know, hearing the sound of the room moving reverb tails things like that all exist up there and we're tampering them down you lose some of the prettiness to your mix so that's why I leave that be and then the rest of these are the shape of the distortion now, incidentally these air set a very neutral place where it's distorting the frequencies very equally but um if I change this dc bias I get a different distortion pattern that makes the kipke a little funny but as I discussed before I don't really like that kick to be flabby so that we get to our friend the fab filter saturn um which you had to get is creating a lot of the excitement in this mix particularly so let me play that you're a fool maybe baby can't you teo you get your kicks from candy the symbols particularly I just love this thing for it in the vocal um so yet again though mix of twenty percent doing a really really light saturation job this setting its whole like when we turn thes your food baby baby it's much less severe than when we turn not that one but this one all the ways you fooled me baby so I in general when as compared to a lot of other things with this fab filter I kind of go with this setting and I think that's the big difference with these distortions is I kind of know what setting I like and then I play with the mix if I'm not getting what I want then I start playing with the other knobs um particularly these four here are kind of the shape of the distortion because the rest of this I could get things from it but it's not as crucial to be as which way is this distorting? And if I play with this, it starts to be whether it's polish igate or bringing out of upper mid vocals stuff like that and I tend to find that that's the crucial crucial setting and the's distortion parkins is the mix, and then you want to shape the bigs after you find a distortion that blends in the emotion of distortion you want because the other thing I think we didn't get to talk about is every distortions like an emotion in some ways of that, like when you hear like an upper mid distortion, it could sound more angry, whereas a trembly one khun sound like, you know you're trying to be harsh and abrasive and a basie one khun like almost be like that head bobbing things makes the sustain of the kicks too, and you'll get more of aah! You know, like especially you hear how distorted the dance kicks air getting and all that and it's to make so that there's like a deeper bob jude to your motion and I think that the way you're manipulating these frequencies is a lot about emotion you're going to get and what you want to feel from the song. So now that I'm done with my hippie speech um um here we have our friend the brick wall emitter so as with everything else, I kind of use a very basic crossover with these frequencies everyone saw while changing but you know, we didn't really get into is you can change where um these frequencies crossover however you want just as I change them in the alchemist and that a lot of these do you totally different things so, you know, basically I can move this here to hear or whatever on the same thing with that one in general I have a setting I've come to grown toe like to mix into it's not far off from one of the pre sets that are probably the first five presets on this that I'd said this works I experiment and I keep not liking my experiments and go back to this one that said when I'm mixing other people stuff, I often move these around a lot of the time to find where the kick shines through and all that but I know my stuff pretty well um so obviously the brick wall limiter thief me baby can't you teo as its reputation that's giving us a lot of the loudness um cool so that's the first one of these I was going to go through um do we have any questions before I get to the next one that's totally different sound on this? You guys have any questions? Yes, we d'oh could we really quick just deactivate all the mastering plug it's and turn them on one by one in the chain what's wrong is running just here we'll do that I think that's a great idea thanks so much fooled me baby let's get shoot you get your kicks from candy got your bed made might even help well two is since this l three brings up a lot of the volume why don't I do that one time we even the l three on face your fool me baby don't let it get you teo, you get your kicks from kansas got your bed made cool. Is there anything else so far I think we're going to keep going so let's do something totally different now let's, go back to our friends and sexual harassment and let's start listening to how this is totally different. So this is obviously totally different programme material so obviously totally different programme material and one of the things you could see if I let this play is obviously were nowhere near it has allowed about master all this it's an open song it's a pretty song it's not meant to be part of the loudness wars and beyond the radio it's just meant to exist in its own piece of art I think it's a beautiful song and there's no reason for it compete with the world and try to be at that minus three place where the sending from bashes master is and be as loud as possible so getting into the chain you see that basically I have the exact same about setting out this is also because I gained stage my head room very similarly each time and all this has set the same it's just I don't have to pull down the output game because I have tons of headroom on this um we get into the queue you go well that's not correct what they told me an audio school you should look like so here's the funny thing about what these guys do is talk um works at home in a home studio which I've helped him select purity has great gear a great year for music but the funny thing we found with this track is is for all that it was just a little bit boxy because it was really like kind of done in a bedroom, you know? So you get these direct guitars and you know a program's based on the computer programme's drums and then a really tight vocal not in a nice sounding room like this with a lot of reverberation we just didn't find the highs were really there so I could listen to every audio professor and say when you're boosting six point eight of five three three that's not correct so what I do what I first did this is I was struggling with this mix for a while and I was going you know, I kept cutting and cutting and cutting and it wasn't doing it and I realized that needed is it needed the excitement of some war game and almost a little bit of overload on the q and the second we did this we went ah, the song feels energetic and right so I know in recording school they tell you that you see how I'm everything's above this flat line that means I did it wrong but doing it wrong when I was doing it doing it right when I was doing it right was not getting me the emotion I need it and I think over and over and over again is like yes, there are correct way it pays to do it but you should know the rules before you break the rules I was abiding by the rules but when the rules aren't giving you what you want it's time to get all d snyder and not take it anymore and push your dad down the stairs and all that fun stuff um so I gave it six point eight tb at five five kilohertz and we all of a sudden everybody in the room while we were mixing the song went yep, we're good we're getting there so um I think that's the interesting thing yet again we see our friend the one hundred it's roll off the twenty three hurts roll off all super super common every master I should say roll up a little shelf at a hundred hertz then we have a boost at five uh five hundred hurts so camera yesterday you talked about here in that nice five under her smells so the other funny thing I think that happens a lot in dance music too is that five hundred basically in powerful music these days it's like I think dub step and so much of the heavy edie um today is so related toe rock music and attitude is that like this five hundred hertz is a lot of really crucial frequency that people push to get power because it's a pleasant, pleasant sound and on this one we was the same thing since we're you doing with all cold stuff that's tracked very much in the computer world there's no very little miking going on this track there's new live drums a lot of you know, logic group on some percussion stuff we really needed to get a little bit more of that in there. Um the other hilarious things you see with this gigantic peak I do here is that on top of my six point eight uh ah shelf six point eight g b shelf at five kilohertz I also added a whole for d b at three point four five and that was because also yet again we weren't getting the president out of this vocal and the air we heard I think we were whistling a lot that so I'm from washed out that's the theme to port way idea and that's a really dirty track and like you know, we just weren't feeling that air that we wanted that we heard in that truck and this was a way to get it and because of the way it's recorded sometimes you have to just say well I didn't record that the same way but I want something that feels like that air in there and so we want to do we wanted a punchy track with a lot of air and that was a great reference while we were mixing and this is what we came up with to get it and you know this I also say the great thing is look about this song has been played on mtvu above shed it's done them a lot of good and gotten them a lot of press so I feel good like we made good decisions so getting to that so what happens when you do this crazy boost I do into the multi beds so I'll hit play while I talk again so as you can see here I turned down that multi band a lot and really let it not do much catching here the other thing about this is, is that high end was getting so muted because of the way the tracks were, the reason we had to bring out those tracks so much, um, was that, um, you know, the high end wasn't there, and so I obviously then didn't want to take it away too much when we got here. As you can see on the purple bands, the multi band is pretty much completely disengaged, doing absolutely nothing because a lot of this stuff was done in the computer with samples were the things I tend to fight with, like computer based samples, like a specifically like a fake basin, the computer or whatever, um, is that you'll see that the drum sounds all that already have tons of that yellow bad sucked out of them already, so you have to do a lot less work on that stuff a lot of the time if you're not creating mud yourself by doing that mixing. So I'm not going as crazy as you'll see when we get back to another track that I recorded as the other tracks. So as you can see, I'm going pretty white on this let me go to the next so it's, another loop here that we haven't been doing is here's, my friend, the braid work saturate er so this is a different plug id, but yet again we're in that category of saturate er now this plant thing calls itself a century, but like I said, we don't really you know, the wine between distortion and saturate er is a very small id this thing can really, really distort things or it can just be a light. I think so with that let me start showing what this one out of sixteen so are re occurring theme here, even though this is a totally different distortion is this is set very, very, very lately. Um, so to show an example of this one, I'm going to do the same thing we did last time, which is I'm gonna turn all this off and turn it on one by one so you guys can get an idea of what this is doing to this track cool. So those air too pretty different examples of what I d'oh I feel like I should probably get into some of the submissions we got. So is there any questions before I get there? Yet a question came up from rabbit, who asked, do you ever put the bus comp after the multi band so it doesn't compress the whole mix based on the most offensive frequent peaks? Do I ever do that? I have done it, but let me say this to that if I'm doing a bus compressor that's doing some serious bus compress id, I almost want the multi band to smooth out what the bus compressors doing to the frequency range. So in general, no, because the way I use the multi but can you use that and get great results? Absolutely. But with the way I use the multi band is I wanted to smooth out whatever extremely queuing I've done an extreme compression I've done. I wanted to then erase any of the erroneous artifacts. Artifacts, I should also say is a term for things you don't want an audio for example. Your but a buzzing stare is an artifact of a guitar being played in a live room that you get picked up when you time stretch a sound and it makes that air on gremlin sound that's a artifact. An artifact would also be the sound of that volume knob swishing that we talked about with compression. You don't want that. What I like about the multi band is, is it lets me get rid of some of the undesirable things.

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.