Mastering Engineers use several types of tools (hardware and software) to help a band achieve a great sounding album.
Tonal Adjustments to the stereo mixdown. Equalization allows either broad frequency adjustments to help your mix sound its best or surgical frequency adjustments to address distracting resonances. Equalization applied dynamically, or even automated, allows for ultimate frequency control with little compromise.
Overly loud sounds can be pulled back and subtle details can be pushed forward and given room to breath. Dynamic compression can work wonders, acting as “magic glue” to a stereo mixdown, while adding punch and thickness. Compression allows for your tracks to be desirably loud.
Each Analog piece of gear has an inherent sound that gently sweetens, or “colors,” processed audio. Every mix I receive hits my various analog hardware, unless requested by the client.
Limiting is hard and fast compression and, when applied properly & tastefully, is unnoticeable. Limiting is the most transparent way to boost average level without clipping.
Editing & Sequencing
Fades, de-noising, clip and click “removal.” Proper editing & sequencing helps each track to become a coherent, seamless, idea. The energy, feeling, or movement of a track has its place in the entire album.
Monitoring & Metering
The speakers, the room, and the ears. Accurate monitoring is vital in order to make technical adjustments that improve translation between sound sources. Metering are visual meters that measure LUFS, gain reduction, or EQ curves. These tools are the most important in a Mastering Engineer’s toolkit.
Each piece of gear I own is long researched, demo’d, and has a specific purpose in my mastering studio. To read more about my gear, beyond this page, visit my in-depth post by clicking on the accompanying links.
Used for broad stereo & Mid/Side EQ and gain adjustments. Can give Airy highs or clarity to the low end.
Gentle compression that acts as the “magic glue” to a mix or more aggressive compression tamed with the mix knob to give character.
Izotope Ozone 7 Mastering Suite & Insight metering tools
Dynamic & automated EQ , surgical EQ, multi band compression/de-essing, and digital limiting. I use these tools to address issues that require precision and transparency.
Focal Shape 65 Studio Monitors
40Hz-35kHz (±3dB) frequency response with a flax-sandwich cone, M-shaped inverted-dome driver, innovative acoustics, and ideal electronics add up to a speaker that’s extremely linear and free from distortion, offering clear midrange, intelligibility and imaging.
GIK Acoustics Broadband Sound Absorption Panels & Bass Traps
Crucial room treatment allows for more accurate listening conditions with fewer reflections, refractions, and bass build-ups.