- Begin by clicking on the Class 1 link and watch the video lessons.
- Continue with Class 2 video lessons.
- Proceed this way through the entire course.
Each of the 12 Classes listed below include 2-3 hours of detailed information and audio demonstrations. The lessons will be divided up into individual videos as shown below. See the dates for scheduling. All classes will be Thursdays at 7 PM New York City (US Eastern Time). Access to class materials will be available starting Jan 7.
Class 1: The Art of Mastering
This class sets the foundational principles of the art of mastering. It establishes the criteria that defines a great mastering job. The following lessons define the approach, tools and setup necessary to achieve those results.
- A Philosophical Approach to Mastering
- Imaging Quality & the 3D Sound Field
- Monitor Setup and Acoustics
- Mastering With Headphones
- Metering Tools for Mastering
Class 2: Mix Evaluation for Mastering
The most important step in creating a great master is to start with a comprehensive listening and evaluation of the mix. From this evaluation, an effective approach can be determined and implemented.
- The 5 Principles of Mix Evaluation
- Evaluating Song Style, Production and the Client
- Evaluating Frequency Response
- Evaluating Mix Dynamics
- Evaluating Technical Issues (Distortion, Sibilance, Noise, Etc…)
- Evaluating Imaging Quality and Sonic Density
- Designing an Effective Approach to Mastering
Class 3: Mastering Equalization Part 1
Equalization plays a vital role in the perceived height and separation of instruments in a mix. The role of Equalization in mastering is to help enhance the work of the mix engineer as is appropriate to the production style and instructions of the client. This class focusses on fundamental mastering equalization techniques and the use of transparent equalizers.
- A Mastering Engineer’s Approach to Equalization
- Types of Mastering EQ
- Linear Phase Equalization
- Vintage Passive Equalizers
- Vintage Mastering Equalizers
Class 4: Mastering Equalization Part 2
This class picks up from Part 1 and brings mastering equalization into the modern era of Class A components and the benefits of modern DAW based processing. It also brings back the traditional Mid-Side approach to processing masters as well as some modern tilt EQ and dynamic equalization techniques.
- Modern Passive EQs
- Modern Mastering EQs
- Mid-Side Equalization Techniques
- Tilt Equalization Techniques
- Dynamic Equalization for Mastering
Class 5: Mastering Compression Part 1
Compression is one of the most powerful tools the mastering engineer has to solidify the imaging density of a mix. It can breathe life into a dead mix or transparently increase the perceived level without crushing the transient peaks. Each type of compressor offers different advantages for particular tasks in a mastering. This class begins that journey.
- A Mastering Engineer’s Approach to Compression
- Types of Mastering Compressors
- Mastering With Vintage Vari-Mu Compressors
- Mastering With Modern Vari-Mu Compressors
- Mastering With Opto Compressors
Class 6: Mastering Compression Part 2
This class picks up from Part 1 and brings in the power of VCA compression and emulations of some modern Class A compressors including the Vertigo VSC-2, Shadow Hills mastering Compressor, Brainworx V3 and the Elysia Alpha Compressor. The class will also feature Mid-Side Compression Techniques and using Tape emulations for compression.
- Mastering With VCA Compressors
- Mastering With Hybrid Compressors
- Modern Mastering Compressors
- Mid-Side Compression Techniques
- Analog Tape Compression
Class 7: Mastering With MultiBand Dynamics
The modern DAW era has given rise to the power of dynamics processing that in the analog realm was at best theoretical. The ability to apply compression on a multi band level is not exclusive to the digital realm, but the control and precision of in-the-box processing is unparalleled. Working with MultiBand Dynamics is not without its challenges and a deeper understanding of the role of different frequency ranges and how to weave them together is essential to using tool correctly.
- Understanding MultiBand Dynamics
- Mastering with MultiBand Dynamics
- Adding Depth and Height with MultiBand Dynamics
- Mid-Side MultiBand Dynamics
- Correcting Sibilance and Harshness
The real art of mastering is freeing the song from the speakers they are playing through. A high quality mix escapes the speakers and images solidly as if it were sharing the same space with you. When this happens, the music sounds dynamic, alive and present. If the final mix production lacks this depth and vibrancy, it is sometimes necessary to bring in tools that will bring in depth, openness and presence without unnecessary hype or excessive processing.
- Mastering the 3D Sound Field
- Low Level Processing
- Early Reflections & Reverb
- Stereo Width Processing
- Harmonic Distortion Processing
- MultiBand Exciters
Maximizing the loudness of a master is so much more than slamming a brick wall limiter on the end of your processing chain. It is more about the cumulative gain structuring approach through each level of processing so that the final stages of maximizing the final master are transparent and free of distortion.
- Understanding Perceived Loudness
- Mid Band Compression Techniques
- Low Level Compression Techniques
- MultiBand Peak Limiting
- Advanced Gain Staging Techniques
Class 10: Mastering Rock Records
Rock music is a very broad category including everything from Popular radio to Death Metal records. The approach to mastering such titles varies greatly depending on the meaning of the song within the specific production. Reference masters are a great source for determining the best approach to processing. The mastering examples in this class will detail the thinking process and approach to each style.
- Mastering a Pop Rock Record
- Mastering an Alt Rock Record
- Mastering a Hard Rock Record
- Mastering a Heavy Metal Record
Class 11: Mastering R&B, Hip-Hop and EDM Records
This class features the mastering of R&B, Hip Hop, EDM and House/Club records. The mastering examples will focus largely on preserving (or creating) a rich, deep and powerful low end that is their signature sound. The imaging quality of the low frequencies is critical to the final masters translating form system to system.
- Mastering a R&B Record
- Mastering a Hip Hop Record
- Mastering an EDM Record
- Mastering a House/Club Record
Acoustic, Jazz and Orchestral records offer different challenges to the mastering engineer. Because the dynamic range of performances in these styles are more clearly exposed than in most modern pop music, careful attention must be paid to preserve the integrity of the performance dynamic. This class features mastering examples of Acoustic, Jazz and Orchestral records and how to adapt the processing to preserve the natural dynamics and deliver a professional quality commercial release.
- Mastering an Acoustic Guitar, Vocal Record
- Mastering a Piano, Vocal Record
- Mastering a Jazz Record
- Mastering an Orchestral Record
Bonus Class: Mastered For iTunes (MFiT)
Love it or hate it, iTunes is the modern audio playback standard for digitally released music. Mastered for iTunes is a high resolution AAC encoding process created by Apple and released in 2012. The purpose of this new format was to significantly increase the audio fidelity of the AAC iTunes format. Understanding how to master your audio for iTunes and the MFiT format is the focus of this Bonus Class.
- What is Mastered For iTunes?
- Assembling an Album for iTunes
- High Resolution Masters and Encoding Standards
- Loudness Normalization Standards
- Using Apple’s MFiT Tools