DIY (Do It Yourself) Quick Audio Mastering Tutorial for Beginners

Reason for the settings:
a.) The bass is very aggressive so I tame it a bit with compression and reduction in bass using EQ. The bass guitar lines are great so I would not like to over-compress it or cut it a lot.
b.) The mid-range is weak particularly the guitars and the vocals. So apply a bit of boost in the mid-range frequencies.
c.) The high frequencies are also a bit aggressive; I apply a bit compression to control the crash of the cymbals, etc.

All the gain adjustments are within -3dB to 3dB. Read this tutorial for details regarding Waves Linear phase multi-band.

Step3.) After multi-band EQ adjustment, the average SPL is around -24dB. To make the sound bigger, I apply Waves L1 limiter set to -8dB threshold. This will increase the volume to -16dB. This is my limiter adjustment:

L1 limiter adjustment

L1 limiter adjustment

My objective is to make the music sound as big as possible without over-compressing it. The technique is to add the some presence by EQ’ing properly the midrange and then put a conservative limiter adjustment to further emphasize it. The goal is to make the sound big, not loud.

You can listen to the mastered track:

Track title: “Allie”
Credits/Track owner: Will Bailey

This is the waveform after mastering:

After mastering waveform

After mastering waveform

Take note that not all peaks reach maximum and some dynamic range are preserved.

Content last updated on July 14, 2012