31 mastering tips – from the best mastering engineers!
Mastering is challenging! But here are some of the best mastering tips that I have collected from the best mastering engineers and I’m presenting them to you now which will help you master your tracks way better than before!
- Prepare the track for mastering.
- No limiter on the mix before mastering.
- Compressing the master.
- Better control with multiband compression.
- Aim for a very little gain reduction.
- Saturate the master.
- Keep the low end mono.
- Use wide bands of the EQ.
- Avoid a high pass filter as much as possible.
- Have a visual guide for reference.
- Try multiple limiters for mastering.
- Use a standard plugin order as a starting point.
- Don’t touch the limiter ceiling.
- Check your mix’s mono compatibility.
- Check the master for streaming platforms.
- Master in an acoustically treated room.
- Check your master on all systems.
- Use reference track while mastering.
- Listen to the master in short snippets.
- Let your master have dynamics.
- Compare the before and after for every mastering move.
- No drastic EQ moves while mastering.
- Dither your master when reducing bit depth.
- Keep your tone consistent in an album.
- Don’t keep any specific LUFS target for mastering.
- If at all, keep the loudest part peaking at -10 lufs.
- LUFS limit of streaming services.
- Use loudness penalty analyzer tool.
- Try a mastering suite like Izotope Ozone.
- Enhance stereo width with caution.
- It’s not what you use, it’s how you use it.
- Bonus tip- When to stop?
All the above tips are an essential part of my production and I really swear by them that they have totally changed my mastering and I am amazed with the results!
So let’s jump right into it..
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1. Prepare the track for mastering
At the beginning when you understand what the track sounds like, you can plan out what the track needs. As soon as you get the track you should listen to it from the beginning till the end.
The first impression of the track is very very important.
Better take a laptop or a paper and pen that is handy for you to take quick notes about what you are noticing in the first listen in the track.
Note down what you like and what you think needs correcting.
This is what every mastering engineer does for planning out his moves ahead of the actual work. This is because as soon as you get into making the detailed corrections, your brain gets caught up into the the correction process and you lose the bigger picture.
Making a list if all the important observations about the track before you begin to work is very important as it saves time and nothing which is important will get overlooked.
2. No limiter on the mix before mastering
Many mix engineers like to work into the limiter when they are mixing so as to get an idea about what will their mix sound like after getting loud.
This way of working allows them to gauge whether their mix will stay safe or not after mastering and also it gives allows them to hear the end result in the initial stage right away.
It may even happen that the mix engineer may bounce the track with the limiter and send it to you and then…you know the deal.
The mix is left with nothing to do as it’s all squashed and the dynamics in it is a history.
Remember that the limiters are meant to be used at the last stage of production when you are ready to release your track out for your end listeners.
Your mastering engineer needs headroom to make further and final enhancements to the track and he is the guy who should be using the limiter in the production chain.
3. Compressing the master
Well, this is a debatable topic when it comes to mastering process. Though it’s not a rule but the top engineers will tell you one thing that ideally, mastering should not involve compression.
Mastering should need as little processing as possible when the mix is fantastic, which is a must.
As i mentioned earlier that it’s not a rule that you shouldn’t apply compression, the mastering engineers do use it in the final stages.
I would affirm that most of the times the compressors are used to to give the track color and to least affect the dynamics.
Even if it is used for the dynamics, all that a mastering engineer will do is a very little gluing of the mix so that it sounds more cohesive and nothing much because it becomes imperative to gel all the instruments together in the final mix to fit all of them neatly.
4. Better control with multiband compression
A normal compressor is basically a full band compressor. It works on the full frequency spectrum of the track.
What it means in the context of mastering is that it will compress the whole mix including every instrument and frequency region equally.
The drawback can be that the instruments that you don’t want to compress get affected too also if you want an instrument to have more control on, gets less affected because it may not be possible to lower the threshold any further on the whole mix.
So often to have a flexible control, there is multiband compression.
Most commonly it has four bands distributed across the whole frequency spectrum each having its own compression settings- threshold, ratio, attack, release, gain and Q factor.
You can compress each band independently in different amounts.
This will let you compress different instruments like kick and bass in the low end, snare in the low mid and claps and hi hats in the mid highs and highs respectively.
A multiband compressor is a very helpful tool in mastering.
5. Aim for a very little gain reduction
When you are making enhancements during the mastering process you should go by the philosophy of less is more.
Mastering is a delicate process where you want to achieve the last 20% oomph in the whole track.
If you are thinking about going all in, you may end up destroying the whole balance that a mix engineer has achieved in the song.
The dynamic range of a song is one important aspect of this balance.
The compressor used in the final stage of production does very little to the mix.
The gain reduction that a mastering engineer goes for is a dB or 1.5 dB or it can be a maximum 2 dB in few cases.
If the gain reduction goes across this limit, chances are that the mix should be revisited or else if you cross this limit, it’s very likely that the dynamics will vary a lot than what is considered to be good for mastering.
6. Saturate the master
Saturation is the tasty side of distortion.
A distortion that does not distorts the sound literally is what saturation is. Saturation mainly has three purposes while mastering- one is to give color to the sound, second is to iron the peaks and third is to increase the perceived loudness.
When you want your track to have certain color that different saturations give like tape, tube, triode etc. you can apply that particular type of saturation.
You will have to audition different saturations and see what sounds good on your mix. Some may be bright, some may be mid range focused some may fatten the low end etc.
Saturation takes down the peaks as well since it’s a form of compression in reality. If you feel that the peaks in you mix are a little poky the best way to tame them would be saturation.
The best thing is that along with taking the peaks down, saturation actually makes them feel more punchy. So you aren’t sacrificing the punch!
Providing perceived loudness to the mix is another way why we use saturation on the master. Saturation generates harmonics in the signal.
These harmonics enhance the character of the audio making it gain more presence. This presence contributes to the perceived loudness which is what’s left to be done finally when all the gain with other means has been blown into the mix.
Saturation even turns the level of the audio down while increasing the perceived loudness of the mix.
So it’s a win win situation and you get even more headroom for having more level.
7. Keep the low end mono
A general tip for mastering that will keep some issues away. The low end has the most energy in the whole frequency spectrum. It’s a general rule of thumb to keep the frequencies below 120 Hz mono.
Even 150 to 180 Hz to be extra safe.
For the human ear, it’s not capable of locating the bass frequency so it doesn’t matter where it is coming from. The sub frequencies are felt more than they are heard.
Since bass frequencies tend to be very strong and powerful, they move a lot of air when those waves progress in the environment. The effect of this can be often seen with objects vibrating.
If you make those frequencies wide, they will be more prone to getting canceled by each other due to phase difference.
Consequently your track will lose the low end. Also most of the clubs have mono playback systems which sum up everything to mono. This again kills the bass if it was kept stereo.
So to avoid the phase cancelation of the sub frequencies when mixed stereo and due to the inability of human ear to detect the direction of the bass frequencies, it’s generally advised to keep the bass mono.
8. Use wide bands in the EQ
While mastering, it may happen that you may not need compression at all but for a little touching up and making any last minute move you are going to get an EQ.
The situations could be to make the track a little brighter or may be the bass needs some reinforcement etc.
In these last minute moves you may only need a change only a tad bit but you certainly would want to preserve the balance that the mix contains and so you need broad EQ bands.
The narrow bands tend to favor individual instruments and also they may boost or cut particular notes which is never required unless they are causing tonal unbalance.
A narrow Q may be needed for a particular instrument like if you want the kick to have a little more thump, then you may boost 60 Hz with a very narrow Q, same applies with a snare correction if that’s required.
9. Avoid high pass filter as much as possible
You may have seen that producers in their YouTube tutorials about mastering a track will generally advice you to cut the low end below 30 Hz or 20 Hz with a high pass filter in order to eliminate the non musical bass.
This also gives you extra headroom as it take the unnecessary space which doesn’t contributes to the music.
Well this practice is really helpful but the tool used for it leaves a negative impact on the sound.
The high pass filter are know to introduce a phase shift which may alter the sound and may hurt your master.
On the other hand, if you use a shelving filter instead, you result will be transparent preserving the balance of the track.
There is also a special breed of EQ called the Linear Phase EQ that can be used for the purpose of high pass filtering the master without sacrificing the balance.
10. Have a visual guide for reference
No matter how well trained your ears are and how well you can detect the level change like one tenth of a dB or so, you should still use some sort of visualization during mastering.
Whatever you believe, our brains are fallible.
We can make mistakes so in order to be foolproof when it comes to a responsibility such as mastering, we need to be extra sure that all the moves we make are in a right direction.
The visualizations like a frequency analyzer enable us to see the full range frequency spectrum of the track. The peak and rms meters enable us to keep an eye on the peak levels and the rms levels.
Even when you look at your track faders, you have those meters as a visual representation of each instrument level and you cannot deny how much they have helped you balance the track.
The visual representation will help you confirm what your ears are listening and will allow you to make correct decisions.
11. Try multiple limiters for mastering
Limiter is a safeguard tool for your track as it saves your level to go beyond what the playback systems can’t reproduce.
The result, if the level crosses that boundary, is clipping, which sounds like distortion. Unlike compressor, the limiter pushes the signal against its ceiling.
As a rule, the limiter should be applied at the end of the signal chain. This is completely correct. In the recent time, it was only one limiter to be used while mastering.
But the time has changed and engineers have experimented and learned new things.
What you can do now is use more than one limiter. When you use a single limiter, you need to dial the settings hard with so much gain reduction that it hurts the track more than it helps.
The achieved level on the other hand with a single limiter is also lesser.
A more transparent and efficient processing is done through two to three limiters on the master.
The first limiter can be used to control just the highest peak, bringing all the peaks to a same level making all the transients to be levelled smoothly with just a dB of gain reduction and the next limiter can smoothly work on the now pre-levelled mix more gently with a moderate setting with a 1 dB to 1.5 dB of gain reduction.
If that’s not your final limiter you can even repeat this with a more gentle limiting.
Many engineers are in favor of multiple limiters now a days and I personally like the result of it.
I pretty much always use multiple limiter for mastering.
12. Use a standard plugin order as a starting point
There are many ways of starting the mastering process. Music production is very much a result oriented process and not a method oriented process. Practically, there’s no strict rule that can tell you what to use first and what to use next.
With that said, there has been some guidelines that has proven to be beneficial and it is worth applying. The plugin order for mastering is worth considering when starting the mastering process.
A corrective EQ followed by the compression and then an additive EQ and then may be another compressor or a saturator with a limiter at the last, has been proven the best if not the only way to start with.
The corrective EQ along with taking out the unwanted frequencies also creates headroom.
After that a compressor levels the dynamics and then comes an additive EQ for boosting certain frequencies so that boosting frequencies don’t drive the compressor which can alter it’s working in a biased way.
Lastly a limiter is for protecting the audio crossing 0 dB mark.
If you look at Izotope Ozone Mastering Suite, it’s suggested modules are – a corrective EQ followed by a Dynamics module followed by an Additive EQ and a maximizer at last. This is all that you can begin with and you can even add modules as per your requirement.
13. Don’t touch the limiter ceiling
Every producer wants his track to be super loud. This is the reason why there exists a popular term called loudness war. In order to win the war, all that most producers do is to crank up the limiter and make the audio reach the last possible mark that is 0 db.
What happens here is you hear digital audio in your DAW and when you crank it up to a 0 dB mark, everything seems to be fine inside it.
After exporting it to mp3, the playback systems convert it back to analog when a phenomenon called inter sample peaking takes place.
This sends the peak of this converted audio above 0 dB of the playback system and thus distortion takes place.
The solution to this problem is obviously keeping the ceiling below 0 dB of your limiter.
The best level is a -0.5 to – 1 db. You will get the same suggestions from any mastering engineer and it will save your track. Its better to focus on preserving the quality rather than achieving maximum volume.
14. Check your mix’s mono compatibility
It excites us when the track sounds bigger and wider. It surrounds the listener and is like immersing into the song when there is width in the song. Stereo width is better when there’s no sacrifice in exchange for it. Let me explain..
When you get a mix, it’s very important to check that does the sound of the mix change in any negative and unusual manner after summing it up to mono or when played through a single channel.
The warning sign us when you notice an absence of any instrument or frequency after listening it mono.
This happens because of a poor stereo phase correlation within the mix. The stereo width introduces a phase shift in the left and right signal of a sound which may get canceled out when both phases are exactly opposite.
This takes away the entire instrument from the mix when it’s played mono.
Checking the mono output of a mix will reveal this issue and if it’s present, you will need to redo the mixing.
15. Check the master for streaming platforms
As we are progressing towards the future, the way music is consumed is changing.
In past people use to purchase music in physical forms through CDs and DVDs etc. But now these products are rarely used.
The whole music business is shifting towards online streaming. Services like Spotify, Soundcloud, Amazon Music, iTunes etc. have shaped the entire music scene and now people listen to music without having to store it.
This is called online streaming.
A statistical data tells that in 2017, 87% music industry revenue came from non physical sales or streams.
These music streaming services treat the audio in their own way and now that is shaping how the mastering of audio needs to be done.
When you upload your master to these platforms, it gets normalized. This normalization can manipulate the dynamics of your song. Also the level of the audio can be brought down by a few decibels.
A few tools can give you an insight of the level of your track when it reaches these platforms. Also Izotope Ozone has a feature which optimizes your track for the streaming platforms.
It simply renders your track for streaming.
16. Master in an acoustically treated room
Well, a no brainer! Everyone knows what it is like to master in an acoustically non treated room. Audio production needs a room that is acoustically treated in a very promising way.
Without it you cannot get the right feedback from your monitors no matter how expensive they are.
The acoustic treatment should be done in order to get a sound that is not colored by the room.
The reflections from the walls and ceiling of the room can be eliminated by using sound absorbents and sound deflectors on the walls and ceilings.
Another factor that comes into play is the frequency dependent absorption. Normally there are mainly three areas to focus upon, the bass frequencies, the mids and the high frequencies.
To efficiently tackle with all the three, the panels for absorption must be set accordingly so that the bass, mids and highs can be tamed and there’s no coloring.
Also the placement of monitors determines what and how you are going to hear.
Keeping the monitors right at the ear level is the best, along with them facing directly towards your ears forming a 60 degree angle between them.
17. Check your master on all the systems
If you have put efforts into your track you obviously want more and more people listen to your track. Everyone will listen to your track on his preferred medium.
It may be headphones, speakers, club speakers etc.
To know how all the systems will play the song you need to obviously play your song on all the types of speakers that you can.
Even if it sounds right to you on your monitors, it can still sound awful in the car or in a club or may be on consumer grade headphones.
Just to be sure that all of the frequencies and instruments come out as you intended to be on all the playback systems you need to verify this by testing your song on these playback systems.
If you find any problem on any type of speaker, you will still have the chance to make corrections before releasing your track.
18. Use reference track for mastering
It takes years to train your ears to reach a level so that you can detect the tonal balance of your track only with your ears.
It is not at all practical for you to wait for so long to be able to master your song by yourself.
You want your track to be ready today to be released to your audience regardless of how poor your ears are.
No doubt, ear training is important! But there is a smart workaround for this deficiency.
Use a reference track that is released commercially to compare your track with. This track should be in the similar style as yours.
Better be in the same genre.
So a reference track basically is a commercially released song that is perfectly balanced in terms of instrument levels, dynamic range, frequency and stereo width which translates perfectly on all the playback systems and is used to guide you to balance your track by listening to it against your track in your DAW.
The advantage of using a commercial track is that it is professionally mastered in an aesthetic studio having all the top quality equipment and is mixed and mastered by the top engineers.
The commercial release has the accurate balance of all the frequencies so you can compare your track to it and you can work on it to get the correct balance.
These tracks also translate perfectly on every playback system so it will help you get your track as well to translate perfectly on every speaker if you try to match the balance of the commercial track.
It will be easier to try to match the stereo width, the dynamics and how the low end response is and how the mids and highs are working together to achieve a well balanced track just like the reference.
19. Listen to the master in short snippets
It’s important to give a first listen to the track when you receive it or when you start mastering and noting down all that you observe in it.
There may be things you like and things you might want to improve. Ideally, this should be a one time act.
After you are done noting, when you begin mastering, you should form a habit of not listening to the track from the beginning till the end, most of the time.
What you should do is listen to the song in short snippet of a few seconds which may range from 5 to 10 seconds only. Some engineers even stay under 5 seconds length.
This is a healthy habit and most of the engineers prefer this because you should be paying attention to only the hints now. This way your ears don’t get adapted to the track the way it is initially.
You keep getting a perspective of fresh ears all the time and fresh ears can easily catch any unbalance or abnormality.
After most of your work is done and also if you have a reference track than it is fine to give it a full listen but still you restrict it to once or twice just to get an overall picture.
20. Let your Master have dynamics
A music that has ups and downs breathes and feels like it has a life. A music that sounds flat and crushed will sound lifeless and will impact you less and also negatively.
A flat track makes your brain lose focus as it contains no moment of interest and it doesn’t move you.. ummm I guess you know the deal..
This thing gets very well translated in mastering. Most of the producers and beginning engineers focus upon getting as much volume as possible in their tracks.
In order to do this, they crush the song with compressor and limiters so hard that the track suffocates and becomes dead to the ears.
The dynamics give the punch to your track and it feels more listenable whereas the track that is crushed to the max makes it uneasy to listen to.
All the instruments get crowded and it becomes messy.
The energy of both the types gets translated to the end listener and he can feel the tension or the easiness depending on what the track is offering.
Th best advice is to have enough dynamics and headroom in the music so that it feels easy and the true intent of the song is met.
Running after loudness and mastering for that will only make your song give an uncomfortable experience to your listeners.
21. Compare the before and after for every mastering move
Always! I repeat always do this thing! One thing that can be advised to every producer or engineer is to keep repeating the before and after test after making every mastering move.
No doubt this even applies to mixing!
Mastering is meant to make the track enhance in every possible way.
To do this, you apply effects and plugins on the track and so it gets equally important to keep track of what each plugin and each move does.
Always do the plugin on-off to check if it does what you intend to do with it.
This will also reveal if the plugin is making any undesired change which might skip your attention if you don’t do the before and after test.
Better be safe than sorry!
22. No drastic EQ moves while mastering
In mastering, you cannot make huge leaps. Its a matter of small steps that collectively gives you result.
On top of that I am assuring you that making huge changes is even detrimental to the track.
You would be on a route to manipulate the track’s balance.
An EQ in the mastering stage should be thought of as an instrument balancing tool. An EQ move can bring an instrument level up or down in context of the whole mix.
The safest way to deal with this is to make very small changes. A 1 dB cut or boost goes perfectly well.
The reason why you may need to make adjustments more than that is the mix. If a mix is really well balanced, a db or two up or down will be all that you’ll need.
When you need to make changes more than that, it’s time to visit the mix again!
23. Dither your master when reducing bit depth
Bit depth determines the resolution of the audio signal. The more the bit depth, the higher the resolution.
When you are working on a higher bit depth like 24 bits (mostly) or even 32 bits, rarely will your audience listen on the same bit depth because most of the audience is going to hear the a compressed version of your original master.
There are certain things that can improve the quality of the compressed version like an mp3 audio.
When a 24 bit audio is converted to a 16 bit audio, the system eliminates 8 bits and fits the signal into a fewer steps available.
This process is called Quantization.
This quantization process introduces an error called Quantization Error and to remove it an intentional low level randomized noise is added to the audio and this addition of noise to the signal is called Dithering.
The low level noise due to quantization error can be heard in the quieter parts of your track.
This makes it important to always dither the track whenever it’s bit depth is reduced.
Dithering is the last step in mastering and many limiters have an option of dithering which can be handy.
24. Keep your tone consistent in an album
If you are releasing an album, it becomes very important to have the tone of the whole album consistent.
A consistent tone of the album will make it sound cohesive and each of the track’s tone will sound similar and will give a certain character to the whole album.
There are many ways to keep an album’s tone consistent.
You can have the vocals to have similar tone or you can make the dynamics of the tracks similar.
You can even have a consistent tone by EQing all the tracks in a same way or using a particular type of saturation for giving a particular color to all the tracks.
Having a similar tone on all the tracks of an album is a mastering engineer’s responsibility and gives the album an identity. It will set the album as a brand, having a unique personality.
Hence having consistency in the whole album can’t be overlooked and it’s also helpful in establishing an engineer in the industry.
25. Don’t keep any specific LUFS target for mastering
There’s a famous term that engineers are looking up to in the modern music scene since the dawn of streaming platforms.
The term is called LUFS. It’s another metric for measuring the level of the track similar to a decibel.
LUFS stands for Loudness Units relative to Full Scale.
It takes into account the average level of the track rather than the peak level. If you take an EDM track and compare it with a Jazz track, both will peak at 0 dB but the volume of the jazz track will be quieter while listening.
To make both the tracks equally loud, an LUFS level is considered and when the LUFS of both the tracks will be equal, they both will sound equally loud due to their average volume over a time is now made equal.
Even for this you should not consider the highest LUFS as your target but consider the track’s dynamics and what makes it feel right.
If you go for a target LUFS, the streaming platforms are going to turn that down normalizing everything which will make no sense in the end.
The best way to make your track sound loud in a right way is to take the loudest moment of the song and apply all the compression and limiting on it and see if that still sounds great with that much processing instead of looking at the LUFS target and try to reach there with all means.
26. If at all, keep the loudest part peaking at -10 LUFS
Since it doesn’t make sense to make your track insanely louder in exchange of its dynamics and crushing it and making it lifeless, you should always aim to capture the essence and the natural progression of your song that just feels right on listening.
As far as the LUFS level is concerned, you should avoid setting any target.
The best tip for setting up an LUFS level is to set the loudest peak of your track at -10 LUFS and then apply all the processing and check whether it still sounds good.
Now build up the rest of the track upto that level. This a smarter way to make your track louder.
This tip could have been included in the last one but that would sound counterintuitive to it as it advices to not have any sort of target level while mastering.
27. LUFS limit of streaming services
When it comes to setting the final level during mastering, it’s better to have no target specified but a -10 LUFS for the loudest part of the audio is considered safe, give and take.
The online streaming services on the other hand have a set LUFS level for the playback of the tracks.
Whenever the audio is above their level, they bring down the level of the audio.
YouTube, Deezer, Amazon Music, Tidal etc. have -14 LUFS as their acceptable peak level and anything above that gets turned down.
28. Use loudness penalty analyzer tool
I heard from the very talented mastering engineer having more than 25 years of experience, Ian Shepherd about an online tool for measuring how much level the online streaming platforms will turn down of a track if it cross their peak LUFS.
A website called loudnesspenalty.com is where you can know it by simply uploading your track and it will give you the reduction amount that different platforms will apply on your track.
This reduction amount will depend on how loud your track is as compared to their peak level.
If you think the reduction amount applied is too much for your track, then you can again make adjustments to your track and pull the level a little lower.
29. Try a mastering suite like Izotope Ozone
Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone becomes your assistant and does the mastering job for you or just makes it easier for you by giving you a starting point by setting up everything for you?
Well Izotope Ozone is one of that.
Its a mastering suite that works based on applying modules of EQ, Compression, Exciter and everything else that a mastering process needs. It does this with the help of AI.
When you apply it on your track, this plugin analyzes it and starts applying the chain of plugins and selects all the necessary settings on its own depending on the track’s requirement.
This could be all that you may need or take it as a starting point.
The suite also has Dither option and has a choice between CD output or for streaming.
The suite is best for everyone that masters his own track and wants to achieve a professional quality.
30. Enhance Stereo width with caution
Now this one is a little different than the mono compatibility tip.
Obviously you need your master to be compatible for mono output, along with that when you enhance the stereo width, you should be moderate with it.
While mastering, never go overboard. Simply put, if you are enhancing the stereo image of your track, it can alter the elements which are located in the center.
Excessively wide track loses focus and punch as the punch is a quality that is powerful in the center.
Also many important elements that are mono become weaker and the track becomes hollow and feels unbalanced.
This is why it’s better to enhance the stereo image of the track in a little amount so that it stays punchy and has a balanced stereo image.
31. It’s not what you use, it’s how you use it
You can have the best and the costliest monitors in your studio or you might have every single plugin that exists today. You might be having the whole studio console in your reach for production and post production.
With all that, what if you don’t know how to make the best use of all of them.
Having a limited number of gears and tools is far better than having a myriad of equipment because all that matters is how you use them.
An experienced engineer can make a compressor work as a coloring tool and also as a compressor and also as an expander. He can even use a consumer grade speaker to master a song.
Music production demands you to think out of the box and make the best out of all the available resources no matter how less you have.
You become creative with them when you experiment with those resources and discover new ways of using them.
32. Bonus tip- When to stop in mastering?
A big indicator that separates the professional mastering engineer from the rest is that a professional and talented engineer knows the reason behind his every move and what is the limit of his moves.
On the other hand the tweaks that a novice makes can be driven by his unreasonable knowledge that everyone does this and he will not know when and where to stop.
He can keep fiddling with the track until he has messed up.
So exactly when to stop in mastering?
You should stop when you have enhanced the track so much that there remains nothing else to be done. When any of your move doesn’t excite you anymore hearing the result, then you should stop at that point when mastering the track.
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These are the best tips which can improve your mastering game.
All these tips are what I personally apply in my sessions and they are known to me via some of the industry experts and I cannot convince you enough to go and try them today.
Besides, these tips are not the only tips and you may discover even more and better if you commit to experiment and stay dedicated to the art.