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Have you watched all the videos, read all the blog posts, tried all the plugins – but when it comes to mastering in your own studio, you just can’t seem to fit all the pieces together?
Or, maybe you’re already having some success with home mastering, but would love to know how the professionals do it? What the difference is between what you’re doing and “the real thing”? (Hint – it’s probably not as big a difference as you think…)
Well, I know how you feel – I felt exactly the same, when I was starting out !
Who Am I?
My name is Ian Shepherd – I’m a mastering engineer and producer, and the founder of Dynamic Range Day. I’ve been mastering for nearly twenty years now, but when I started I didn’t even know what mastering was !
What helped me most when I was just starting out working as a tape-op was sitting in on real mastering sessions with my colleagues, and getting an “insider’s view” of how they worked – of what they did, how they did it, and why.
The chance to be a “fly on the wall” gave me invaluable insights into the mastering process as a whole – what you’re trying to achieve, the different ways to do it, and how everything fits together into a simple process taking you from raw mix to the final master.
And I know lots of you would like the same opportunity – every week I get emails asking if someone can work as an intern with me, or sit in on a few sessions – or just asking general questions about the way that I work. There just isn’t enough time to address everyone’s questions individually, though – and that’s why I came up with the
Home Mastering Masterclass.
What is it?
The quickest way to explain what the masterclass is all about, is to show you the trailer video. So, here it is !
– TC Spitfire (Engineer / writer / producer for Paul Oakenfold)
Introductory “Getting Started” video: “Home Mastering Essentials”
This video gives a broad overview of the course, explaining:
- The simple three-stage process I use when I master every single song I work on
- How to calibrate your mastering system by choosing an optimal mastering monitoring level
- Straightforward rules of thumb to guide your decisions for deciding levels, EQ balance and compression settings
8 Weekly Mastering Masterclass videos – “sit in” on a series of mastering sessions with me
Watch over my shoulder with a series of screen-capture “mastering masterclass” videos. I’ll master a different song every week, and tell you what I’m doing, why I’m doing it – and how
Regular “Q&A” podcasts
At any stage, email your questions to a dedicated address – ask me anything ! I’ll record podcasts of as many of the popular and interesting questions as I can. Tell me what you want to know !
Access to the private Facebook group
Connect with me and other course members in a friendly, informal environment. Ask questions, discuss the content, get help with problems and share hints and tips. The quality of discussion is very high: “This FB-group is great, such a fine and helpful group of people. Thanks for all the good input, I really appreciate it” – Dag Ove Vareberg
Regular assignments to improve your skills
Every week I set you a new goal. These exercises are based on the highly successful methods I use to assess and train new engineers. Starting simply, you’ll learn how to listen and think like a pro mastering engineer – and transform your music as a result
Universal techniques – “it ain’t what you use”…
The videos show a large selection of software packages and plugins in action, including Pro Tools, Logic, Reaper, iZoptope Ozone, T-RackS, Waves and more – learn how to apply the techniques with your software of choice
All the essentials…
A comprehensive range of fundamental mastering techniques. I’ll show you the core elements of every mastering chain- EQ, compression and limiting – and how to use them effectively
…plus more advanced techniques
These only get used on one in ten masters – but when they’re needed, they’re invaluable. Learn how I use stereo width processing, Mid-Side EQ, parallel compression, stem mastering and more
A complete summary of my mastering chain, my process and philosophy
The final Home Mastering Overview video summarizes the masterclass videos, adds all the nitty-gritty details (file formats, masters and meta-data like CD Text and ISRCs) and brings everything together – all the information you need to get started mastering in your home studio today
Once home I found your book on multi-band dynamic processing and started following your blog and tweets. The idea was to have a full album by now but … I need to go over all the previous tracks. Now it is going to take me a while before I am ready for mastering (guess who I want to master it …. Now you wait :))
You changed the way I enjoy and do music, for the best I believe, but now I am 2 months behind my schedule! Thank god it is not my job, just an expensive hobby
Thanks for the help and the great advices.” - Diego Colombo
How It Works
Sign up now to get started immediately
Sign up today, and you get the “Home Mastering Essentials” video plus additional introductory content to download right away. Watch the videos, try some of the ideas yourself and then email me with any questions you have or requests for more detail. I’ll answer as many as possibly in the Q&A podcasts.
There will be a new Masterclass video and interview to download every week from then on, covering more and more advanced mastering techniques. Finally you’ll get the concluding “Home Mastering Overview” video, which pulls everything together and adds more detail to several topics.
Here’s the schedule:
Week 1: Home Mastering Essentials Video & “Obvious” by the Freefall Music Co.
A professionally mixed pop tune to get us started. Topics include EQ, compression & limiting
Week 2: “UR Now” by Fi-Check
Storming electro house tune. Topics include EQ in more depth, stereo image processing and multiband compression
Week 3: “Roads” by Dominik Johnson
Beautiful acoustic soundtrack score, with Real Strings by Pete Whitfield. Feature topic: Parallel compression
Week 4: “Such Is Life” by Any Last Words
Masterful Aussie metal. Feature topic: using distortion and saturation effects
Week 5: “Behold” by Joe Gilder
Pop/rock epic (with gospel choir !) Feature topic: Mid-side EQ
Week 6: “Snow” by Terry Emm
Eccentric English folk (with dark rocky undertones). Feature topic: Stem mastering
Week 7: “Naim” by Sigurdor Gudmunsson
Icelandic jazz. Topics include dealing with EQ build-up, compression, stereo width
Week 8: Home Mastering – The Overview
Common questions answered
I’ve missed the start of the course, will I be able to catch up?
Yes ! All the resources are available to download, and are yours to keep forever, including the Q&A podcasts. So you can take as much time as you need to catch up at your own pace
Will the videos apply to the kind of music I want to master?
Yes ! The videos cover a variety of different genres, including rock, pop, “soundtrack”, dance, metal, folk and jazz – so you can directly relate what I’m showing you to the kind of music you want to master
Songs have been contributed by:
Professional pop songwriters The Freefall Music Co
Electro/Dubstep artist Mat Lenihan, aka Fi-Chek
Soundtrack composer and World Music expert Dominik Johnson
Joe “Home Studio Corner” Gilder
Australian metal band Any Last Words
Guitarist & producer Richard Durrant, featuring English folk artist Terry Emm
Producer, mixer & musician Sigurdor Gudmunsson
Do I need specific software or plugins to get the best out of the course?
No. The methods and techniques in the course can be used with any decent digital audio workstation, and most quality plugins. The videos use a wide range of popular packages including Logic, Pro Tools, Wavelab and Reaper, so there’s a good chance one of them will use software you’re familiar with.
Is the course ‘Live’ ? Do I need to be present at particular times to take part ?
No. You can download and watch the videos whenever you like. I just release them weekly to avoid “overwhelm”.
There is one “time-sensitive” element – I record new Q&A podcasts while the course is running in response to people’s questions – this is how I personalise the course to make sure everyone gets what they need out of it. It doesn’t matter when you ask the question – asking something about Week 1’s content during Week 7 is fine, for example – but I can’t guarantee to answer questions once the course has ended, so if you do have a question it’s best to ask it while the course is running.
There’s also the most activity in the Facebook group while a course is running and lots of people enjoy this “community” aspect of the course, talking to other people doing it at the same time.
Otherwise it’s up to you – you’re free to use any of the materials in whatever way works best for you.
Bonus in-depth interviews
Whenever I work on a real mastering session, I always take some time to talk to the client, to find out more about their music – how it was recorded, how they would like it to sound, and whether they have anything particular they hope to achieve with the mastering. I’ve done the same for these videos, via Skype, and recorded the conversations so you can eavesdrop on this part of the process, too.
I’d originally intended these interviews to be an optional bonus, but what surprised me
was that the results are far more valuable than I ever expected
Between all the songs we covered a huge range of topics, so there’s a mass of helpful information there about writing, recording and mixing as well as mastering – so, I’m bundling them in with the videos and I strongly recommend you listen to them as well as watching the videos, to get maximum value out of the package.
Topics covered in the interviews include:
- Professional mixers – the benefits and pitfalls
- The advantages of using real instruments – how to fake a string section, or even get a real one on your recording
- The loudness war, and the thorny issue of loudness in clubs
- Fear of bass – and several different approaches to handling it
- Getting a guitar sound – amp, pod, or plugin ?
- Why mixing is like cooking a steak
- Acoustic treatment and monitoring – simple, effective tweaks
- When mastering isn’t necessary – or reverb, either !
Enhanced Additional Content – Further 50% Discount
If you’d like to get the maximum possible value from the course, you may like to choose the “Enhanced” package for a further 50% discount on two fantastic additional resources – the acclaimed “Mastering with Multiband Compression” eBook and video (worth £47) and “Home Mastering EQ” video pack (worth £67) which add even more depth and detail on these important home mastering topics.
Sign Up Now
Home Mastering Masterclass
8-week online course
eBook & Video
Home Mastering EQ
HD Video Pack
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I’ve had such a great reaction to the videos from everyone who has seen them, I’m certain you’ll find them useful too. I want you to be completely happy though, so if you’re not satisfied for any reason, just contact me within 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked – and the videos are yours to keep.
“One concern I had was I did think it was a bit pricey……just being honest….. it’s actually why I didn’t grab it right away, and then I figured, what the heck, go for it, and I am happy I bought it.
I really enjoyed it and here’s why. It was simple, easy to understand and made sense to someone like me. A lot of stuff out there is way to detailed and confusing, you just got right to the point and made sense…..that’s a skill my friend.
I find when I read some stuff, I learn a lot but am left more confused than when I started….I have more questions about what I learned than answers, ya know…..but not after your book…..and the video was a great way to see it in action. The learning curve is huge!!!! But I think I’m getting somewhere lately, and you have really helped.” - Ian Hudson
P.S. People have been asking me for a product like this for years, but I wanted to wait until I had the time to do it properly. I’m really proud of the final result, and I know you’ll get a massive amount of value from the videos, interviews and Q&As. To get started, click here!