Here’s the scenario: You’re working on a track and you like how it’s sounding and want to take it to the club to test the reaction. The mix is 90% there but the arrangement needs work so it’s not ready to be professionally mastered. But how can you play it if it’s not going to stand up alongside the rest of your set? It needs to have the sound of a mastered track, without the fee.
For many producers – beginner and advanced – this is an incredibly common scenario. We hear time and time again from producers who visit us for masterclasses about their own ‘mastering’ chain they use to test tracks before they’re finished and mastered by the label or their favourite studio for release. In fact, it was this that got us thinking – if you did want to beef up a work-in-progress, a modernised edit of a disco jam or your remix competition entry – anything that’s not necessarily going on sale – what are the best practices to do so? How DO you make something louder and what are the things to look out for?
We decided to devote our next Friday Forum Live to this very topic, showing you that it’s possible to get great results with some simple techniques and more importantly, understanding how they work. This is not a replacement for mastering a piece of music for release – if you want to know more about advanced mastering check out our course – these are tips on getting the best pre-master possible, be it for use online, in the club or to use while your music is being mastered by someone else. These tips will also help you understand the mastering process and identify problems that may be in the mix itself.