Chapter 1: Mastering Basics
In This Chapter
Knowing when to master your music yourself
Knowing when to send your music to a mastering house
You spent a lot of time getting all your tracks recorded and using the best mics you can afford — mics you carefully set up following the guidelines in Book III, Chapter 2, I hope! You adjusted your levels just right, EQed, panned, and added effects to each instrument with great care so they fit perfectly in the mix. Now you have awesome-sounding music. All that’s left is to burn a CD, create cool cover artwork, and make some copies — then you’re ready to go platinum, right?
Well, you could do that, but you’d miss one of the most important steps in getting your music to sound its very best: mastering. Mastering can turn your already-good music into a truly great CD. The problem is that most people have no idea what mastering is. It’s been presented as some mysterious voodoo that only people who belong to some secret society and have access to a magical pile of gear can do.
This isn’t the case, though. Mastering is, in fact, a pretty simple process, involving some plug-ins in Pro Tools that I show you how to use earlier ...