An audio mastering engineer might perform during a mastering session:
- Listening: The mastering engineer will listen to the mix and take notes on areas that need adjustment.
- Equalization (EQ): The mastering engineer will use EQ to balance the frequency response of the mix, making sure that each instrument or vocal is given the appropriate frequency range and that the mix sounds balanced.
- Compression: The mastering engineer will apply dynamic range compression to control the volume of the mix and ensure that the quietest and loudest parts of the track are within an acceptable range.
- Limiting: The mastering engineer will use limiting to prevent the mix from exceeding a specified loudness level, ensuring that the track sounds consistent with other tracks in the same genre or on the same platform.
- Stereo Enhancement: The mastering engineer may use stereo enhancement techniques to make the mix sound wider and more immersive.
- Volume Maximization: The mastering engineer will adjust the overall volume level of the track to make it as loud as possible without sacrificing sound quality.
- Sequencing: The mastering engineer will organize the tracks in the correct order for the final release, making sure that the transitions between tracks are smooth.
- Fades and Crossfades: The mastering engineer will add fades and crossfades to the beginning and end of each track and between tracks to create a seamless listening experience.
- Editing: The mastering engineer may also make small edits to the mix, such as removing unwanted noise or clicks.
Overall, the goal of the mastering engineer is to enhance the mix, making it sound as polished and professional as possible, while ensuring that it translates well across a variety of playback systems and platforms.
Listening, Equalisation, Compression, Limiting, Stereo Enhancement, Volume Maximisation, Sequencing, Fades and Crossfades, Editing: