Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mastering Mastering chain Reply To: Mastering chain


    Hey Chris, mastering engineer here. I can certainly discuss my chain. I work hybrid but do quite a bit of my mastering in the analog domain. I have multiple sets of converters and an analog mastering backbone. It consists of the Dangerous Music Master and Dangerous Music Liaison. Using those devices I can use my hardware like plugins as well as do special processing tasks like mid/side, stereo widening, pushbutton bypass, and parallel processing.

    My gear list has changed over the years and continues to change as I want to try new things and get rid of things that don't fit my sound. I typically stack 6 devices and have them available (not necessarily used) in the chain and set when I start. 3 EQs and 3 Compressors.

    Compressors: Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor, Dangerous Music Compressor, Rupert Neve MBP.
    EQs: Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 ME, Manley Massive Passive ME, Dangerous Music Bax, and sometimes I float in an API 5500.

    I have more analog gear, but those are the devices I use for mastering.

    I start by A/B'ing converters. I will with then insert a digital EQ before it goes out to my hardware and cut problem frequencies. I then use my hardware as necessary and see what works. I'll gain stage and hit the converters at an optimal level or hard. After it comes back I'll continue processing. Maybe with a multiband compressor, dynamic EQ or anything else I feel it needs. After all that it hits my limiter stack. I'm pretty picky about my limiters some just work better on certain material. If you are mastering loud then you need to do some multiband processing and possibly a multiband limiter.

    If you are in to Ozone you really should upgrade to Ozone 7. It's a pretty big step forward and the IRCIV limiter is pretty impressive. I was one of the folks doing the testing for iZotope on Ozone 7 prior to launch, so I've been using it for a while. It justifies and upgrade from 5 for sure.

    As a side note, I'm not a huge fan of the Waves limiters for mastering. I just feel that they do not treat transients well, with L316 being an exception, but you have to set your algorithm and detection curves properly to get the most out of it.

    Not sure if that's what you were looking for or if it was too much. Someone got me sick at NAMM and I'm still recovering so I have more Internet time then usual 🙂

    • This reply was modified 8 years ago by nhamiel.