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Blogged by DigiMusicDoc as Kool Skool — DigiMusicDoc Sat 3 Mar 2012 12:32 pm
Mixing & Mastering – Know It All! (V4)
We recently released Version 4 of our popular course Mixing & Mastering – Know It All and I thought it would be a good idea to discuss some of the new content. When we first developed this course almost five years ago, it was still common practice to use a separate Digital Audio Editor for mastering. Thus we featured Sony Sound Forge, Adobe Audition, and later Apple Soundtrack Pro. But music making technology changes rapidly, and by now there is no real need for the musicians who want to master their own mixes to invest in separate software. Many Digital Audio Workstations already contain mastering tools which can be supplemented by mastering plug-in suites. Thus with this version of the course we have dropped the use of separate Digital Audio Editors for mastering and use only plug-ins.
Mastering Tools — Plug-Ins Only
Our two featured mastering plug-in suites should come as no surprise: iZotope Ozone and IK Multimedia T-Racks. We have used these suites in previous versions of the course, but now have expanded our discussions of them. The two suites take very different approaches to mastering. Ozone emphasizes a very precise, analytical approach, whereas T-Racks emulates analogue plug-ins that have been popular for mastering for many years. There is no single best approach–it simply depends on the methods you feel most comfortable with.
iZotope recently released Version 5 of Ozone which has the same overall structure as previous versions, but incorporates a number of new features that we explore in the course. It also supports a new and improved graphical user interface. There is also now an advanced version with additional features, including the ability to use each module as a separate plug-in. The suite includes an equalizer, reverb, and harmonic exciter, as well as multiband dynamics and stereo imaging processors.
iZotope Ozone 5
iZotope Ozone 5
IK Multimedia upgraded T-Racks from the classic plug-in suite several years ago and continues to add new plug-ins which are available separately as T-Racks singles. You can use these plug-ins individually or as a chain in the T-Racks rack which also has a very useful set of metering tools. We use the Classic Clipper (a soft clipper harmonic generator), Linear Phase EQ, the Classic Compressor, and Metering Module.
IK Multimedia T-Racks
IK Multimedia T-Racks
In the past we have used plug-ins from the Waves Gold Bundle for both mixing and mastering and continue to do so. We have also expanded the use of plug-ins from two other respected plug-in manufacturers: Voxengo and PSP Audioware. For Voxengo we have added the Drumformer, TransGainer, and SPAN. Although the Drumformer is oriented towards drums, it is also a good general-purpose multiband compressor. The TransGainer is a transient shaper and SPAN is a free spectral analysis and metering tool. We also continue to use the Elephant limiter and the MSED mid-side encoder-decoder.
Voxengo Drumformer
Voxengo Drumformer
For PSP Audio we have expanded the use of the Neon EQ modules and MixSaturator harmonic generator as well as the Vintage Warmer mastering compressor and tape saturation module.
PSP Audioware Neon EQ
PSP Audioware Neon EQ
Audio Environment-Back to Basics
In addition to the fancy new tools, we have not neglected the basics. The Audio Environment tutorial now includes a discussion of studio monitor setup and calibration as well as an expanded discussion of Decibel definitions.
iPhone Decibel Meter Pro
iPhone Decibel Meter Pro
Mastering Levels
We have also expanded the discussion of mastering levels to include a number of examples from popular songs as well as debunking the myth that mastered levels should be loud enough to stand out in radio broadcasting.
Pop Song Audio Levels
Pop Song Audio Levels
Radio Broadcast Levels
Radio Broadcast Levels
Mastering Expansion
There is also an extended discussion of mastering dynamics including the use of upward expansion to salvage an overly compressed output as well as the use of parallel compression.
Dynamics-Upward Expansion
Dynamics-Upward Expansion
Repair and Restoration
The one exception to the use of plug-ins is the tutorial on audio repair and restoration where we use the popular iZotope RX application for the discussions on noise reduction, de-clipping, and spectral edits.
iZotope – RX Advanced
iZotope RX Advanced
In Summary
Here is the YouTube preview of the new course, as well as a listing of the most notable updates and changes. As usual we have updated the software used for the demos to the current version.
Mixing & Mastering V4 New Content
Mixing & Mastering V4 Content Comparison
Although we use state of the art mixing and mastering software, this course has always been about principles, not products. Thus we do not emphasize the specific use of a product but rather the mixing or mastering principle being demonstrated. Mixing and mastering are not esoteric black arts. Any musician who spends some time with this course can create mixes and master them with professional-sounding results.


  1. Comment by Bill McDonald — June 29, 2012 at 9:32 am

    hello, I’am looking for a video to learn how to Mix Music

  2. Comment by bixas — September 2, 2012 at 2:49 am

    hello how can i get your software i mean i got old version Mixing & Mastering (V1) how can i upgade to v4

  3. Comment by Arturo — October 12, 2012 at 4:13 am


  4. Comment by Online Mastering — October 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

    good luck with that!

  5. Comment by Beckster — April 11, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Instead of looking for an upgrade I’d just go out and get v4. It’s not that expensive and would be well worth acquiring.

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