Geez, I guess nothing can beat that last response…
I’m no mastering engineer though I’ve mastered quite a few, and some of my mixes were cut 2 cd w/ no mastering at all…
Painfully I admit, most of the SERIOUS mastering I’ve heard was performed beyond the GREAT WATER, where PALE FACES live…
TAKE THIS ADVICE WITH CARE! (That means – use ur ears…)
Enemies: subsonics, sibilance, peaks / average ratio, super highs.
Avoid near field monitoring. Give the low end a good 1.5 – 2.0 meters to develop.
Try & get the spectrum sloping GENTLY from low end to high end.
Reduce everything below 40 Hz.
Reduce above 17 Khz.
Cut down sibilance, and sudden peaks way above average level.
Avoid less than 6dB peak/ average ratio. Program might distort on consumer D/As, and sound shit on the radio. U’ll need VU AND PPMs working simultaneously of course. Some dedicated meters do just that, on the same scale.
Avoid more than 14 dB peak/ average ratio. CD will not compete with other CDs for level.
Multiband compression will grant U more control w/o squashing the signal.
Do not compare ur work to over squashed CDs.
Louder does not mean better. (Check out POPOLITICA 4 ex.)
EARS r more accurate than meters. Check ur work on various systems and listening environments. Take ur work to stereo shops, and check it out on every speaker/ amp combination. (Dirty little trick, I’d say…)
Keep saves of various stages of ur progress, go back if it sounds worse.
Keep peak level a bit under 0 dBFS. Compare -.5 dBFS to –1.0 dBFS etc.
As I said: I’m no mastering guru. Take tips with care, use ur ears and seek advice from ppl whose work U appreciate.
If it REALLY bugs U, go to PALE FACE tipi, hire a pro, w/ the understanding he’ll explain his decisions to U. Might b the best investment of U’ve ever made.