Ep. 38: Mastering Advice with Ian Shepherd

In this episode, Scott was joined by a true mastering guru! Ian Shepherd is an accomplished mastering engineer, audio educator, and crusader against the Loudness Wars (he even founded an event called “Dynamic Range Day” to raise awareness). Ian co-hosts an awesome podcast called The Mastering Show, which is great to listen to if you want to dive even deeper into this audio field!

Today’s show is all about mastering. Scott and Ian discuss how to get great sound when mastering, what you need to know about automated mastering services, and so much more. If you’ve ever been confused about how to make your masters sufficiently loud, yet still dynamic and polished, this episode will offer a ton of insight.

The audio tip of the week is about knowing the truism that you “can’t polish a turd.” Sure it’s a bit of a crass way of saying it, but it’s accurate. No matter how good at mastering you are, if you are handed a mix that is just an absolute mess, you’re going to have a tough time making it sound truly great. If you’re mastering for yourself, going back to the mixing phase if you have too many problems is the best option.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • Audio tip of the week: know when something can’t be polished.
  • Which plugins can help you get awesome results when mastering.
  • Which is better between in-the-box versus out-of-the-box mastering (hint: it’s neither).
  • How to make tracks loud, without ruining dynamics.
  • Ian’s thoughts on if automated mastering services are good or not.

Featured on the Show:

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