Mastering Tutorial

Mastering in the Box Explained

19 Tutorials (3hr 37min 9sec)
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    Tutorial 1



    Get a quick holistic look at the mastering process and some of what you'll be covering with Michael in this series.

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    Tutorial 2

    What Happens & Why


    Michael discusses his thought processes that underly the art of mastering.

EQ, Dynamics and Dither

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    Tutorial 3



    Join Michael for a discussion about the mastering approach to using and applying EQ.

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    Tutorial 4



    Learn about single band bus compression, its purposes and examples of three popular models.

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    Tutorial 5



    Discover the function of the peak limiter in mastering, for tone and protection.

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    Tutorial 6



    Explore the subtle but integral part of delivering your final master.

Fixing the Mix

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    Tutorial 7

    The Harsh Mix


    See how fixing a harsh element in the mix with something other than EQ might be a better choice.

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    Tutorial 8

    The Thumpy Mix


    Learn how a dynamic EQ can tame an overly thumpy kick drum while retaining more of the warmth in the track.

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    Tutorial 9

    The Loud Hi-Hat


    See how to tame a specific overly loud instrument in the mix to hopefully blend it in better with the rest of the track.

Mid Side Processing and Phase

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    Tutorial 10

    MS Intro


    Michael introduces the concept of MS processing, showing some plug-ins that exploit it and pave the way for the tutorials that follow.

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    Tutorial 11

    MS Fix Imbalance


    Learn how to rebalance the left and right of your lopsided mix without adversely affecting the center.

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    Tutorial 12

    MS Widening


    Explore making a mix wider, first by using widening plug-ins, and then by manually tweaking your own MS processor.

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    Tutorial 13



    Learn about the issues faced when an element in a mix has phase issues.

More Mix Fixes

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    Tutorial 14

    Vinyl Considerations


    Discover the things you need to keep in mind if your intended medium is vinyl.

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    Tutorial 15

    The Flat Mix #1


    Watch Michael deal with a problem mix that lacks punch and excitement.

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    Tutorial 16

    The Flat Mix #2


    The second of our flat mixes is a bigger challenge - an old bedroom mix that is too boomy and too bright while still lacking depth and impact.

Stems and Mastering

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    Tutorial 17

    Stem Mastering Pt. 1


    See Michael introduce the concept of mastering with stems, explaining some of the many advantages as well as showing two different ways of creating the stems.

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    Tutorial 18

    Stem Mastering Pt. 2


    Now watch Michael process the stems individually to create a better final master.

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    Tutorial 19

    Mastering Session


    See Michael put together many of the things already learned and run a fictitious compilation mastering session to get numerous disparate tracks to gel.

Everyone who uses a DAW at some point will attempt to "master" their production. Many however, will fail. This new series from studio wiz Michael Costa will show you the basics of mastering in the box using typical plug-ins and how to address many common issues found in recordings, as well as as more advanced techniques to solve other trickier problems.

Michael starts off with an introduction to mixing in the box as well as a video on what happens during mastering and why. He then dives in and shows you the basics plug-ins used for mastering and how to apply them and when.

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I was classically trained in piano from the age of 7 and had a strong obsession with popular music right throughout my youth. I played keyboards in various rock bands in the mid 80's but found a pronounced leaning towards the technology and computer side of music as samplers and computers became more attainable in the late 80's.

2. What training have you had?

In 1989 I completed my Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Music Technology from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Much of my tech knowledge in those pre-internet days came from devouring issues of Keyboard, Mix and EM - monthly, without fail.

3. When did you get into recording?

I started getting into recording in 1984 with a Tascam 244 4-track cassette system. In 1989 I moved to a Digidesign Sound Tools II system - a true random access 2 track editor - and that was the beginning of a long association with Digidesign products. I married this hardware up to Opcode's Studio Vision for many years as well as getting in at the ground floor with Pro Tools v1 in 1991. I've been a Pro Tools user since then right up to the current day.

4. People you have worked with/for?

I've been lucky enough to work with a huge cross section of talent within the Australian music scene. Names like: INXS, Little River Band, John Farnham, Kasey Chambers and Richard Clapton. Plus music editing on breakout movies like Shine and Strictly Ballroom with Oscar nominated composer, David Hirschfelder.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I think I'm good at training because I really love this stuff - I genuinely want to show people how cool these tools are. Even as a fully grown adult, I still find myself getting excited like a little kid about the magic we can do with our systems these days and wondering how far it can go in the years to come. I hope that enthusiasm is contagious!

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    tutorial video

    Mastering in the Box Explained

    Everyone who uses a DAW at some point will attempt to "master" their production. Many however, will fail. This new series from studio wiz Michael Costa will show you the basics of mastering in the box using typical plug-ins and how to address many common issues found in recordings, as well as as more advanced techniques to solve other trickier problems.

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Mastering in the Box Explained is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 4.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great tutorial! I want to do my own mixing and mastering. This course is clearing up much of the confusion I had about mastering, as well as explaining how to deal with various issues seen in mastering.
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice intro to mastering Clear and effective. Lots of A - Bs. Highly recommended
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well explained Michael is very well spoken and is quite mindful of the "little" things that we can/will miss when getting a ton of info thrown at us, he's does well at "coming back to that" throughout the videos.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good for Mastering I liked it very much one of the best and the examples are great mostly the last video.
Date published: 2016-11-06
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