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Mastering with T-RackS

T-RackS is a high end Mastering and Mixing suite of plug-ins for your DAW. Do you know how to use it to give your productions that “pro” radio quality sound? This series by engineer extraordinaire Michael Costa, walks you through it all with the amazing IK Multimedia T-RackS.

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Intro to T-RackS 9m:30s

Get a basic introduction to T-RackS layout and functions.


Introduction to Mastering 4m:07s

Michael explains the basics of mastering before looking at the tools.


The Loudness Wars 10m:29s

See how the desire for excessive loudness has damaged music and see how some clever processing in T-RackS Brickwall Limiter tries to minimize the damage.


EQ 9m:43s

A discussion about EQ with some examples.


Dynamics 14m:26s

Learn about dynamics processing and get a first look at some of T-RackS new dynamics modules.


Linear Phase EQ 8m:10s

Discover the transparent sound that a fully phase compensated EQ can provide.


Dithering 3m:26s

See when to use this small and often misunderstood necessity in the mastering chain.


MS Processing 16m:49s

Learn how to split the mix into its mids and sides and how to process them separately from each other.


Multi-Band Dynamics 15m:34s

See how processing just certain frequencies of the mix gives you more control over problem areas.


Parallel Processing 10m:53s

Learn how two processors operating at the same time can toughen your mix.


Compressors in Series 15m:17s

Understand how two compressors one after the other can be used to better tame your dynamic.


Stereo Width 4m:30s

See how you can create a wider mix without compromising the center.


Stems 2m:38s

Discover an alternative to straight stereo mastering that gives you more control.


The Power of Comparing 2m:37s

Learn the importance of having a fixed reference when mastering to keep your ears in check.


Lets Do Some Mastering 28m:08s

Dive into mastering four songs while using two others as a reference.

Michael Costa

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!

Products by Michael Costa

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