Chapter 18

Conclusion and Summary

There is always great excitement at a mastering session. The artist/production team is letting go of and handing off the result of an often arduous recording process to the Mastering Engineer for final enhancements. I often must politely ‘shush’ clients during attended mastering sessions, as they are giddy to be at the final step of their recording project. This makes for electricity in the air, but a confident Mastering Engineer must avoid distraction and access effective and streamlined approaches to successfully complete the job. The foundations and methods presented in Major Label Mastering: Professional Mastering Process offer exactly this benefit.

Throughout the five parts in this book, I’ve defined and explored: The Ten Competencies of a Mastering Engineer, Listening Experience and The Eleven Qualities of Superb Audio Fidelity; The Mastering Studio, The Three Zone Mastering System and Fundamental Mastering Tools; The Five Step Mastering Process; Macro and Micro Considerations of Mastering and Advanced Mastering Techniques. Continued practice in these areas will contribute to mastering proficiency.

Studying, grasping, and ultimately implementing the concepts and approaches I’ve presented in this book will be reflected in a decided improvement in the quality of the reader’s mastering work. In addition, clarity and understanding will emerge regarding the assessments and procedures that occur during a mastering session. I particularly recommend steady and regular practice of The Five Step Mastering Process as outlined in Part III. Ongoing subjective assessments using The Eleven Qualities of Superb Audio Fidelity will serve to hone critical listening skills. Finally, implementing The Mastering Game Plan by processing and adjusting audio through The Three Zone Mastering System will engender greater confidence and effectiveness while mastering. These approaches function to help any Mastering Engineer enhance source audio more successfully.

Mastering remains a unique audio profession where technology and musical creativity intersect. The satisfaction of improving an artist’s work represents a gratifying endeavor. By understanding and implementing the processes outlined herein, a Mastering Engineer will access more confidence to attempt additional approaches that sets their work apart. I hope each Mastering Engineer who studies the principles in this book experiences the exhilaration of effective audio enhancement. Happy and productive mastering!

Please email speaking or workshop inquiries to: [email protected]. Additional information can be found at www.majorlabelmastering.com.

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