I'm excited! I just downloaded the first "package" of this Home Mastering Masterclass, by Ian Shepherd, and I must say it looks very very promising. I'm looking very much forward to checking out ALL the material and I'm convinced that I'll be learning a WHOLE lot over the course of those 8 weeks! I'm about halfway through the first video (called "Home Mastering Essentials") and I'm already picking up very useful tips! Love it. Here below you can read what Ian Shepherd (the master himself) has to say about his excellent new product.
(Or just go directly to the Home Mastering Masterclass home page!)
(Or just go directly to the Home Mastering Masterclass home page!)
Have you watched all the videos, read all the blog posts, tried all the plugins – but when it comes to mastering in your own studio, you just can’t seem to fit all the pieces together?
Or, maybe you’re already having some success with self-mastering, but would love to know how the professionals do it? What the difference is between what you’re doing and “the real thing”? (Hint – it’s probably not as big a difference as you think…)
Is mastering a mystery to you?Well, I know how you feel – I felt exactly the same, when I was starting out !
Who Am I?
My name is Ian Shepherd – I've been a professional mastering engineer for over fifteen years now, and I've mastered literally thousands of albums during that time. These days I run my own mastering company, Mastering Media Ltd – and I run the Production Advice website, where I help people make their music sound great.
What helped me most when I was just starting out working as a tape-op was sitting in on real mastering sessions with my colleagues, and getting an “insider’s view” of how they worked – of what they did, how they did it, and why.
The chance to be a “fly on the wall” gave me invaluable insights into the mastering process as a whole – what you’re trying to achieve, the different ways to do it, and how everything fits together into a simple process taking you from raw mix to the final master.And I know lots of you would like the same opportunity – every week I get emails asking if someone can work as an intern with me, or sit in on a few sessions – or just asking general questions about the way that I work.
There just isn't enough time to address everyone's questions individually, though – and that's why I came up with the Home Mastering Masterclass.
What is it?The quickest way to explain what the masterclass is all about, is to show you the introduction video. So, here it is !
Introductory “Getting Started” video: “Home Mastering Essentials”This video gives a broad overview of the course, explaining:
- The simple three-stage process I use when I master every single song I work on
- How to calibrate your mastering system by choosing an optimal mastering monitoring level
- Straightforward rules of thumb to guide your decisions for deciding levels, EQ balance and compression settings
7 Weekly Mastering Masterclass videos – “sit in” on a series of mastering sessions with meWatch over my shoulder with a series of screen-capture “mastering masterclass” videos. I’ll master a different song every week, and tell you what I'm doing, why I’m doing it – and how
Weekly “Q&A” podcastsEach week, email your questions to a dedicated address – ask me anything ! Every week I'll record a podcast as many of the popular and interesting questions as I can. Tell me what you want to know !
Universal techniques – “it ain't what you use”…The videos show a large selection of software packages and plugins in action, including Pro Tools, Logic, Reaper, iZoptope Ozone, Waves and more – learn how to apply the techniques with your software of choice
All the essentials…A comprehensive range of fundamental mastering techniques. I'll show you the core elements of every mastering chain – EQ, compression and limiting – and how to use them effectively
…and more advanced techniquesThese only get used on one in ten masters – but when they're needed, they're invaluable. Learn how I use stereo width processing, Mid-Side EQ, parallel compression, stem mastering and more
A complete summary of my mastering chain, my process and philosophyThe final Home Mastering Overview video summarizes the masterclass videos and brings together all the information you need to get started mastering in your home studio, with an emphasis on my “Three M“s of mastering – monitoring, metering and mindset
Common questions answered
Will the videos apply to the kind of music I want to master?Yes ! The videos cover a variety of different genres, including rock, pop, “soundtrack”, dance, metal, folk and jazz – so you can directly relate what I’m showing you to the kind of music you want to master
Songs have been contributed by:
Professional pop songwriters The Freefall Music Co
Electro/Dubstep artist Mat Lenihan, aka Fi-Chek
Soundtrack composer and World Music expert Dominik Johnson
Joe “Home Studio Corner” Gilder
Australian metal band Any Last Words
Guitarist & producer Richard Durrant, featuring English folk artist Terry Emm
Producer, mixer & musician Sigurdor Gudmundsson
Do I need specific software or plugins to get the best out of the course?No. The methods and techniques in the course can be used with any decent digital audio workstation, and most quality plugins. The videos use a wide range of popular packages (see below) so there’s a good chance one of them will use software you’re familiar with.
Bonus in-depth interviewsWhenever I work on a real mastering session, I always take some time to talk to the client, to find out more about their music – how it was recorded, how they would like it to sound, and whether they have anything particular they hope to achieve with the mastering.
I've done the same for these videos, via Skype, and recorded the conversations so you can eavesdrop on this part of the process, too.
I’d originally intended these interviews to be an optional bonus, but whatBetween all the songs we covered a huge range of topics, so there's a mass of helpful information there about writing, recording and mixing as well as mastering – so, I'm bundling them in with the videos and I strongly recommend you listen to them as well as watching the videos, to get maximum value out of the package.
surprised me was that the results are far more valuable than I ever expected !
Topics covered in the interviews include:
- Professional mixers – the benefits and pitfalls
- The advantages of using real instruments – how to fake a string section, or even get a real one on your recording
- The loudness war, and the thorny issue of loudness in clubs
- Fear of bass – and several different approaches to handling it
- Getting a guitar sound – amp, pod, or plugin ?
- Why mixing is like cooking a steak
- Acoustic treatment and monitoring – simple, effective tweaks
- When mastering isn't necessary – or reverb, either !
How It WorksSign up today, and you get the “Home Mastering Essentials” video, the first Masterclass video and the first interview to download right away.
Watch the videos, try some of the ideas yourself and then email me with any questions you have or requests for more detail. I’ll answer as many as possibly in the weekly Q&A podcast.
There will be a new Masterclass video and interview to download every week, covering more and more advanced mastering techniques.
Finally you’ll get the concluding “Home Mastering Overview” video, which pulls everything together and adds more detail to some topics.
Here's the schedule:
Week 1: Home Mastering Essentials Video &A professionally mixed pop tune to get us started. Topics include EQ, compression & limiting
“Obvious” by the Freefall Music Co.
Week 2: “UR Now” by Fi-CheckStorming electro house tune. Topics include EQ in more depth, stereo image processing and multiband compression
Week 3: “Roads” by Dominik JohnsonBeautiful acoustic soundtrack score, with Real Strings by Pete Whitfield. Feature topic: Parallel compression
Week 4: “Such Is Life” by Any Last WordsMasterful Aussie metal. Feature topic: using distortion and saturation effects
Week 5: “Behold” by Joe GilderPop/rock epic (with gospel choir !) Feature topic: Mid-side EQ
Week 6: “Snow” by Terry EmmEccentric English folk (with dark rocky undertones). Feature topic: Stem mastering
Week 7: “Naim” by Sigurdor GudmundssonIcelandic jazz. Topics include dealing with EQ build-up, compression, stereo width
Week 8: Home Mastering – The Overview
Enhanced” package for a further 50% discount on two fantastic additional resources – the acclaimed “Mastering with Multiband Compression” eBook and video (worth £47) and “Home Mastering EQ” video pack (worth £67) which add even more depth and detail on these important home mastering topics.
Sign Up Now For 33% Discount
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I’ve had such a great reaction to the videos from everyone who has seen them, I’m certain you’ll find them useful too. I want you to be completely happy though, so if you’re not satisfied for any reason, just contact me within 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked - and the videos are yours to keep.
P.S. People have been asking me for a product like this for years, but I wanted to wait until I had the time to do it properly. I’m really proud of the final result, and I know you’ll get a massive amount of value from the videos, interviews and Q&As. To get started, click here !