Knowing how to master your tracks properly can make an immense difference in making your tunes sound more professional. Here are a few tips that you can use right now to get on top of mastering.
1. Route every channel to the mixer. Yep that’s right every single drum hit, instrument and synth. It will make it so much easier to change the levels of different instruments up or down. By doing so you will also be able to add effects to any part of your tune.
2. Pull all of the levels down once in a while. When you have written down a fair bit of your tune, save it, then put all of the levels down in the mixer window. What’s that you say? “It took me 15 hours to get that part of the tune at the right level!” I don’t care how long it took you just trust me on this one. Maybe even come back to your tune the next day. Reset all of the levels and then gradually move the volume slider up on each part of the song. Your ears will be fresh and you will avoid the dredfull 4am sindrome where everything sounds so good! Over time you will become more confident at reseting the levels and this will help to acheive a better overall mix.
3. Setting your levels. Often begginners don’t understand what levels to set each individual part of a song at. Like usual I will stress that there is no one and only setting but as a rough guide: Set your Bass to peak at (-10dB), Kick Drum (-2dB), Hi Hats (-20dB), Snare (-6dB), Pads (-20dB). The closer to 0dB you are with an instrument, the louder the instrument will be. But just rememeber that there will be less headroom for other instruments. If one part is too loud than the other parts will fight for space in the mix leading to a muddy mix overall.