DIY: What About Mastering?

ozone.jpgOne of the great things about the prevalence of in-home Digital Audio Workstations is that bands can now do nearly EVERYTHING themselves (and for cheap).  Even in my own musical project, after a few years spent learning recording, mixing and production techniques, we went from being completely at the mercy of others (as well as the scarcity of our bank accounts), to having endless possibilities and ultimate control over our sound.  One of the areas where we’ve decided to get some external input is mastering.  Most people will confirm that mastering is an expert science and it’s one of the reasons people usually specialize in it.  Gaining perspective on music that you have spent SO much time on is damn near impossible.  A good mastering engineer will be able to very quickly hear things that you’ve (consciously or not) stopped listening to a long time ago.  While we do an occasional temporary mastering job at home with decent plugins like
Izotope’s Ozone (shown in photo), for the final product, a real mastering engineer is what it’s going to take.  An expert engineer is never cheap, but in comparison, mastering is one of the least expensive parts of the recording process.