Continuing with my weekly series discussing questions that I frequently get asked, here's another one:
Can I master my own tracks?
The answer is clearly yes. But let's see why.
Mastering is a very secretive art. Mastering engineers are notoriously withholding of information. Often times they will even give intentionally misleading information, just to throw you off their track.
In fact, at many of the top mastering studios in the world, you are asked to pay an extra fee just to attend your own mastering session! Part of that has to do with flexibility in scheduling, but the other part points back to the tradition of secrecy.
I went to a mastering roundtable discussion two years ago at AES in New York with 6 of the most famous and decorated mastering engineers of the last 40 years. These guys were the kings of kings. The spoke for about 90 minutes. And guess what? They said absolutely nothing technically actionable. The stories were cool and funny at times, but they gave out zero practical information.
Personally, I have always disliked this tradition. I understand it, but I don't subscribe to it. I have had the privilege of working with the best mastering engineers of our time, and I did attend the sessions. Even though the did not verbally explain what they were doing, I saw everything with my own eyes. Not just one time, but continually over 20 years with over 10 of the top mastering engineers in the world. And I studied every move.
The Next Level Mastering Mastering Course at Mix:Master:Wyatt Academy is the culmination of the techniques and workflows of all of these great mastering engineers -- completely updated with all of the new technology -- and has been constantly refined over the last 10 years. I am very confident that it is the best mastering course available anywhere.
When you start the Ultimate Mixing and Mastering Program with Mixing Foundations, you are asked to create a collection of reference tracks to calibrate your ears and your workspace. In Next Level Mastering, you use commercial reference tracks to match and beat their quality. Sometimes students don't believe me that they will be able to master tracks that will be able to compete commercially with The Chainsmokers, Deadmau5, Hardwell or Knife Party -- but they can and they do.
And its one of my biggest joys in the school when a student achieves this commercial parity for the first time. It's a euphoric victory! It's like climbing a big mountain and seeing the amazing view! And the best part is that once you do it the first time, you can do it again and again. You have your techniques and your workflow. It's a system.
So when people ask me if they can master their own tracks, the answer is an absolute yes! And even if you don't want to master your own tracks, which is fine, I think every producer benefits from having an intimate knowledge of the mastering process.
Most students report that Next Level Mastering changes the way they mix, produce, and even compose. And having the confidence that you can master your own tracks frees up part of your brain that was worried about the mastering phase, and you can relax and focus on other things.
Nobody cares more about your music than you do. And having the skills, workflow and time to tweak it until its right is pure gold.
So I guess I didn't reveal any secrets today either. They are all in the Next Level Mastering Course ;).