Last updated on November 1, 2018 by

Enjoy this interview with Ian Shephed, a mastering engineer and friend of mine. If you want to skip straight to the tutorial section, go to 11:42.

 

Today, I’m sitting down with Ian Shepherd from productionadvice.co.uk. If you’re not familiar with Ian he is an incredible master and engineer from here in the UK, he also runs a website productionadvice.co.uk that has loads of advice about mastering at home. Some great courses I’ve been through the Home Mastering Master Classes that’s what’s it’s called? Yeah.

That’s great, so definitely go check that out.

But the reason I’m sitting down with Ian today is to talk about the Musician on a Mission Compilation Album that we just did. So, as part of the membership community we’ve got a compilation album that’s all songs that where we recorded, mixed by our members, and we’ve collaborated artwork everything all kind of supplied by the community. Ian got involved with the mastering and that’s been amazing, so thanks again for getting involved with that.

And that’s kind of it. I’m sure we’ll talk about that a lot more in a second, but how are you? It’s been awhile since we last spoke was maybe like a year-and-a-half ago I think?

Ian Shepherd
Yeah. I think at least that, yeah. No. I’m good. The weather is beautiful. It’s a pleasure to be talking to somebody I know we’re speaking virtually, but actually in daylight because most of the time I’m talking to people in like Canada and the U.S. and it’s the middle of the night for me. So, yeah it’s nice to be able to see the sun.

Rob Mayzes
Cool. Do you have any general observations about the album in general? I know it was like very difficult. What we’re doing on this call I’ve got a bunch of questions from members that we might get to eventually, we also got this interesting quiz where I’m going to be asking Ian which had the most compression, which had the least compression, which was the quietest, loudest etc. But in general if you could just describe how it was working on this project with so much variation like this as well between the songs, I mean did you enjoy it first of all?

Ian Shepherd
I loved it. I really enjoy things like this. I’ve done – not a ton, but I’ve done quite a few you know you get sometimes people at college or somebody will bring I a compilation album of students’ work and you get this insane variety. It’s like probably way more variety than you ever get on a – I guess maybe if you did some kind of top 40 compilation or maybe one of those compilations where you have a music from a particular year you know so then it mixes up all of the genres. But it’s really fun, it’s really challenging, and it’s really satisfying because you start off and there’s so much variety between it. Normally if you Master an album there would have been some kind of consistent element throughout the process, I mean the artist probably or an engineer or a producer or they’ll be somebody who is overseeing the whole thing, and so if it was recorded in different studios by different engineers and mixed by different people there’s probably a common thread and with something like this you just don’t get that. So, yeah I really enjoyed it, and overall comments in would say I’m really impressed I mean there are some tracks on here that I really like just kind of musically. There is some stuff that I think is really creative and inventive. I think the standard is very high, I mean how did you pick the songs? Did you pick what you thought were the best or did you just pick a kind of an interesting representative selection with a lottery what was the process?

Rob Mayzes
Basically, we had – there was like four of us kind of from Musician on a Mission Team went through and judged each one. I think there were a few categories and that gave us a score, and then we took an average of each of our scores as like an average of the four, and then that gave us ranking order and it was pretty much just like the top I think a certain percentile. We got about – I think it was about 50 or 60 submissions in the end. We had to really narrow it down which was difficult. Yeah, a lot of really good stuff and I wanted to get as many people in there as possible, but we also just make it kind of one sided disc. We didn’t want to do a two or three disc compilation or anything like that, so it was based on a scoring system then we took the top, I think it was about the top 30 percent or something like that. So, very little consideration on how those things fit together. It wasn’t until we started putting together the track order that we realized that this is going to be really difficult, and then even you said, “Oh, you know I won’t kind of get involved with the track order I’ll leave that to you guys,” but then through the process I am guessing you obviously noticed something that could have been placed better and it’s easy to do that when you listen to something like this it’s like so challenging to think of the track order that I guess could you just not resist moving something around a bit.

Ian Shepherd
Yeah. You’d ask me the question and I literally didn’t think I had the bandwidth, but typically a mastering engineer doesn’t have any influence on the track order that’s the creative decision by the artist or whoever. But yeah just in this case because I knew it was a compilation album it just occurred to me that there was quite a dancy electronic feel to the first, I think, five or six songs on the album, and then later on there were kind of some more rocky, punky kind of guitar based songs and I just through it’d be fun to move one of those further up the running order just to get a sense of that variety earlier on. I forget which one it was that I suggested we move in the end, but yeah I mean I just kind of – since you had had asked I thought I would offer that and see whether – and sometimes the clients ask me about sons on albums I’m always happy to give an opinion, but it’s not often you get a mastering engineer kind of get involved in that part of the process.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah. I was completely new to that as well choosing a track order for something like this was very challenging.

Ian Shepherd
I think you did a great job. I think it worked out really well.

Rob Mayzes
Thank you, thank you and that was mostly the team not me. They did it like the whole community – this is what I’ve loved about this whole project. It’s like having you involved, Matt who is from – his design company is called Elastic Canvas he did the design for the artwork and he is just a member as well, all of the music is all kind of community driven and even like choosing the songs are mostly people from Musician on a Mission Team. So, it’s been like a really cool project. In fact, I didn’t mention, if you’re watching this, you can to check out it’ll be on Spotify all the usual places just search for Musician on a Mission the album itself is called Volume 1. We’ll probably do one next year as well if you want to get involved with that. Should we move onto those quiz questions? Do you have anything else just to comment on before we want to move onto those?

Ian Shepherd
No. I don’t think so. The only thing I was going to say was that you’ll see when we work through the quiz questions and sort of talk about some of the interesting things. There’s a huge variety in turn like one of the songs literally just had some tiny little EQ moves and nothing else not even a level change. Whereas, some of them had some really radical work going on with them, I guess maybe two or three were at the point where – there’s one in particular where I’ve got some really extreme EQ and I think if I had been – it has been a real mastering project in the sense that I’d been working with those people as clients directly than I would probably have had a conversation with them about kind of saying okay we’ll here’s my master of the mix that you gave me. Let me know what you think. If you like it, you’re happy with it then we’re fine. The things I was trying to achieve with that maybe would be better or could be dealt with more effectively in the mix stage and kind of offer them the opportunity to make some tweaks to the mix. But even with those songs I know it’s not like I was kind of thinking oh, no this is – every so often you get a song you just think actually this is not – I shouldn’t be charging somebody money to master this, because this is not ready for whatever reason. Maybe there’s something in the performance or just there’s some kind of technical fault or whatever and you just kind of feel – you know because it’s an interesting thing as a mastering engineer sometimes there are different kinds of mastering engineers. There are some people who almost everything they get, they kind of throw it back to their clients with like oh you need to do this, this, and this and the clients love that. That hasn’t really been my experience. Most of my client have been slaving on something for months or longer and like it’s going to press tomorrow, so it is like this is what you have just do the best you can with it. And so, my first step is not to kind of go back and say, “Ah, if you thought about that.” If people ask for feedback then I’m happy to do that and sometimes it’s something where you just have to. But yeah it’s in this case even with those few songs where I was thinking probably I would have a conversation at least make the clients aware and let them choose what they want to do. There were none of the songs where I would like kind of gone, “No. There’s no way,” you know some of them very high standard indeed. So, I think that just reflects the quality of the submissions you’ve had from the community. The other thing I want to say is I do think the whole thing is really cool idea when you asked me about it I just thought that’s great and hopefully it will be really valuable for everybody, I mean, for people who’ve managed to get songs onto the album to hear how my take on it in terms of mastering and maybe some of the feedback from the comments. Also, ‘m sure that other members of the community, because I guess – are you making the raw mixes available as well, so people can compare the raw mixes and the masters?

Rob Mayzes
I don’t plan to, but that is a cool idea for the members to be able to do that and it’ll make more sense when we go into this quiz in a second now because I think that’s why this idea you had of kind of comparing like which had the most compressions, and least compressions is such a good idea because there are so much variations. So, the difference between those two – maybe not with compression but maybe more with EQ is going to be huge. So, yeah I think it would be great to provide both of those, so people can hear before-after so they can better understand mastering and what it can do, what it can’t do, why it’s beneficial, and I’m always talking about you know if it’s an important project get a professional mastering engineer that’s kind of my stance. If it’s a demo or a b-side then sure master it yourself or automate master but if it’s a really important single or album that you’re releasing you can’t be obviously using professional mastering engineer. So, I think I’ll be good for people to actually see and hear that on their own music and music that was produced in the same situation like just right in recording a mix in a bedroom, in a living room at home. So, yeah it’s a great idea and probably you can kind of contextualize this quiz that we’re about to do as well.

Ian Shepherd
Yeah. Well, it might be fun. I guess maybe we should – you know no spoilers if you haven’t already seen the quiz questions and kind of listened to the mastered thing and tried to figure out, because that was my idea. I was just thinking well like in this song I’ve added this much gain I wonder if people will be able to tell, right? Just listening to it from the other side, so my advice if you haven’t already kind of heard the mixes or the masters would be to listen to the mastered album then take a look at the quiz questions and just see if you can figure any of them out, and then hopefully there might be some interesting surprises.

Okay, so I will now try and switch over to screen share with you, which hopefully will work. Here we go. So, I now don’t have the questions in front of me, so maybe you can read those out to me.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, of course. So, the first one was biggest level lift and I can already see it’s probably Five Thousand?

Ian Shepherd
It’s not Five Thousand, but yes you can probably see that it’s this song here.

This is WaveLab, which I use for all my mastering these days. The nice thing about WaveLab is you can just click and drag an automation line basically on the clip here to make level changes. So, if I just hover over that, if I put my glasses on, I’ll have to look at the screen. The gain changer on that is 5.5 dBs boost and you see that it’s still at quite a low level in comparison to the others, but that’s not the end of the story.

So, the way that WaveLab works you can put processing plug-ins in the master section over here, which is where I have my dynameter plug-in, and I have a loudness meter in here – oh it’s minimized let’s just open that up, for example those are all permanently there at the end of the processing chain. But I can also put processing on the tracks, inside WaveLab I’ve only have two at the moment because I’m only working on stereo tracks for mastering, but also on the clip.

So, on this clip you can see that I have something called Stereo Tools, and if I open that up this allows you to invert the phase, the polarity, adjust the panning and all the rest of it. But I actually have an extra 19 dBs of gain on that song, which was yeah Five Thousand was the song name, so that’s what’s altogether that’s 24.5 dBs of gain but that’s fine, right? No one would ever know, I mean, I would say a bit of feedback for – it was Alex who mastered that or who mixed it, would be you can safely record and mix louder. I usually suggest if people are mixing they could aim for a kind of around about minus 18 loudness units if you’re using a loudness units meter or minus 18 RMS if you’re using a RMS meter.

The peak level, the level you see on the outputs of most DAWs when you do that will be quite a lot higher than that. It could be up to minus 6 minus 3 providing it’s not clipping that doesn’t really matter. In this case, I don’t know, I guess – let me just play a little bit and see where the peaks will get.

[Music Being Played 00:14:29]

So, the peaks are getting up to the minus 1, so they are hitting the limit there. In fact, if I go to the main output limit that I have on the project – it’s a quirky WaveLab, graphics to it.

[Music Being Played 00:14:44]

So, there’s 2 or 3 dBs of limiting happening occasionally on that after that big level increase, but it sounds absolutely fine. There’s with 24-bit recording sounds like most of that was electronically generated to me, so there’s no problem with noise in the recording so it’s fine.

But I’ll also be safe to record it quite a lot louder and not have any problems. I think sometimes people misunderstand they think that the peak levels need to be at minus 18 that’s not such a bad rule-of-thumb if you’re tracking, because when you’re recording a performance sometimes the peaks can get much louder than they do when you set up.

So, if you’re kind of setting your input gains but if you then take a mix wherever they started off peaking at minus 18 and build everything up together probably then the peak levels will end up being quite a lot higher and the overall loudness level be a lot higher as well. So, it’s not necessary to keep those levels on the stereo output really low, but it’s not that big of a deal if it is a bit low either.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think there is a lot of information out there about gain staging in general and there seems to be kind of like a – over the last few years I’ve made videos about this topic too and everyone is kind of at least says a lot of advice on the internet now about you know you don’t want to record hot everyone seems very aware of that problem now, and then it sometimes can go the opposite way but it’s much better to be on that side, be like too quiet. If you’re in doubt about gain staging and how it works then it’s better to be on that side of the fence, whereas as opposed to clipping but yeah equally like you said if you’re clipping – and this is another thing a lot of people seem to have a misunderstanding about how hot the track should be when they send it to mastering engineer, but ultimately at the end of the day if it’s not clipping it’s going to be fine. It’s more about the dynamic range. You don’t want to slam it when the limits are in, and then be like oh well there are only peaks at minus 10, but then your dynamic range is non-existent that’s the kind of more important thing, but yeah…?

Ian Shepherd
Exactly that’s a good point. And maybe we should jump ahead to – there was a question about one of the songs I requested a different version, right?

Rob Mayzes
Oh, yeah which song was overcooked originally is it that one?

Ian Shepherd
Right and the answer to that I believe was the final song, number 16. Let me just see if I can put in the original audio, so that was the original – now that’s got the level boost that I added to the final version. So, let’s just reduce the volume of that now. So, there’s what that file looked like as it was supplied and that to me is a warning flag because yeah the peak levels there I’m guessing those are probably – I think if I remember they were minus 5 or minus 6, but you can see how square the waveform is in comparison to this one here. That tells me that at some point it’s had some saturation or some limiting or something used on it and my concern when I listened to it was that I could actually hear some distortion at some points as a result of that process which is why I asked you if we could go back to the artist or to the mixer and see whether we could get a replacement, and we did and we got that.

Now, I don’t know exactly what the difference between those two is in terms of the processing he applied. My guess is that it had been heavily limited or possibly clipped at some point, and then turned down either to fit in with some other songs or because he thought maybe the level should be low when he submitted it. I never did a direct comparison between the two. I was completely happy to use that version and got a great result from it, sounds really good.

So, that was the answer and that was a perfect example of what you’re talking about where it’s not really about the peak, I mean you want to avoid clipping the audio on the stereo output whenever you’re mixing, especially if you’re exporting down to a final file but also the problem once the clipping has happened turning the volume down afterward isn’t going to help, right?

So, the valuable thing at this point was to go back a stage and get a version that was less heavily processed at that gave me more flexibility with what I can do at the mastering stage, because the problem with all of these – I mean I could have possibly tried running it through a de-clipping piece of software or something to reduce those effects, but you get other processing, I mean song with Five Thousand or song with a huge level lift I just played I don’t know in the clip that I played people there’s some quite heavy pumping going on in that mix.

There’s some elements in the mix with a lot of bass content that comes in and you can hear the whole mix kind of flinching and moving as a reaction to that. My guess was that that was a creative decision, because of the style and rather than sort of a problem, if you like, so I didn’t make any comment about that I just kind of went with it and I’m happy with the way that it sounds. So, there’s sort of different stuff that can happen at different parts in the processes. But yeah that illustrates the clipping thing quite well.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, perfect example. It’s good to have that as an example. So, the next one was most compression and we spoke about this earlier, so I’m not sure…?

Ian Shepherd
Well, see the interesting thing was last night I was listening to the album and making sure that I knew which song was the most interesting answer to each question in the quiz, and I didn’t get around to doing that and just before we started the call I was like I don’t know which one has the most compression let me check, and I started flicking through and it suddenly occurred to me probably there isn’t a song that has dramatically more compression than any other, because when it’s get to the point where I am having – I mean there are hard and fast numbers. It’s quite normal for me to have – I quite often use multiband compression in mastering, which is a whole rabbit hole.

We don’t have time to go down into it, but if anybody is interested in the topic of multiband compression and actually compression in mastering in general, compression and limiting I’ve got a series of videos called Home Mastering Compression. The original thing I ever released on my website was the e-book Mastering with Multiband Compression. I’ve updated and revised that. Didn’t need much changing thankfully, but I’ve also added five videos in with that with examples and kind of a real deep dive into how I use compression in mastering. So, if people like the results of what I am doing here and want to know kind of how I got there that could be an ideal place to start. In fact, we could sort out a discount maybe for people who are your members who are watching this video, if you like.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, that will be awesome. Yeah that’d be great.

Ian Shepherd
Sort of a coupon code. Okay, so we’ll sort that out afterwards and you can include that link for people.

So, I use multiband compression quite often and when I do I’m kind of happy to see 2, 3, 4 dBs gain reduction in any particular band. I could maybe show you an example of that just do is pick a song at random, how about this one.

[Music Being Played 00:22:08]

So, you can see there I’ve got – I’m using the FabFilter Pro-MB, I thought there are quite a lot of FabFilters things in here just because they’re really popular. I thought quite a lot of your members might have access to them or at least can download the demos and have a play. So, I’ve got three bands. I like to keep it simple with multiband compression, lots of multiband presets coming with like five and six bands and it’s just too confusing and really if you need that kind of detail of processing probably whatever you’re trying to fix will be better than in the mix than the master. It just means that I can process the bass separately from the mids that’s the most important thing and I could say push the compression in the low frequencies without causing pumping in the higher frequencies.

So 3, 4, maybe even 5 dBs of gain reduction in a particular band. If it’s sounding good to me I’m probably quite comfortable with that, but if gets much beyond that kind of two things happen. One is it starts to look a bit alarming on the screen, and I kind of think oh what’s going on there, is that really the effect that I want. But also, I tend to find the compressor doesn’t relax back to zero gain reduction, because compression in mastering is different than compression in mixing. My goal is always to be invisible to kind of for it to sound better and for nobody to know why.

So, where as in mixing or tracking you might get really creative and have all these kind of wild effects that unless somebody specifically requests it I’m not going to go for that at the mastering stage. If you push the compressor really hard so that it never stops compressing, so there’s always grain reduction happening. For me A) you’re not using it as effectively as you could, and B) you’re probably having a pretty dramatic influence on the sound which is not really what I want. So, all of that’s a pretty long-winded way of saying I couldn’t really out a song from all of these that I used the most compression on, because at the point where I start seeing a ton of compression happening it’s usually a clue that the EQ balance wasn’t right or maybe I should be using automation instead – that I put a question in the quiz about which one has the most automation.

Rob Mayzes
Oh, yeah you did most automation, yeah.

Ian Shepherd
Cool. Okay, so we’ll talk about that in a minute and I can explain what’s going on there. I think the next question is which one has no compression or least compression, and there are a couple of examples of that which we can look at. But in terms of which one has the most they all kind of have a similar level, because if I go beyond that I start feeling like it’s too much.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah. So, you could pick out some that had the least compression there I’m guessing.

Ian Shepherd
I could and I would have to remember which ones they were, so bear with me while I get my notes up. Least compression? Okay, so the example I picked is Song-10. I’d look at that here that’s this one Music Set You Free, It’s a Long Way. Let’s find out in the playlist. So, that’s this one here and yeah if we look at the effects that I’ve used or the processing I’ve used you can see the stereo tools has not been used I’ve got no gain in there.

What’s this hidden by that graphic clinch? Okay, so there’s a stereo widening tool that I am not using, so it’s just EQ on that. There’s no compression happening, there’s no level lift here that’s the original gain and that means there might have been a tiny little bit of limiting, because when I master I set the output ceiling of the limiter at minus 1 dB to try and avoid problems if people try and decide to say MP3 encode or do other kind of processing further down the chain. When you encode stuff too if it gets uploaded to YouTube or Spotify wherever the encoding process can change the peak level and they can actually come at higher than they went in, it doesn’t change the sound much but it can cause extra distortions.

So, if his mix have been going looking at that it doesn’t look like it’s maxed out anyway. And there was another song I used very little compression on as well. Let me see if I can just – there’s probably one where I’ll be able to see – yeah there you go Track-15 has no compression being used, but from memory I did have a gain boost on that. Just take a look. Yeah, so I increased the gain of that, so there would have been more limiting happening on that song.

Rob Mayzes
So, out of interest when you’re thinking about compression you’re not necessarily thinking about can I use compressions like add excitement and glue to the track? You’re thinking more about do I need compression to control the low-end versus the mids and the highs or does it just really depend on the track itself?

Ian Shepherd
It completely depends on the track itself. So, one of the first things I teach on the Home Mastering Master Class course that you’ve done is kind of my mastering process and it’s really simple because one of the things that I see a lot out there on YouTube and everywhere else is kind of videos with seven, eight, nine kind of plug-ins in a mastering chain and although there are quite a few plug-ins you can see sitting around on these tracks often hardly any of them are used. Basically, maybe 80% – 90% of the stuff I do use is just EQ, compression, and limiting. The limiting is just catching the peaks. It’s just a transparent way of stopping clipping. The compression, I mean, I’ve already talked about is hopefully fairly minimal, and EQ is just if you need it to correct the overall balance because maybe the monitoring that the person who mixed it was using wasn’t quite right or there were some issues with the room acoustics or whatever.

So, the first thing that I do when I’m mastering a song is to just increase the level until it sounds right, it’s at the level that I want it to be after mastering. I’d be interested to know what your members think of this album, because some of the songs had really substantial increases in level and some of them have some fairly heavy compression and limiting going on. But I have worked hard to try and make that transparent and I haven’t pushed the levels right up to sort of loudness war, loudness, but I am confident that when people listen to it on Spotify it’s going to stand up really well against anything else out there in similar genres. I am saying that and I am thinking well I am really sticking my neck out there because I haven’t done that experiment. But my experience over the years tells me that that will be the case, right? If you get balanced EQ and you’ve got a great balance of compression and dynamics, because Spotify and YouTube, and Tidal and the rest that use loudness normalization by default. They measure any loud songs and turn them down there would be no benefit in me pushing the loudness on this master really, really hard. If somebody puts in one CD and then puts in another CD next to it then the louder one might superficially sound a bit more impressive briefly, but when that happens people just adjust the volume control and then the advantage is gone.

So, yeah I’ll be interested to see what your community think about the choices that I’ve made with these songs, and to get back to your question. So, I know in my mind what my final level is going to be, because I’ve set up the level of my monitors. It’s another one of the first things we talk about in the Mast Class courses how to figure out how loud you want your stuff to be in and how to measure it using the various types of meters that you have and how to set up your monitors, so that the feedback you get is going to push you towards making the right choices.

So, stage one lift the level up so that it sounds and measures in the right area, and then you can start making decisions about EQ and compressions. So, once I’ve made that first change then it’s kind of like layers of an onion, it’s just what jumps at me first. If it feels like the mix needs glue then I might go straight in with some compression, but usually I will hear something I think could be improved in the EQ. So, usually the next thing I do is to balance the EQ and when you’ve changed the EQ sometimes it doesn’t feel like it anymore glue after all. Often just the process of getting the balanced EQ can get you the result that you were looking for, but if not then I would start thinking about the dynamics. And sometimes it’s because the mix needs more glue or sometimes it’s because I just want to push the level higher and if I don’t use compression then the limit will be working too hard.

One of the things that I talk about a lot on the Home Mastering Compression Course is balancing, limiting with compression. I always use both and I think a common mistake that people make out there is that they think the mastering is only limiting. In my experience that’s, especially if you’re going for high loudness levels that’s probably not going to work, but a limiter is a really good transparent way of controlling peak levels if it’s only doing a small amount. But when it starts to really bite into the signal maybe more than 2 or 3 dBs at the most usually it’s much too aggressive and it doesn’t sound natural, and that’s where you start losing all the life and the space and the clarity and everything. So, at that point you want to choose to do some compression, some limiting, and kind of balance those two. So, yeah at that point it’s all about the song. Sometimes I don’t use compression I use automation instead, so it all depends.

Rob Mayzes
So, should we do that one next then before we move away from dynamics, which one had the most automation and also do you have a guideline that people could use for when they should use automation over compression as well?

Ian Shepherd
Sure. There are few you can see that are using automation. There is something that happens there in that first song. There are some small changes in this track here, but the one I thought would make the most interesting example is this one here which is Oxygen by Vincent Solo. These are not enormous changes, right? So, the gain lift here was 5.5 dB, and then at this point in the song I reduced it to 4 dB, so it’s down by dB and a half then it suddenly goes up to 6 dB which is the maximum I can do in the automation envelope here then it eases back a little bit and it drops down again. And you’ve basically kind of got a loud and a soft setting. Let me just play that to people. Again if you don’t want the spoilers’ maybe listen to the mastered track first and just see if you can hear where those automation changes were happening. But I’ll just play kind of through the section here, so you can hear the effect of it.

[Music Being Played 00:33:37]

So, I don’t know how that sounds to people listening. To me the level sounds smooth and consistent. You might think with those big changes there’s a difference here of a couple of dBs, there will already be dramatic difference. The reason that I made those automation changes in this case was that I felt that the vocal during the quiet sections just felt too loud to me. Once I brought the introduction up to the level I was comfortable with kind of in the context of the rest of the songs and my overall mastering level I’d decided on when it got to this stage – in fact let me preview that for you. So, this is 5.5 dBs, if I reset everything and bring that up, so that we don’t have those gain changes and I’ll just play that to you again and you can hear the difference.

[Music Being Played 00:35:26]

So, it’s not an enormous difference, but for me the big thing is at this point here after the quieter section of vocals it doesn’t have the same impacts when the full band come back in which is why I’ve got this increase there, I mean originally this little move here was just back up to the previous – my first instinct was okay I’ll just have two levels for this. I’ll have one for the quieter vocals, so that you keep that intimacy but it doesn’t jump at you too much, and then we’ll go back to the louder sections in-between those. But at this point I just didn’t think there was enough punch coming back in, so I added that little bit of extra level of gain there. And then, there’s something else similar here towards the end let’s just preview that.

[Music Being Played 00:37:03]

So, again I think overall you’ve got something that sounds pretty smooth despite the changes. There’s an interesting thing that happens here. I don’t’ know whether anybody who is watching – this is my dynameter plug-in up here, it measures the difference between the peak level and the loudness of the music and for loudness war material you’ll start to see the graph gets very narrow and that color start to getting dark red, and then a brown showing – there’s usually an indication that there’s too much limiting and compression going on which is why it’s useful. If I just show you if I hadn’t reduced the level here in this section. I’ll just show you what that sounds and looks like in dynameter.

[Music Being Played 00:38:12]

So, it’s a pretty subtle change, but you can see the minimum value there dropped down to seven and the colors here are darker red showing the level was pushing louder. So, at that section the vocal was pushing harder into the compression and the limiting that’s not always a problem, but it’s something that I like to avoid and maybe we’re saying about how I avoid too much compression. For me I would rather automate that change to just push the processing a little less hard. It doesn’t actually sound any different. In fact, to me it sounds a little bit better because when you push these processes too hard you get all kinds of negative sound effects that’s a pretty mild example. Let me just see if I can remember – something similar happens here in Track-1. Let me play that.

[Music Being Played 00:39:19]

Something similar is happening there. I could have left this automation curve flat. The difference would have been that the – in particular the voice at that point would have been pushing that much harder into all of the processing. With the automation you don’t hear a change in level. The level sound consistent, but I don’t have to push the processing as hard and that tends to sound better, and I think there was another song where I did that as well. I can’t remember which on it was at this point. And that’s what I was mentioning earlier on in terms of the compression – I would like to take another example, if there was a song where actually overall it doesn’t need much compression for glue or for intensity or for any of those other things. But there’s just a section of a song that is a little bit too loud I’m very happy to use automation, I mean it all depends whether that works in context. I feel like those changes there you don’t – like I say I’m trying to be invisible, you don’t notice that those automation changes have happened until you can see the curve sometimes that doesn’t work.

So, in the first example I showed you they’re always pulling it back for musical reasons because I felt that the vocal was just too upfront with the settings that I’d used for the introduction of the song. If I had to turn it down much further probably the backing would have noticeably dropped away to a point I would have felt wasn’t acceptable. So, at that stage then it’s a case of like I say you say to the client okay well here is what I was able to do are you happy with that if not maybe we could try a mixed tweak.

But it is amazing what you can achieve and the other thing that occurs to me that might be useful to people is that when you’re trying to decide on loudness, especially musically a good rule-of-thumb is to follow the vocal. For example, in the earlier on example, the second example I played you one of the first song on the album at this section here the reason I pulled that back was partly because it would be pushing the processing too hard but also I felt like the vocal would not have sat right musically. And people might be kind of going well how is that up to you, right? You’re the mastering engineer. They mixed it that way that’s the way that they want it and I completely understand that. Mastering is this weird kind of mixture of – in a way being quite arrogant, you know kind of coming in and going oh you don’t want to do that, you want to do this. But I always try and do it with empathy for what they were originally trying to achieve you know your first job is to listen and kind of go okay I think this is where they want to go and try and get it closer. What’s interesting is that the context can change it. When you’ve tweaked the EQ and lifted the level and in comparison to the other songs something that seem to work absolutely fine in the mix maybe doesn’t work quite as well.

So, it even happens to me on things that I’ve mixed myself. When I get to the mastering stage sometimes there are these quite big changes that I decided to make, and it’s because of the different mindset that you bring. And it’s one of the important things about mastering is you step away from the individual songs you’re looking at the whole album and trying to see everything in context. And yeah sometimes that enables you to see stuff that wasn’t obvious beforehand, so it’s one of the things that makes it all interesting I think.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, absolutely and I guess that’s what would have made this more difficult is because there are so many artists you can’t necessarily just message each of them individually you’d be say hey do you mind if I do that a bit then you actually start using your judgment.

Ian Shepherd
Yeah. Well, hopefully they’re happy with the changes that I make and there’s nobody listening to this master and going what has he done?

Rob Mayzes
Yeah. I’m sure they love that. So, moving now from dynamics which one had the most radical EQ?

Ian Shepherd
Okay. It was Track-13, which I think might be that one. Yeah, that’s a fairly radical EQ. I mean that’s radical because of the shape. Just to give you a comparison because the next question is which one had the least EQ, right? So, let’s give you a comparison. Here is the track with the most subtle EQ change – oh no actually that wasn’t the one that I was going to use. It must have been – no. There we go Track-15, so it did have a level increase I think, yeah a level increase of 6 dB but I didn’t use any compression on Track-15 and actually that answers another question in the quiz the one with the least – no that’s not this one, because of the level boost which I count as processing.

But here is the EQ change, so what have we got? We got 1.2 dBs at 50 Hz with a nice gentle boost there that’s not a big change at all and half a dB at 2.3 kHz for this song. So, that’s the smallest EQ change in comparison you can see that that’s quite a big change. The overall curve here is going up to 6 or 7 dBs gain at some point with a cut here of minus 6. Obviously, there is a big difference between what’s happening in difference areas of the frequency curve. Let me just select a few, so you can kind of see. So, there’s a little boost there at 96, there is a broad boost there at 100 Hz. There is low shelf look here lifting low-end in general by about 3 dBs. What makes it particularly radical is that I’m using mid side processing on this song, so I don’t know whether you’ve talked about that with your members, maybe done a tutorial on it you can…

Rob Mayzes
In the context of EQ, no.

Ian Shepherd
Okay. So, normal EQ you’re EQing left and right and probably you’re EQing both, so it’s a fairly simple change. You can also use what’s called Mid Side Processing. Roughly speaking if you process the mid you are affecting what’s in the middle of the image and if you’re processing the sides you’re processing what’s at the edges of the image. It’s not quite simple as that and I did a podcast episode about that for anybody who really wants to dig into the details and it’s a bit of a mind mangling conversation. But that was my goal in this from memory. Let me just play a little bit of the song to make sure that what I say is correct.

[Music Being Played 00:47:05]

Yeah. So, the big thing with this song was it’s got some pretty hard panned guitars. I felt those were too aggressive in the upper-mids and didn’t have enough muscle in the low-mids, so the two changes in here you can see in the side only. So, the edges of the image where those guitars are having much less effect on things like the bass and the vocals and things. I’ve got to boost there all 1.5 dBs of 400 Hz which is that kind of where the muscle is in those guitar sounds, and then there is a cut in the sides of about 2 dB higher up at kind of about a 1.2 kHz which is that kind of telephony regions, if you like, so less telephone more muscle mainly affecting those guitars and nothing in the center of the image that’s why I’ve labeled this as being more radical, and the other kind of bit of mid side processing is you can see there’s a big cut there at 150 Hz which I think was for the bass. I think some element in the bass was booming out, but that’s only happening at the middle of the image. So, that will have much less effect on those guitars where I’m trying to add low-end muscle, right? So, there’s an example of – that’s probably as radical as I ever get, and that’s one of those tracks where I would be contacting the client and saying I think this sounds good, I’m happy with this, you know I’ve got a result that I’m happy with, see what you think. The reason why I was doing this kind of processing was to try and achieve this you know less edge more muscle in the guitars. If you like that way that that’s moved sonically and you want to have a go at doing that in the mix that might get you even a better result. Let me know what you think. And sometimes you get people saying yeah great, and sometimes they are like no it sounds cool as it is.

So, it’s a radical EQ it’s not a problem. It’s unusual for me to be that aggressive with it, but basically it’s – I mean that change there is only happening in the sides. It’s just a kind of an increase of bass and treble basically. And some of that I have to say that this is much more of a punky sound in this track than in lot of the stuff, you know there’s quite a lot of EDM style stuff and some kind of quite smooth sounding stuff. So, to some degree those changes are because of the context of this in the compilation in terms of making it sit right with the other songs. If that was a part of an album maybe I would have stayed closer to the original sound that the mixer has gone for, because they will naturally sit better next to each other than they would in a compilation like this. But like I said I listened through to the whole thing last night. I was really pleased with the way that it worked out, so hopefully the artist and mixer for this song agree.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah. Obviously you did a great job. It sounds really more cohesive than I thought it would honestly with this much variation obviously in terms of levels but yeah sonically too. Yeah, it’s really nice to listen to. It’s not too jarring at any point which is my concern moving from the genres from literally one track to the next could be a bit jarring, but yeah it sounds great.

So, then least processing overall I think it might have been that one with a little bit of EQ, but it’s interesting that you’d count gainers, because I guess when you’re boosting that gain you’re not just changing the level you’re pushing it into the limits also, increasing the gain effectively is also adding more limiting, so was that the one?

Ian Shepherd
Exactly. You want to quickly look at that? It might be interesting to just see – because I think it was – no.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, it was drop the high.

Ian Shepherd
Yeah, that one there. So, that’s got a very small EQ changes, but it’s got a 6 dB level lift and we just look at what the limits is doing as a result of that – WaveLab’s quirky graphics back again.

[Music Being Played 00:51:46]

I love this track. I love the really English voices in the rap that’s just so refreshing to me, but yeah I’ll press play again and you can see that there’s actually pretty heavy limiting happening at certain points. There are like 4 or 5 dBs, but only on the really spiky transient stuff of the drums. It’s not cutting into the body or signal at all, so the end result of that will be very transparent. And that – yeah the gain change – you’re splitting hairs, I mean you could say a gain change is processing, but actually if it didn’t result in any extra limiting we could ignore it. But in this case yeah you’re getting some extra – that the limiter is working hard really.

[Music Being Played 00:52:37]

Sounds great, so really mild EQ but the overall when it was this one here – the one that I played a least processing too, if you like, it’s a Long Way Music Set You Free because that one had no gain increase at all. So, there might be a tiny bit of extra limiting because of that reduction in the ceiling I used, and then also a very mild EQ. That’s actually minus 6 dBs on that high shelf there, but it’s very high up. So, what do we have? A dB there very low down just with that real low sub, a dB and a half at 500 Hz. Let me just play that quickly.

[Music Being Played 00:53:47]

That’s interesting. I was going to say that maybe that was just in turn in the context of other songs that high frequency, but I did feel that the high hats in particular on that track and there’s some edgy stuff in that guitar sound which is a little bit kind of gritty and a little bit sizzley kind of made the overall EQ sound a little bit smiley, if you like. So, I guess those two sound could kind of fight each other out because you could argue that that EQ change is more audible than the limiting on Track-15, but for what it’s worth it doesn’t matter, right? if the end result works you’ll always hear it and to some extent I hate the expression ‘if it sounds right it is right’ because if somebody told me that too much limiting or clipping was sounding right I would probably argue quite strong against that.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, it’s very subjective right isn’t it?

Ian Shepherd
Exactly, what is right? Can you hear what is right. If you’re listening on these can you hear it as clearly as you can, if you’re listening on mastering monitors or whatever, but you know for me I’m a mastering engineer you’re in this slightly arrogant position of kind of I know best and basically my opinion is that the decision I make at the end of the day are for the benefit of the music. So, if something has to be lifted and gained by 24 dBs providing it sounds all right when it’s finished, who cares. If something needs a radical EQ, if the client is happy with it at the end, who cares. But those two songs are probably the closest to where I would have been aiming if I was mixing or mastering the needed these changes.

Rob Mayzes
Nice, and I’m sure they’ll be very happy with that. So, the last one was most surprising noise. So, I guess this was a very weird noise that you found in one of the tracks. I’m not entirely sure what that means actually.

Ian Shepherd
It wasn’t that weird, is it? Let me just double check that there was nothing in Track-15. Oh, no it was Track-9 and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and it happens just before – basically I’ll play it to you – well I’ll play it to you first, and then I’ll see whether anybody else notices it, and then we’ll see.

[Music Being Played 00:56:21]

I think it’s Dumb Head, but every time it happens. It didn’t happen to me listening now on ear-buds, but every time I heard it on the speakers I turned around like this because I thought somebody had opened the door. There’s something about – I think maybe there’s – I don’t know whether there’s something weird in the phase or the panning of that sound whatever. The sound of it, it kind of happens right out even listening in in-ear buds, the sound of that go-boom happens right out here and it’s just one point. It happens a couple of other times in the song it doesn’t have some affect on me, but literally it’s kind of like having listened to this – by the end of mastering it out you’d probably listen to each of the songs five or ten times each. So, yeah just when I was compiling that list I was like I have to put that in because it just makes me jump. I’m like oh it’s you know somebody is interrupting me what you’re doing, oh no it’s the song again. Anyway so there you go.

Rob Mayzes
Sounds like a bonus – yeah bonus question. Cool. I think that was a great idea going through each of those. I collected some questions from members that they wanted to ask you and find out more about. Yeah, you’ve addressed most of them already. I have got a few more here though that we could probably go over if you want me to just pitch a few of these questions to you?

Ian Shepherd
Yeah, sure.

Rob Mayzes
One that I came across a few times and I don’t think this has really been addressed but equally it’s probably too broad of it a question. Anyway and the question was, was there a common issue or a problem between all of the mixes you’ve mastered for this compilation?

Ian Shepherd
No.

Rob Mayzes
I thought that might be.

Ian Shepherd
Not at all with something that’s this varied. When you’re working on an album often the answer is yes. Just for example, lots of us work in home studios. In a modern house it’s very common to have a square room. Square room is about the worst shape you can have for acoustics. The frequencies build up at some frequencies and they cancel out other frequencies and it’s very common, especially if the mixing position is right in the middle of the room to get for example, a big hall and the frequency response at sort of 70-80 Hz perhaps. If that’s the situation you’re working in and you’re not compensating for that in anyway chances are you’ll end up pushing in too much 70 or 80 Hz into your mixes to try and make it sound better in the room. When I get that album to master the chances are I am going to hear that same thing across all of the songs, and very often – I mean I always start from scratch with every song that do in an album in terms of like turning all the processing off, rebalance the levels, start again fresh EQ all the rest of it. I have some kind of default settings in terms of starting points for compression, this kind of settings somewhere in the middle. But those then get tweaked individually as well and sometimes you kind of feel was that really necessary, because I ended up doing almost exactly the same thing to every song. But actually even then they’ll be things in the arrangement, there will be things in just the sounds of the instruments they’ve used or the weather maybe the day it was mixed or whether somebody maybe had a cold or slightly blocked ears whatever it is. There’s always little variations between the songs and that’s where the magic of mastering happens actually. One of my favorite blog post was called “The and Soul of Mastering” and there’s this kind of popular misconception that oh for the mastering stage you just put 6 dBs into a limiter and you’re done. And it’s like no making the same change to all of the songs what was the point of that? I mean okay you might have lifted the loudness a bit and if that’s important to you maybe it was valuable. But the real value is okay I’m going to lift this song by 2 dBs and this song down by 1 dB you thing about those automation changes, 2 dBs is not that big of a change, especially when it’s before a compressor and the processing change, but if you’ve got one section that goes up by 2 and one goes down by 2 that’s a 4 dB difference, right? That is a big difference and the same thing applies song-to-song as well. So, no in this album there was no common thread at all except they sounded pretty good and I enjoyed them. But quite often you do find patterns if such a thing is coming from the same engineer or the same room that common thread starts to – if you have a vocalist you know they’ll have a particular sound to their voice, so whatever the backing is doing behind it maybe that kind of steers you in a certain direction when you’re working on it.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, absolutely just way too much variation in this case. The next one I don’t think we’ve really spoke about is what is your opinion on mixes using plug-ins on their mix buss and someone else ask multiband compression as well?

Ian Shepherd
It depends. Multiband compression I recommend you don’t use multiband compression on the mix buss, couple of reasons. One is it reduces your flexibility. I also recommend you don’t use brickwall limiting. You could use analog style limiters for color and effects, but if it’s just a straight level increase leave that to the mastering stage as well. We talked about that earlier. The main reason with multiband compression is I think – it’s easy to rely on it, right? It can make everything easier, because it will automatically start to balance out some of the – if the bass, and the mids, and the highs are being processed separately you’re going to get a more even frequency response just by applying a multiband compressor. Lot of people like top-down mixing where they start with the compressor on the mix buss, personally I don’t, I’m not saying that’s not a valid way to go but I don’t like the idea that if somebody just came in – let’s say my i-lock died, right? And I am taking this mix somewhere using on somebody else’s system and suddenly the multiband processor or whatever it was I had on the mix buss isn’t available and my mix just falls to pieces and I am like well now what do I do? I’m personally much more comfortable with the idea that the mix is as good as it can possibly be without the mix buss processing, and then the mastering can take it to the next level. So, I think you don’t end up relying on that one process. You again more skill because you had those things that might be handled by say the multiband processor or whatever, you have to achieve in the mix. Maybe it’s a little bit more work, but I think that’s a valuable process and I think choosing to automate the vocal for example, you know you’ve got a compressor sitting there all the time in the output buss you might not bother to automate the vocal. Whereas, if you didn’t have that – make that change I think you’d get more subtlety, I think you get more detail and interest into the mix that way. But that’s pretty much a personal preference, it’s not to say it’s wrong to do those things. Joe Gilder who we both guys know you know recently been using multiband processing on his mixes and he just likes that fact that he gets there faster. I am not going to say that’s wrong and actually Joe has done the work. He has got 8, 9, 10 years mixing experience, and then he decided okay I am going to do that, and he is using the stuff fairly gently, I mean another risk is that you end up just pushing these things harder than you realize because you’re focusing on all of your individual channel processes and you forget this thing out there on the output is doing all this heavy lifting.

Other processing you know you want to put maybe tape emulation or EQ or whatever on the mix buss, why not? If you’re listening to it and going oh the bass needs a little bit more kind of 100 Hz and actually now I think about it so do the guitars or probably the BVs. Why bother putting a separate plug-in on all of those channels and going through. What you’re hearing is a general feeling in the mix, it could stand a bit more bass, so you might as well put something on the output buss and let that handle it. So, that’s why I say it depends you know I think personally I would avoid the multiband compression but other stuff maybe is absolutely fine.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, it’s like this idea of – it’s fast so if speed is a concern for you then that might mean that in your situation it’s got there. Generally, if you can fix it on an individual channel or even on group channels like why would you do it on a mix buss and I’ve seen this before where people are like oh my mix has got so much bass. So, the first thing they’ll do is add a low shelf cut to their mix buss or even use multiband compression to control the low-end when it’s like oh there I’d really do is turn down the bass channel or compress the bass channel more something like that. It’s like recognizing like you said when it’s an issue that you kind of getting speed and also it might work better if you do it on mix buss versus doing it out of laziness unless you have a particular reason.

Ian Shepherd
And I think it’s a general concept of get it right at the source. It’s like oh my acoustic guitar sounds boomy I’ll just put an EQ on the mix buss processor. Well, no better if you put an EQ on the channel, but it would be even better if you went back and tweaked the mike position to reduce the boom in the recorded signal you know you might get a more balance down overall from that. So, yeah I think for me personally it’s always better done earlier on.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, earlier in the process in a way it’s trying to remove the step earlier rather than the step later?

Ian Shepherd
Yeah, exactly.

Rob Mayzes
So, I’m just looking at these now. You’ve answered most of these. There are a couple of questions about workflow, and you kind of spoke about that already in terms of generally start with limiting, and then even compression generally and I’m sure it varies but did you have a particular workflow with this that’s different because it is a compilation album, and the specific question they asked was do you have workflow for compilation album with such different styles?

Ian Shepherd
Not really, I mean, one of the first things happens these days not back when I started working from tape, but these days usually you have files, and even if you don’t have files you’re probably going to capture the source. So, you see the waveform and that kind of gives you – although peak waveforms are not a great way of judging very much about sound, you can basically kind of say oh okay maybe all the songs are loud, right, or none of the songs are loud or that one is much quieter. If I see that there’s a lot of variety in the project – and even when I don’t, one of the first things I do is just kind of skip through. Some engineers will sit and listen to an entire album without processing I am just too impatient for that. Within about a minute of listening to a song if it’s not feeling right my fingers get itchy, but I do like to get a sense of the whole project and with this certainly one of the first things I did was – because I was aware that the files were coming from lots of different people I wanted to check for anything I wanted to query with you early on, and that’s where probably we picked up that there were two files that weren’t Dropbox folder that you sent for example, and the whole issue with that the kind of heavy limiting but low peak level on the final track. So, I spotted those immediately and was able to query them with you early in the process rather than realizing right at the end.

Then, sometimes if there’s a big variety I will take the song that I think who wants to end up loudest and work on that first to establish a benchmark, if you like, then everything else could be judged relative to. But in this case I just started work – I mean it’s very common for me to spend a long time working on the first song then start moving quite quickly through the other songs then get to a point and go oh hang on some ones are not quite right, and go back and tweak it. And I am always jumping between – the nice thing about having all the songs laid out in a playlist, as you saw in the WaveLab there, is that I can skip quickly between different sections and different songs and hear how they sit next to each other. Yeah, it’s not like I process a song, and then it’s done and set in stone. It’s okay that’s how that feels to me now I’ll move on and as I work through the album I get an impression of how everything is fitting together and how it’s working. And maybe that means I do go back and make some tweaks to an earlier song you know I decide seemed fine at the time but now I think maybe it’s a little bit loud or whatever.

That’s my general process you know a little bit kind of getting myself oriented to begin with you know just to get a sense of the overall project. What the extremes are in terms of the style, and the dynamics, and different EQ and all rest of it Check if there are no obvious technical problems, and then yeah just work through in sequence. I like to work – well one of the nice things about mastering is – the first album I ever mastered took 2 days, and they carried on taking about that long for maybe a year. But gradually overtime I increased and these days it’s somewhere between 4 and 6 hours to master an album, and I think that speed actually can be an important ingredient because one of the things you can bring to it as a mastering engineer is like okay how is this going to sound to people the first time they hear it, right/ So, you have that immediacy, you have that kind of gut reaction when you’ve been mixing and recording something yourself there’s this temptation to kind of – humans make excuses, you know oh that one is going to be of a boomy kick because of this and that and you know they going to – whereas, for me as a mastering engineering just come in and go. No, okay this needs that, this needs that you know move quite quickly through fast bold decisions, and then some tweaking, you know then some fine tuning.

And then, the other thing I do which I never used to be able to do, so for the first 15 years of my career I worked for an independent mastering studio near here, and so there was an office, right, giving me projects and saying you will do this, you have X hours to do this then you’re moving onto that, then you’ve got these people coming in, so you’d do the master and it was basically done unless there were comments from the client. These days it’s nice to work on an album for maybe the whole morning, and then leave it and come back to it in the evening or maybe if I’m working on something late come back to it with fresh ears in the morning and just do a kind of final check and kind of go oh yeah maybe I’ll do some little adjustments there to get just the final polish, that last stage.

Rob Mayzes
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think that’s it. We’ve covered pretty much everything, and this has been really useful, I know people are going to absolutely going to love this. Thanks again for getting involved with this project. You did an amazing job. If anyone wants to hear the full album then yeah just go to Spotify, i-Tunes, Google Play or wherever such Musician on a Mission let’s go find you my actual album, and if you want to get involved with that next year – we’re going to do it probably every year. So, go join membership program you can get involved with that and everyone who is on the album is going to get physical copy as well.

And Ian where should people go if they want to hear more from you?

Ian Shepherd
Okay. So, my website is productionadvice.co.uk. There’s a ton of free content on there, I mean if they’re interested in mastering in particular there’s a link right at the top of the page where I’ve pooled together some of the most popular resources. There are YouTube videos on there. I have a YouTube channel. I have a podcast called “The Mastering Show.” If you go to the masteringshow.com or search for it in i-Tunes you can find it. We’re up to Episode-53 of that is coming out soon. It’s funny because I always say that mastering is simple and it’s not easy but it’s simple and I stick to that, but even so we’ve done 53 episodes on it and we’re still going. What else is there? I’ve developed some plug-ins with the MeterPlugs. If you go to meterplugs.com there is dynameter and perception plug-in. In fact if you’re paying attention when I was screen sharing there you can see a new beta version of perception. I didn’t actually use it in these demonstrations, but I’m excited about the new features we’re introducing to that. If you want to dive deeper into this stuff then there is the Home Mastering Mast Class probably I run that two or three times a year. It’s a 8-week course, every week I master a different song and kind of cover a different aspect of mastering or there are two sets of Home Mastering EQ which is a really structured, focused look at how I use EQ when I’m mastering and Home Mastering Compression which is the most recent one. And yeah we can set up a coupon code for your members to get some money off both of those if you’d like maybe only for a limited amount of time, but we can talk about that afterwards. You can put the links underneath.

Rob Mayzes
Awesome, cool. Thanks again, and we’ll do something else soon. I always enjoy collaborating with you. So, I appreciate you taking time and sit down here as well and yeah.

Ian Shepherd
My pleasure. I enjoyed it. Thanks for having me on the show.

 

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