Course 19: Music Mastering

Mastering is the art of sweetening the mix and preparing the mixdown for duplication. The goal of this course is to familiarize you with some of the very basics of the mastering process. Mastering is a very technical process that often involves specific gear and often requires ears that possess the sonic precision that takes years to develop.

A good mastering engineer is both a good ally to have and a good person to learn from! There are both creative and technical considerations when it comes to mastering, and you’ll learn about both during this course. Although you won’t have as many tools to work with during this stage, your mentor will show you how to use the tools you do have to change the loudness and signal processing of the song to Red Book CD Standards.

You’ll also learn the importance of song order, how one song leads into another, and even the pause in between songs can make a dramatic difference. There is no one way to master an album–through experience, you’ll see one method that works on one song won’t work on another.

You’ll also learn the technical aspect of mastering, including how to insert metadata into your files so they can be read in different formats. Your final assignment before the final will be to download and complete a full mix of a pre-selected session, including levels, panning, compression, and so on. You’re almost done: It’s time for the final!


  • Crash Course in Mastering
  • RedBook CD Standard
  • Mastering in Pro Tools
  • Final Mix Assignment
  • Chapter Quiz
  • Blog Entry