For the mastering chain we had mainly used basic dynamic processing to adhere to most of the current standards that are set today in the mastering scene. Guy’s mastering classes were integral to most of what we applied whilst in this stage from both a technical and musical perspective. The key points he stated
We started the chain with some basic compressing that we only took an RMS of 2 db from the exported mixed track. This attack and release was very dependant on the track of the song and slower songs tend to have a slower attack whilst faster up tempo ones had a quick one. I found that the compression in 2db is enough to gel the track really well whilst also keeping a coherent dynamic range in the track.
We had also applied very subtle sub-bass enhancement to round off the bottom frequencies more and to make certain sub frequencies more prominent. I chose to enhance frequencies between 50-200 because that is where most of the body of guitar sounds are and enchanting them adds a level of artificial depth to them.
We had also used some frequency comb stereo widening mostly on the fried high ends to enhance stereo imaging. we wanted the more low and mid frequencies to stick mainly central in the mix whilst hi-hats, plucks and string noises to be wide.
We had also used a linear phase EQ due to the low lag input it has over a normal EQ. We mainly removed most of the muddy sub frequencies around 20hz to 50hz with a shelf EQ to
For Axiom, we removed 200hz and 1khz because in certain ports of the song, these frequencies were to jarring and these notch EQs’s tamed them down so that they were more uniform with the rest of the song.
We used a multi-band compressor to round of the frequency bands more during the more dynamically loud parts of the music setting a threshold to shave around 2-3db off each band.
We also used a direction mixer to make the track more coherent stereo wise and did some minor tweaks to make it correlate more for mono compatibility.
We had then used an enveloper to shape the transients more to the point where they did not stick out from the mix too much. We had also toned down the release of the track to reduce mud and standing frequencies to achieve a tighter mix overall.
As for the metering we made sure the track was well correlated and mono compatible. We had also made sure both the RMS on each stereo channel was round the same level for more uniform parts of the song to avoid more phasing issues.
To round of the chain, we had also stuck an adaptive limiter to brick-wall the signal at -0.3dBFS. This made sure that no clear audible distortion could be heard compared to the ceiling being being raised to 0dBFS.
However, guy did teach us about stem mastering and parallel limiting days after we had already mastered it and so we did not put the processes in there but we have noted it for future mastering processes from this day on. The purpose of the master was to hear potential problems when hearing it in a loud level environment and so these processes helped shaped the sound to be more coherent fixed any potential problems with transients.