Dubstep Music Mastering — Part 6
In this final part of our mini guide I am going to give you a real world set up you can use on your dubstep track. Applying these processes will give you a much louder master, ready to send out to labels and distributors.
Real world master process:
Start with an EQ, remove the subsonic frequencies using a linear phase EQ, low cut at around 25hz (even in dubstep music as harmonics this low do not add any thing to the track). Use the EQ to add some broad sweeting to the tracks top and bottom ends, a boost at around 70-80hz, wide Q, 1 to 3db boost. Then a 2/3db boost at the top from about 8khz- 20khz depending on the track.
Remove any muddiness from around 200-400hz using a precise cut of about 1 to 4db remove any problem frequencies using surgical cuts with very narrow Q settings. The best fault-rectifying mastering EQs are linear phase EQs because they have a very transparent sound, and do not add any coloring to the mix. This works well for dubstep as it keep the mix sounding ‘true’.
Then move on to the compressor, a low ratio of around 2:1 works well for dubstep with 3db of gain reduction, using an auto release setting. This will help bring the dynamics of the track in line. It’s generally not a good idea to EQ after compression because aggressive EQ setting will cause peaks above the 0db threshold and you want to ensure that the compressor is working in full. You can try using a multi band compressor before the limiter to control the compression of different timbre sections.
The last process will be the limiter, or maximizer. Try moving the fader down until the peaks of the track are being dealt with to about 3db of reduction, but with out causing to much distortion. Even if you like your dubstep distorted, its not needed or wanted at this stage.
To get even more volume out of your track you may consider the oxford inflater or the UAD precision maximizer, these are ‘psychoacoustic’ processors and will maximize perceived loudness with out resorting to sometimes problematic limiting and ultramaxamizing. Dubstep producers have been using this processor to great effect.
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