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Guide to how you can do Mastering with Chain Plugins




Mastering your track is one of the final phases of your project where the song is given its final cover and polish to sound perfect to its listeners. A mastering signal chain is a series of effects that are applied to a signal in a linear order. These effects make the musical piece sound perfect.

Mastering is an art as well as a skill that every music producer should improve during the process of learning music production. For mastering, there are many mastering chain plugins available that provide a wide range of effects with high sound quality. By using mastering chain plugins, there are hundreds of possibilities and variations that music producers can try out.

Here are some of the best mastering chain plugins that you can try out to improve your skills in music production:


1. Ableton Live Mastering Chain

Among music schools and top music producers, Ableton Live is very popular for mastering and applying high-quality sound effects to your track. Mastering with Ableton Live can be done using built-in audio effects. For beginners and music producers who are just starting, focus on achieving 3 things:

  • Well-balanced mix
  • Resonance clean up
  • Adding loudness to the track for an extra punch

Here are the Ableton Live Stock plugins used for the mastering chain:

  • EQ8: The Lowcut - It is operating in mid-side mode
  • Glue Compression - Use glue compressor to balance of our track by bringing out the peaks
  • EQ8 - For cleanup and flattening out some unwanted resonances
  • Multiband Compression - With the 3-band compressor, balance out the low, mid, and highs
  • Punch Compression - adding a boost to the mix, also emphasize the dynamics
  • Sustain Compression - It is to flatten the complete mix a little bit.
  • EQ8 ‐ For final touches
  • Limiter - To increase the loudness of the sum of our track
Using these plugins, get a good grip on your mastering skills while working on multiple projects. This will help you try out the variations on multiple tracks.

2. Ozone 9 Standard

Music producers who do mastering during the music production process, are known with Ozone. Ozone is a great mastering suite as it has everything you need to do a great mastering work on your track.

With EQ, pre and post Compression, limiter, and saturator, Ozone 9 is a complete bag of tools you can try. It is also recommended as one of the best mastering chain plugins for beginners, although it is also widely popular among pro-music producers.

Ozone comes with an "auto-match" function which analyzes the frequency spectrum of the track that is used as a reference. It creates an EQ curve for your mix and makes it sound great.

3. bx_Masterdesk by Brainworx


bx_masterdesk offers a complete solution of a high-end analog mastering system in one single plugin. It has all the components you need to create tracks like professionals. It helps you master your material with a minimal learning curve.

bx_masterdesk is a great tool for beginners as well as pro music producers. The plugin by Brainworx is set out to make mastering fast and easy. Every element of bx_masterdesk was created specifically to be speedy.

It is a perfect tool for learning and quick mastering scenarios.

4. FabFilter Pro-Q 3


FabFilter Pro-Q3 equalizer is probably the tool used most while mixing and mastering. With FabFilter Pro-Q 3, you get the best sound quality, a very extensive feature set, and an innovative interface that is easy to use.

It is designed to help you get the best sound in the quickest way possible. With the large interactive EQ display, it's easy to create bands where you need them, enable dynamic EQ on any band, and work on multiple bands at once.

Its latest features include Per-band mid/side or left/right processing options, brick wall LP/HP filter slope, flat tilt filter shape, a spectrum analyzer with frequency collision indication, and much more.

Pros:

- Dynamic EQ is sounding smooth and super simple
- The new m/s mode per band is a great pro

Cons:

- There is no pitch tracking EQ mode

5. Waves Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain


Waves Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain is a modular mastering chain plugin modeled after the EMI TG12410 Transfer Console used in all Abbey Road's mastering suites. The TG Mastering Chain comprises a modular series of processors that are freely arranged and can be bypassed individually.

It is widely used to create custom processing chains with a flexible flow and to give the best effects on the master bus, or on individual tracks or groups in a mastering process.

TG Mastering chain comprises six plugins - mono and stereo versions of the TG Mastering Chain, Live versions of both Mastering Chain, and mono and stereo versions of the Mastering Bridge.

This plugin is widely popular among music producers looking for the timeless spirit and sound of Abbey Road.

Conclusion

We have reached the end of this blog where we discussed the importance of mastering in the music production process and the top 5 best mastering chain plugins that can be used to improve the mastering skills.
School of Bollywood Music is a music school in Mumbai that provides in-depth knowledge about the Mastering process with its music production course. With expert faculties, high-end DAWs, and plugins, enroll with School of Bollywood Music to kickstart your career in music production.