[Updated 2020] Mastering process for EDM music is pretty difficult and a highly debated topic. If you’re looking to get your tracks sounding big, this tutorial will help you get started.
Straight from the mouths of super-producers such as Laidback Luke, Morgan Page, Deadmau5, this tutorial shows you what these artists are using on their master channel.
Add these plugins on your master in the exact order:
- Mastering Compressor: Waves C1
- LinearPhase EQ by Waves
- EQ: Waves Q8 (low cut 35hz, high cut 20hz)
- Stereo Expander (if needed)
- Limiter: Waves L2 (threshold set to -6 and out ceiling -.02) OR IZotope Ozone 9
Pro Tip: Watch the “gain reduction” on your limiter (Waves calls it Attenuation) meter. Aim for no more than -3db of reduction. If your track needs more reduction, than there could be an EQ/Compression issue eating up headroom.
Remember, this is chain will form the foundation of your mastering process. Each track and genre will require slight few tweaks depending on many factors.
edm mastering bonus tip:
Many successful EDM artists turn their mastering chain on while mixing.
Producing your music with a master chain on throughout the process allows you to hear how you’re track will sound for commercial release. Back in the day, you would simply mix your track without any processing on the master 2 bus. With the rise of digital software, this changed the game. There are no hard or fast rules. Whatever your preference is, do what sounds right for you.