How to Master a Track in Logic Pro X – Music Production Lesson | Mastering using Stock Plugins

How to Master a Track in Logic Pro X – Music Production Lesson | Mastering using Stock Plugins


Hi this lecture is all about mastering. So
what mastering is is really the final touches for our mix. So first of all I’d like to say
if your mix isn’t really that good go back and improve your mix rather than trying to
master. Mastering really is just the icing on the cake, it is just the finishing touches,
so just remember that first of all. When you are mixing and mastering your music remember
to listen to it on multiple platforms, so not just your studio monitors or headphones,
hifi speakers ear buds, your phone, your laptop speakers because your audience and the people
listening to your music won’t exactly have the same setup as you, they might not have
the same studio monitors in the same room or be in a studio or soundproof room, so the
best thing to try and do is to try and get a good balance on all these different headphones
and speakers. Okay so in this video I’m going to show you
how to EQ, multi band compress, enhance the stereo image and also limit our track. So
the track I’m going to master is a by a guy called FourFox and the track is called Rhino. Okay so first of all the thing we need to
do is check the direct current or DC, so if you have any errors or problems with any wiring
on hardware this can really show up in your track and it can limit your headspace, but
if it’s mainly electronic and MIDI generally you won’t really have any DC but lets just
check this track. So lets double click on the track and then go on File and then go
on Functions and remove DC offset. Okay great there is no DC offset found, it’s just to
check if your song is just MIDI or software instruments you should be fine, but if you
are working with a lot of external gear or a lot of audio tracks I definitely would advice
checking this DC current. Another thing is if you are mastering a whole
album rather than a single you should master all the tracks together. This way you will
get a more consistent sound, obviously the tracks are going to be a lot different and
might have different instrumentalists or different feels or vibes, but if you’ve got one track
that’s too loud or too quiet or too bright it will sound a little bit peculiar. Okay now lets trim our track, so at the start
I do want the track to come in straight away and have a slight automation of volume so
it gradually come in and at the end I normally wait about 2 or 3 seconds and then I cut the
song. So first of all lets go on our master output
here, right click this and go on create track and now we can actually automate the stereo
out and lets go on automation and change this to volume. Okay we can kind of tell by our
waves where the song comes in, I know this song it has a kind of a high pass section
here then the song really comes in about here, so this is more of a high pass intro, but
lets just have a look. So looking at the waves we can kind of tell it comes in about here
but lets just have a listen, so it really comes in about here.
So it’s there okay, zoom in a bit more and we can also change the automation type to
a curve. Lets just hear this, so I’d start the track about here, back slightly.
Okay and lets just trim this ending and about there, lets just zoom in, about here. It is
silence there so we don’t really need the automation curve tool. Okay great so that’s trimming the track because
it will be a bit embarrassing if you put your song online and there is a few seconds at
the start of complete silence a lot people we also switch off like physically switch
the track off if it is just silent for a few seconds as well because the first few seconds
do really count. A lot of people also listen to music on their phone as well which is in
mono so we need to check the mono capabilities of our track, so lets just put some plugins
on, lets put them all on our stereo out. Okay lets go to Imaging and then Directional
Mixer and all the way out like this is stereo and the more you bring it in the more mono
it gets, so all the way like this is completely mono. Lets just get a loop going about here,
so that’s mono, lets make it stereo and lets make the spread a lot wider.
We just need to check that there is no real phase problems in mono but this sounds fine
so far. Lets just get rid of this that was just to check. Okay lets now put on multimeter
it’s under Metering and lets just play our track through this. The yellow is the peak
levels which is the highest at that time and the blue is the RMS which is the overall loudness
of the track at that point in time, also we need to make sure that the track isn’t peaking
so we don’t want anything in the red. Also looking at this track we can tell there’s
a lot of headspace which means we can really push the volume up later on when we are limiting.
Okay lets drag this plugin down and now lets put on a phase EQ, basically we want to roll
off anything that is below about 25 hertz because the ear won’t audibly hear this and
sound systems won’t really play it and it just muddies up the track really so we just
get rid of this and just roll it off below 25 so on here we can see the number so 25
and make it tight, there we go like so. Okay now we are going to add an exciter, this
basically boosts the harmonies and we can make the song sound a lot brighter and have
a lot more presence, so it’s under specialized and then exciter, so colour 1 is a lot brighter
than colour 2 and we can also choose the frequencies here. The best thing to do though is to just
do it by ear but remember we don’t want the track to change too much we just want to make
it brighter and have more presence and increase the volume so try not to change the song too
much. So this is with and this is without. It’s
just a slight difference but it does make the song
a little bit brighter. Okay next we are going to add a multi band
compressor in Logic it’s called multipressor, basically it gives us 4 different frequency
ranges and we can compress each range separately, lets just open it up it’s under dynamics and
then multipressor. Okay so here it is more the sub range and here is the low mid and
the high the high mid and the high. We can change the gain or the volume here similar
to EQ and we can also change the compression by moving the arrows down here, we just need
to make sure it doesn’t go into the red and also we don’t want to compress too much or
you might get rid of a lot of the dynamics of the track. We can also solo each section
by clicking solo here, so the best thing to do is to solo each section and then hear it
in the overall mix and try and get a nice balance, remember do not compress too much
or you will loose a bit of the dynamic range in the song. Lets just have a play through
this and we can also increase the make up gain
by putting it louder up here, so this is with the multipressor
and this is without, so with and without. The difference is very gradual but in mastering
it’s all about the little gradual parts because we don’t really want to change the song too
much we just want to improve it slightly and just boost the presence and boost the harmonies
and boost the loudness of the song really. Okay next is the stereo spreader and that’s
in imaging. So this splits up the frequency range and you can hear them in your left and
right speakers but generally I’d say you want to pan more for the higher frequencies and
pan less for the lower frequencies so lets just choose the higher frequencies and bring
this down because you don’t really want the bass panned
out too far. As a general rule you have the lower frequencies panned in the middle and
then you spread out as you get higher, so I would generally have it about here, so this
is with and without. This is a very gradual change as well. Okay
next is the adaptive limiter. This is the mastering limiter in Logic Pro X and it’s
under dynamics, adaptive limiter. So here we can see the input, reduction and the output. So the input is before it goes into this limiter,
reduction is how much is being limited and the output is now what the signal is like
its gone through this limiter. The gain will increase the volume and the out ceiling I
always have on -0.1 just so it won’t peak just in case. We don’t want to push the gain
too much because if we do limit this too much it will really loose a lot of the dynamics
of the track so just be careful or that ,of course we want to make the track louder but
yeah don’t limit too much, this track has got quite a lot of headspace though so we
can push the volume quite a bit louder and there we can see the out ceiling it’s
up here which is great and the input’s here and the reduction is 4.8 maybe a little bit
lower about here. Okay so lets just try with and without. With.
I do think we can boost a tiny bit of the bass on this EQ as well, but only a tiny bit,
you just have to be careful as well. Lets just hear
this back. Okay lets just hear this track without the
plugins and with the plugins and with the plugins. So yeah the main difference you can hear is
it’s added a lot of presence and it’s also made the track a lot louder. Okay lets now just bounce this track, so we
need to find our trims here and move the cycle range to our trims
and now lets bounce this shortcut command B. When we bounce lets leave this as a PCM
as this will be non compressed and we can choose the file format as either AIFF or a
Wave, lets choose a Wave. For the resolution lets leave it on 16 bit because iTunes and
CD it’s 16 bit and sample rate lets leave it on 44.1 because on CD and iTunes and other
uploading sites it compresses a sample rate of 441 anyway so lets leave it on that. Lets
leave the mode on offline and lets not normalize it because we’ve got the limiter on, lets
leave the file type are interleaved because we don’t want this track split into two different
tracks we just want one track and dithering. Dithering is when we convert the track from
a 24 or a 32 bit down to a 16 bit, it will just make the process a bit smoother, so lets
just choose POW 1 dithering and now lets bounce this.
Lets call it Rhino. So this is mastering in Logic Pro X. Remember
you are not completely changing the track you are just polishing the track up so it’s
about adding harmonics and presence and colour to the track, making it a bit brighter and
also a bit louder. Hi thank you for watching these videos, I
hope you found them useful. If you want to take your learning to the next level remember
you can get my Complete Guide to Logic Pro X for only 10 pound or 10 dollars depending
where you are, which is actually 95 percent off, so just follow the links in the description
if you want to learn even more with me. Thanks again.

100 thoughts on “How to Master a Track in Logic Pro X – Music Production Lesson | Mastering using Stock Plugins”

  1. Just used this tutorial to master my track and it helped me loads! Thank you very much man! Keep up the good work!

  2. All these people on YouTube making these amazing songs and recording their guitars on a son they created,is this the music studio that can do it? Or do they use something different??

  3. I checked my track with the Direction Mixer on mono, and the track sounds different. Part of the vocals cut out. What do I do in this case where the track doesn't pass the test? I'm talking about the part in your video at 5:42. Thanks, I'm very new to this!

  4. Just mastered our first track using this technique. A fantastic intro into the dark art of mastering. Thank you.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iQe2NfzdIY

  5. Hey can you reference me to a video of yours that talks about mixing a bunch of samples together from a project together before getting to this point? I found my weakness is understanding how to mix everything properly before working on the final touches! Also I’m looking for a video on recording thru rack gear properly with bouncing files without clipping the sample. Thanks

  6. Tomas good stuff as always ! Quick question on 24bit & 16bit bouncing . I been bouncing my mixed projects at 24bit will they have problems playing in online medias ? Also I have some older projects recorded 16bit but added midi 24bit tracks whats the best way to bounce those 16bit or 24bit ? Thanks

  7. just bought Logic Pro x and couldn't find a mastering suite… I usually use Samplitude which has a fab suite that I go to after making a track… hoping this video will help…

  8. i can do this with my sexy audio technica m40x monitoring headphones, but when i send file to my sony xz premium mobile phone and use my sony xb950b1 with what ever i do to the equaliser i can't get it to sound as nice or perfect like with my m40x.

  9. Sincere thanks! Very helpful information which helped me to understand the plugins I was already using, but now I know what they’re for… Thank you and Merry Christmas 🎄

  10. Thanks for making this vid. I noticed the track was clipping slightly when you bounced it. Is it ok as long as it’s not too much? Where should the dB and lufs read upon outputting? Also, instead of dithering, why not just record everything at 16 bit since you say that most platforms require 16 bit? Why would you want to waste time recording at anything higher than 16 bit if you know you’re primarily going to be showcasing the song on the internet?

  11. Hi Tomas, I love watching your stuff as I am new to using logic & have only been using it around 18 months. I have a problem watching & learning from video's, but you explain in a way I find easy to understand. Are your courses still available for mastering in logic, as I am using 10.4.1 & would welcome some more learning from you. Keep up the good work sir & stay blessed. Big respect!!

  12. As someone whos very new to the mastering part of music creation, this helped a ton. As Paul was butthurt by your video, I found it very helpful to get my feet wet, understand the plug-ins used to master, and learn what they do. I hardly find tutorials that are this useful so, thank you sir!

  13. Great tutorial Tomas, much thanks…..although you're going to kill me for what i'm goong to say: the more that i learn about mastering the more that am i beginning to think that, as it is approached in general (by pros and amateurs) mastering reduces to one thing only: TURNING UP THE VOLUME OF THE TRACK……and that would be pretty much it. If that's the case would be enough to using nothing but limiting and even less: just applying a controlled gain to the master bus. I think that all of the rest (compressing, eq-ing, widening, etc.) It is not needed at all. I' m not saying that you did a horrible job in this example: quite the contrary. It's just, in my opinion, that aside from turning up the volume you added a bunch of stuff that the song need'nt in the first place (because they already were there). Anyways, all of this is debateable. But, thank you very much for the invaluable information that you gave in this tutorial.
    Ps: sorry for my typos and misspellings but english is not my native language

  14. What about the dc current pre audio recording. How is the best way to get rid of noise from the mic tube pre-amp and electronic noise. I have a conditioner and lower the levels as far as I can without losing the warmth of the tubes but there is still that hiss. Any tips my friend? Maybe some compressor like VCA vintage tube plug in that I don't know about? a setting somewhere?…

  15. why would you put your multimeter before your limiter. You dont even know what Lufs or rms level your sitting at.

  16. Great video!! It would have been nice to see you do the same with a vocal only… it’s so difficult to find anyone master a vocal only take! And those who do a little on the vocal usually have some horrible rap song which is impossible to even understand!! So please! A vocal only take! Preferably male for low depth , miss and highs!! Oh and who can sing 🙂

  17. I like the tutorial.. well done..
    You used a track that was already mastered and compressed, it seems . What if you have multiple tracks that you created from scratch with different instruments, and each track already boost up with compression that you might add. Can you do you the same in the output?
    or is it better to not compress the bottoms instruments instead use the output like showed in the tutorial. Much appreciation for clarification. Thank you.

  18. this is just awesome and detailed tutorial on mastering that i have ever come across so far!thanks Tom!

  19. I'm sorry to say, but the content is taken from MusicTechHelpGuy's mastering video from 2014 – the content and buildup is the same, although MTHG explains a bit more. Not that I know that MTHG didn't copy his content also, I think we owe him the credit for the video.
    I know that things can be done similarly and that you could use same mastering techniques as someone else, but this video seems to be an absolute copy of someone else's work. Create original content; you don't want to be plagiarizing!

  20. Thank you so much for your video. It has really been a great help and blessing as I grow in working with Logic. Really appreciate you! God bless ya!

  21. thank you so much for this very very helpful video ! my track does sounds lots better ! I will surely do this on every new track I make.
    Hope you'll have a nice life

  22. This is awesome! I hope to record a metal album someday and I want to do as much of the work myself as possible. I thought about doing everything before the master and letting somebody else master it for me, but I may try doing it myself! =D I'm happy to learn about the DC Current plugin, I'm sure I may run into an issue with that, but we'll see when we get there. Thanks!

  23. Great video, one of the best I’ve seen using any type of DAW. Zooming in on locations and explaining everything in a smooth process!!! Keep em coming my guy!!

  24. Thank you! Didn't know that could be done. Where did the stereo track (originally) come from? Was sit exported to a file? And if so, how?

  25. There are some things in here that are wrong, and some things that are way too simplified. Mastering isn't this easy, though I really wish it was.

  26. maybe a video explainng what you're even doing cuz you say don't have it peak but why not and also how to not have it peak?

  27. Thank you for this video! Just mastered one of my songs using your video and it sounds legit on multiple different style speakers. All the best!!

  28. Why not do automation directely on "FourFox" track? Do I really have to create output track when use only one track?

  29. Hey guys, i am an afrobeat producer (one of the best at the moment) i just dropped some freebeat on my page and i am about to drop 6 more. Don't miss out.😊😊

  30. Hello,
    can anyone help me ? does anyone know how to make the individual tracks ie; kick, snare, hihat, bass etc. into 1 track for final mastering like whats in the video? 
    Cheers.

  31. None of what ur doinf in this video works on my ui (advanced tools are on) dc is greyed out (says its a read only track) when i right click on the channel this is no option to create a channel.

  32. That was a brilliant and simple example for someone new to mastering, really easy to understand

    Quick question

    Should I be using spreaders in my actual project or just for mastering tracks

    Thankyou

  33. DUDE, never thought id be able to master my own tracks and literally just finished getting something i made to a product im actually happy with! thankyou for sharing showing this information with us, really quick and easy to understand, i am BUZZING

  34. thank you for your help, mastering my second track ever using this video was LOADS easier than my first one just stumbling around a bunch of different youtube mastering videos. much appreciated.

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