What should I do when I have finished mixing a song and I want to master it? I don't have any processors on Master strip.

I know that multiband compressors and limiters are usually used. I would like to know what they are used for and how to to setup parameters?

  • 2
    This is a very broad question; StackExchange isn't really a good fit for that (better read some proper book on the subject, or at least google for introductory blog posts. And, you'll just need to get some hands-on experience for how various effects work out in mastering). Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 10:52

1 Answer 1


Typical mastering chain will have 3 main elements:

  1. EQ
  2. Compression
  3. Limiting

That's the order I would apply them personally. On EQ, you're just trying to make sure the overall feel of the song suits the genre/mood. Pretty subjective, but a "safe" approach could be a small scoop in the midrange and a high shelf boost for "shimmer" (whatever that means, right?!)

Normal compression allows you to raise the volume of all the quieter parts to be as loud as the loudest parts. Multiband compression lets you do this surgically. For example if you have a rock song with a lot of palm mutes, those spike the bass a ton. So you might compress the low end while letting the highs stay more dynamic.

I've included 1000 words below:

multiband compression example

  • 1
    You are making some good points here, but I'd like to emphasise again that this advice (or any other such compact advice) can't possibly teach anybody how to master a song. Applying those tweaks unconditionally to all mixes you're dealing with will usually give less than nice results. You really need to learn about when which effect is needed to reach some particular sound-goal. Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 23:37
  • Not disagreeing with you. But if someone asks "I can drive a car, but how do you go through a curve faster" it doesn't hurt to tell them some general tips about slowing down into the curve, speeding up in the middle, and starting wide to cut down the actual amount of steering. Ultimately, they need to drive it themselves, no substitute for practice.
    – bwooceli
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 21:43

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