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Can You Master Your Own Music?

A reader of Beatstruggles emailed me asking to check out their master.

They said the problem they were having was with their peaks, not allowing them to push the master in volume as loud as they’d like.

I told them to send me their mastered version and unmastered version, and I gave it my attempt at mastering.

Here’s the results:

Beatstruggles’ Readers Master:

GratuiTous’ Master:

They said they were happy with my master, further asking the techniques I used to provide such results.

So let me say this before I begin. It’s not too often I work on other people’s music, so this got me thinking.

Is it actually possible to master your own music? Or are you just further processing on the mixing side still? (With the addition of boosted volume for commercial competitiveness when in the “mastering stage”.)

The official mastering process used to be hiring a trained set of ears and skills to make the final touches and level adjustments to the song. Also having the song played in a new listening environment (a professionally treated one if taken to a professional mastering engineer.)

But nowadays… with similar equipment being justifiably affordable, we all just attempt to master our self!

Mastering Your Own Track vs. Mastering a Client’s Track

Since mastering the reader’s song, I’ve mastered some of my own tracks for a new beat tape. And what I realized while mastering my own music is I’m just trying to further process and fix stuff which I can do myself in the mix.

Cause it’s like, if I mixed the track, and I’m happy with how it sounds.. why am I trying to fix things in the mastering stage?

I get stuck thinking, “Since it’s the mastering stage, you should at least adjust some EQ and apply some compression, even though the track is probably ready for release.”

But when mastering the reader’s song.. I was actually able to listen and dissect. I heard what I liked, and what I thought could be improved. It’s a feeling I haven’t yet had in production since I always work on my own music.

So this got me thinking.. can you actually master your own music, or are you further mixing your track?

Cause when mastering Beatstruggles’ readers track, I actually felt like I was a fresh set of ears to their production, and hopefully giving it that extra somethin’ somethin’ to make it shine.

So next time you go to “master your own track”, are you actually mastering? Or further mixing, but just trying to make it loud? 😉

Cool story? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

About the Author



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