Audio Mastering: the complete guide
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Audio Mastering: the complete guide

The step-by-step course for mastering music and improving audio quality
4.7 (10 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
97 students enrolled
Created by Marco Galvan
Last updated 7/2017
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Current price: $10 Original price: $95 Discount: 89% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 4 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Know the entire process of audio mastering
  • Understand the importance and use of audio processors
  • Know the sonic effect of different processors while mastering
  • Know the standards for audio CD or web platforms (YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, etc.)
View Curriculum
  • You should have a basic understanding of any DAW (Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic Pro, Live, etc.)
  • You should know how to insert audio plugins for processing in a DAW
  • If you want to use hardware processors, you should know how to connect them to your audio system (optional).
  • A good pair of monitors or headphones

We can describe mastering as the final process in audio and music production. In this stage, we optimize the track's mix and final volume to get a professional result. Mastering can improve the quality of a music production and get it ready for commercial distribution.

"A way of maximizing music to make it more effective for the listener as well as maybe maximizing it in a competitive way for the industry." -Bernie Grundman

"Mastering is the last creative step in the music production process, the bride between mixing and replication.. -Bob Katz 

In this new course, you will learn the most common audio processes for mastering music. The concepts learned in this course can be applied to any kind of audio project. All this knowledge comes from the experience of great mastering engineers, like: Bob Katz, Greg Calbi, Bernie Grundman, Bob Ludwig, Doug Sax, among others.

A course designed for a step-by-step approach

This course has been designed to be clear and effective. Each lesson explains the most important topics related to music mastering in a clear and direct way. It takes you in a step-by-step process, from file selection to audio bouncing for CD or web platforms (iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, etc.). The lessons include topics like:

  • Monitoring considerations
  • Editing and noise reduction
  • Equalization
  • Different compression techniques
  • Control of stereo image
  • Use of reverb and harmonic enhancers in mastering
  • Limiters and level metering
  • Dithering

All these techniques can be applied for any music style: Pop, rock, latin, hip-hop, EDM, ballads, country, etc.

At the end of the course you will get the knowledge and examples to start mastering your own songs and music productions. This will improve the final quality of your music, videos, podcasts, video games, recordings, etc.

You only need any DAW (Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase, Ableton Live, etc.) and its native processors (plugins) to get started!*

You will be guided by a certified audio instructor, with more than 15 years of teaching experience at all levels, from seminars to college-level classes, so academic quality is guaranteed!

*The course shows the use of specialized mastering processors, like iZotope Ozone, yet the use of these processors is optional.

Who is the target audience?
  • Music producers
  • Sound engineers
  • Musicians
  • Film and video editors
  • Video game developers
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Curriculum For This Course
30 Lectures
4 Lectures 14:03

An introduction to the course and topics covered.

Preview 03:28

An explanation of how mastering fits in the music production process and its importance.

Preview 03:11

We describe the characteristics of the audio files before being mastered.

Preparing the audio files before mastering

We cover basic recommendations about monitoring and acoustics for better mastering results.

Monitoring recommendations
Mastering process step by step
22 Lectures 01:28:36

An explanation of important aspects when editing in the mastering process.

Audio editing

A practical example about editing a song for mastering. You can download the mp3 for practice. Although mp3 files are not recommended for professional mastering, they work for didactical purposes.

Editing example

Here we show how to remove background noise from old or bad recordings

Denoiser example

We cover the general guidelines while using EQ in mastering

Preview 02:09

A practical example of how to use EQ

Equalization example

An explanation of the compressor and serial compression

Dynamics control

A practical example of how to use serial compression

Preview 08:27

An explanation of how to set parallel compression

Parallel compression

A practical example on how to apply parallel compression

Parallel compression example

Description of multi-band compression

Multiband compression

A practical example using multi-band compression and its effect

Multiband compression example

An explanation about what harmonic exciters do

Harmonic exciters in mastering

An example using exciters 

Enhancers example

An explanation of Mid-Side processing

MS Processing

A practical example of how to use MS processing.

MS processing example

The explanation about how reverb is used for mastering


Practical example of the use of reverb

Reverb example

How we can control the stereo image in a file

Sonic image and phase control

Practical example of how control stereo image

Sonic image example

The importance of limiters while mastering

Preview 01:25

How we can measure loudness for our audio files

Loudness levels

Practical example about limiting and loudness

Limiting example

A brief quiz about audio processors.

4 questions
Final master delivery
4 Lectures 09:53

The importance of proper dithering in mastering


The different kinds of files and formats for delivery

Master delivery

Examples of finished files

Bounce example

Final delivery
2 questions

Final comments

About the Instructor
Marco Galvan
4.6 Average rating
173 Reviews
819 Students
7 Courses
Avid, Steinberg Certified Audio Engineer, Instructor

Marco Galvan has been active in the music and audio business for more than 15 years. He holds a B.Eng with a major in Acoustics from the National Polytechnic Institute. He is a professional musician, arranger and composer with studies at Berklee College of Music and he holds Certificates in Music Theory and Keyboard Performance from the ABRSM and Trinity College London. In the audio field, he studied at Alchemea College in London and holds several certifications like: Pro Tools User, Meyer Sound System Design, Nexo and DiGiCo operator among others.

Currently he is an Associate Professor at Anahuac University, with more than 10 years of teaching experience. Many of his former students currently work for companies like: Sony Music Entertainment (Grammy Award winner), Televisa, TV Azteca, OCESA, Meyer Sound; and for international latin artists like Emmanuel and Alexander Acha, performing in world-class events like Festival Viña del Mar.

Marco Galván ha estado activo en la industria de la música y el audio por más de 15 años. Tiene el grado de Ingeniero con especialidad en Acústica por el Instituto Politécnico Nacional. Es músico, arreglista y compositor profesional con estudios en Berklee College of Music y cuenta con certificados en Teoría Musical y Teclados por la ABRSM y el Trinity College London. En el terreno del audio cursó estudios en el Alchemea College de Londres y tiene diversas certificaciones como: Operador Pro Tools, Diseño de Sistemas Meyer Sound, Operador Nexo y DiGiCo entre otras.

Actualmente es profesor asociado en la Universidad Anáhuac, con más de 10 años de experiencia docente. Muchos de sus antiguos estudiantes trabajan para compañías como Sony Music (ganador de premio Grammy), Televisa, TV Azteca, OCESA, Meyer Sound; y  para artistas internacionales como Emmanuel y Alexnder Acha, actuando en eventos de clase mundial como el Festival Viña del Mar.