Mastering is really a wide-ranging topic in particular for those who are just starting to penetrate into the art of an mastering music. That’s why I’d rather divide the subject into some sub-themes dealing with each stage (or more accurately to say with each aspect) of this complicated and by far important music production process. We’re going to take a closer look at nuances, causes and aims of each processing there.
Let’s start with a bus compressor used quite often as the very first link in a finalizing chain. It has derived its name from the process throughout which the whole track is being treated and placed on a master bus. Almost any compressors can be used as this one if the kind of their work answers the online mixing service engineer’s intentions.
1. Bus compressor
Wherever on online mastering services you use a compressor, its main purpose is to reduce an audio signal dynamic range. Apart from the technical specification of peak limiting, it can also change the sound character considerably as well as the way in which our ear perceives it. Compression is also widely used in final processing of music material.
Let’s not get into the details of sound dynamics and loudness boosting accessible due to compression. Now almost everybody has an access to a great choice of compression/limiting (and so on) plugins. Yet you need to realize that the accessibility of these devices for each online audio mastering service doesn’t mean that you are bound to use all of them when you are solving a particular problem of yours.