Mastering Kill Your Local Scene & Nervous
At the beginning of the year a good friend of mine, Elliot Stradling, sent me his two track single to master for digital streaming platforms (DSP). The Genre of music in both singles tied in elements of modern emo rap that was new ground for me, but I'm always up for trying new things so I went to work!
Prior to the mastering stage I set out to actively listen to artists that encapsulated the genre (Ghost Mane, Suicide Boys, Lil Aaron, Lil Peep, etc.) and took notes on what made these mixes stand out for referencing.
The target for mastering to DSP services is currently -14dB integrated LUFS with a true peak at around -1dB to -2dB headroom to comply with streaming services internal compressors for level optimisation.
After loading the files into my DAW, I approached each master with the DFL approach, which is "Dynamics", "Frequency" and "Limiting". The Dynamic proportion of these masters were tamed through the use of filtering and compression which really helped control the low end and glue the mixes closer together. With regards to frequency control, it was mostly surgical. minute, dipso get rid of any problem frequencies that were missed in the mix or slight boosts to enhance frequency bands.
Once I was happy with those factors, the next step was to limit the master bus and monitor my metering until I reached an equilibrium of the desired sound and the target level.
The masters were then bounced and submitted to Elliot for review and if there was any revisions that needed to be made, he provided me with the relevant notes to do so.