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Audio Mastering Techniques Weekend Course

£440 (Saturday & Sunday: includes course book)

Register Interest
Next Course Dates

6th - 7th June 2015

Course Tutor
Neil Pickles

Neil has mastered award winning albums and engineered house hold names!

  Entry Requirements
  • Minimum age: 18
  • Music Tech Foundation Knowledge
Course Includes
  • Textbook | Bob Katz "Mastering Audio"
  • Refreshments


This course explores the basic principles of audio mastering with a focus on achieving great quality results in a budget environment. Practical examples involve looking closely at, and dealing hands on with problems and situations that a studio-mastering engineer would encounter.


Mastering Course Aim

The principle aim of this course is to look at getting as close to a Pro Mastering reference as possible, in a budget set up. We aim to help you create your final product ready for market, get your music ready for radio play and live performance as well as making your demo’s stand out.


Definitive Audio Mastering Course Book IncludedBob Katz Mastering Audio Book
Mastering Audio by Bob Katz is included with this course. Please let us know if you already have this book and we can discount the cost from the price of the course. Here is what SOS mags Hugh Robjohns has to say about the book: “One of the most famous mastering engineers has written the definitive work on mastering, and in the process has created an indispensable resource for anyone working with audio.”


This course is aimed at producers, engineers, musicians, teachers, composers and anyone with a general interest in mastering music and what it involves. Are you confused by multiband compression & limiting, EQ techniques & phase linear EQ, digital v analogue, PQ Lists & Red Book CD Standards? If so then this is the course is for you.


We recommend that to get the most from this course you must have a good basic knowledge of recording and mixing techniques. If your mixes do not sound good, there is a problem with the recording and/or mix. Given that mastering a poor mix will not fix it we recommend that you take our associated recording and mixing classes first if this is the case.


Important Note:
This course will not turn you into a mastering engineer overnight. On this course you will learn the importance of mastering your music in an acoustically optimised environment. This kind of facility comes at a price and unless you have access to this we would still recommend that you consider using the services of a professional mastering engineer to obtain the best possible results and as a second pair of neutral ears.

Mastering Course Overview?

  • An insight into the mastering process of a skilled audio professional with award winning/nominated credits and plenty of opportunity to ask questions.
  • A thorough understanding of the process of mastering music including preparation and workflows.
  • Advanced practical mastering tips & tricks with working commercial examples. You are also invited to bring your own mix for appraisal.
  • A solid understanding of the theoretical principles of sound in relation to the mastering process including how EQ and dynamic processors work.

Equipment Used
For this course we create a Professional Mastering Environment in our D Control studio. The main monitors used are the multiple award winning 3 way Genelec 8260a. These speakers cover 29hz-21Khz +or- 1dB so you will hear everything in the mixes good and bad. Cinema seating and acoustically transparent projection screen so you can see clearly what’s on screen at all times.
D.A.W.s used: Sonic Soundblade as the mastering DDP/CD assembly DAW and Avid Pro Tools HDX as a general DAW.  Note the techniques can be used in any DAW and the plug ins we use will work on all platforms.
The converter used is the Avid HD i/o.
Clocking is by the Antelope Isochrone Trinity Master Clock.
Analogue outboard used includes the GML 8200 EQ, Manley Massive Passive Mastering EQ, Thermionix Culture Phoenix Mastering Compressor, Alan Smart C2 compressor with side chain, Neve 33609 and more.
The main plug ins used are: Sonoris Mastering MS EQ, Flux Essential Analyzer, UAD 2 Plug ins, Elysia Alpha Mastering Compressor, Sonnox Limiter, Inflator and EQ, Waves Mastering Plug Ins, Fab Filter Pro L limiter, Cranesong Phoenix II and more.

Mastering Course Outline (What we will cover over the 2-days)

  • Preparing your songs to be mastered, the do’s and don’ts and the delivery formats.
  • Basic Speaker set up tips and room set up tips. Minimum speaker requirements for self mastering.
  • Practical demonstration of analyzing of a room and correction using Genelec 8260a s and GLM™ Software with AutoCal™ for PC and Mac.
  • Ear training and building up a reference library to help you understand what is going on in your mixes and in your room.
  • The mastering chain, components and set ups.
  • The mastering process, workflows both analogue, digital and combinations thereof.
  • Basics of, Compression, EQ and Limiting.
  • Advanced techniques, MS mastering, Multiband Compressors, parallel compressors, Exciters/enhancers/saturation.
  • Comparisons between real hardware and Plug in Emulations e.g. Manley Massive Passive Mastering analogue Versus the UAD Manley Massive Passive Mastering Official Plug In.
  • Listening to the students own mixes and recommending approaches to mastering them.
  • Assembling the final playlist and creating a DDP file and RedBook CDR.

While this course carries no formal certification or academic qualification, you will receive a signed “Alchemea” certificate to show you have completed the course.

Alchemea Mastering Course Ceritificate

Neil Pickles Director of Short Courses
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Short courses at Alchemea usually run from 10am - 6pm each day.
Because Alchemea is a "not for profit" organsiation ALL of our courses are exempt from VAT. Regardless of whether you are a business or an individual - you will not be charged VAT.
It is advisable to bring a notepad and a pen to take notes during the course. Everything else will be provided for you!
This venue for this course it at our Windsor Centre facility in Islington.

Alchemea College, The Windsor Centre, 15 - 29 Windsor Street, London, N1 8QG
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