This free guide provides comprehensive advice on preparing your audio mixes for a mastering engineer
Everything you need to achieve clean, powerful mixes, combined into one compact PDF.
Conor Dalton, a renowned mastering engineer, has released a free, extensive guide online sharing advice on everything you need to know before sending your final mix to a mastering engineer, and even shares some of his favourite pieces of mixing and mastering software.
Published this month, the guide is available via browser and as a downloadable PDF, and provides easy-to-understand advice on gain staging, mixing bass, stereo imaging and more.
Here, Dalton – who also lectures at Berklee College of Music and owns the Glowcast Mastering studios – shares nearly everything he has learned during his extensive career, but in a format that both new and experienced engineers can understand.
The guide is written in predominantly a bullet-point format, making it easy to follow, with a few illustrations along the way. Additionally, recommended plugins are embedded, as well as a range of diagrams – meaning you can reference visual aids when mixing your own projects. These include visualisations of the effects of saturation and examples of mixes with varying levels of headroom. For the latter, Dalton also explains which one of the examples would be best to forward to a mastering engineer.
Causes behind common issues, including too much reverb, phase problems, non-balanced volume levels and more, are also explored in the guide, as well as easy solutions and prevention techniques.
In addition to tackling topics such as controlling dominant resonances using EQ, Dalton also uses the guide to provide less technical advice to those new to engineering.
Ear training resources are included, featuring links to free-to-access external pages. Similarly, advice for communicating with industry professionals is also embedded – including step-by-step guides on how to properly label files, send them in the correct format, and communicate needs effectively with an engineer.
Check out the full guide and download a PDF copy on Glowcast’s website.
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