Monday we began our journey into Mastering your tracks. Once you have finished music, the final step is to produce a stereo master. Depending on the media you intend to distribute your music on; vinyl, tape, CDs or electronic ( wav mp3 , etc), you will have to master and format and accordingly. As with mixing, you can't fix it in the mastering process, the idea is to enhance your work, loudness, stereo separation, brightness and insuring full frequency response are all possible in the mastering process. In the case of an album or EP with different producers or mixers you are also looking to provide a consistent sound.
As with mixing the course won't make you an expert but will allow you to understand the process and produce and adequate finished project. Dubspot teaches Ozone from Izotope a very popular mastering plugin.
Monday we learned some history and some basic setups. As with mixing a reference mastered track is critical to the process. Although you are free to approach the work flow in any order our instructor likes to go directly to the limiter to get the overall and most dramatic impact done first then go back to EQ, Exciter, Compressor and Stereo Imager.
One thought that Ariel said really stuck with me "Mastering is the art of subtlety."