MixBus - House Music Pre Mastering

Samplecraze series of MixBus processing tutorials: Create a dynamic House master!


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House music demo mastering is a subject rarely covered. In fact I don’t think I have come across any detailed video tutorials about this specific subject. It seems that our mastering engineers like to be a touch ‘secretive’.

All jokes aside mastering is truly a craft. It requires a really good ear, strong technical grounding and an understanding of what the genre’s requirements are for that particular format.


It seems that nowadays mastering means – LOUD. That is actually the exact opposite of what mastering is and our continual battles in the Loudness Wars seems to be paying dividends. More and more home studio producers are learning that it is more about dynamic range and not loudness, about depth and separation and not loudness, about maximizing and optimising for a specific genre and not loudness.

I myself always use a mastering engineer for my own productions. Mastering your own music is a little too personal and critical decisions will be made as to what you ‘like’ as opposed to what is ‘needed’. However, that is not to say you cannot perform demo masters. I actually encourage producers to try to master their own demos. It is a great learning experience and one that all should try at some point.

But let us assume you want to use a professional mastering engineer for your productions. The most important contribution you could make is to make sure your productions are ready for mastering. This is not as technical a subject as it sounds but it does require a learning curve.

In the video I show you the processes we use to pre master House music and what best practices to incorporate to get the best dynamic master. At every stage of the process I explain why I use a certain processor and how.

Plugins used in this video:

TDR Vos Slick EQ – GE

SSL X-Valvecomp

SSL Stereo Bus Compressor

FabFilter Pro L 

Topics covered in this video are:

  • MixBus/Master Bus – best practices
  • Dynamic Processing in Series
  • Cleaning and Equalisation
  • Transparent Limiting
  • Pre-Master preparation
  • Dynamic Compression
  • Redundant Frequencies
  • Level Matching
  • Referencing Gains
  • House music requirements
  • Headroom