I finished up a new single a few months ago.

I mastered it myself.

I’ve used a mastering engineer before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. But for this project I wanted to do the whole thing “in-house.”


It turned out very nicely.

I had to take off my “mixing hat” and put on my “mastering hat.”

Sure, it was difficult to separate myself from the mix enough to be objective about it in the mastering process, but it wasn’t impossible.

One thing that really kept me grounded was CONSTANTLY listening back to a reference mix of a professionally
mastered song.

I made it a point to regularly listen to my reference mix to make sure I wasn’t straying too far from the sound I needed.

(Your ears can lie to you, especially over time. So a reference mix can be your link back to reality.)

Did I do the best mastering job in the world? Probably not.

In fact, I’d wager a bet that Ian Shepherd could master that song better than I could.

In fact, Ian used that exact song as one of his seven example songs for his new Home Mastering Masterclass.

And since he has mucho more experience than I do at mastering, I shall defer to his ears over mine. 🙂

You can hear him work his magic (and learn how to apply that magic to your own masters) here:


Joe Gilder

P.S. The verdict is still out as to whether I’ll release my master or his. (I still need to hear his master.)

But what I DO know is that I’m excited to better my own mastering skills by being a part of this class.
I even got a sneak peak at one of the videos, and it’s really eye-opening stuff.