A step-by-step guide for mastering your music in your home studio

Home Studio Mastering is a step-by-step manual that gives you all the tools to professionally master your music yourself. It demystifies the subject in a hands-on way for those working in a home studio and provides comprehensive guidance, from buying equipment and applying acoustical treatment, to using different audio applications and mastering plug-ins. The book is accompanied by five mastering plug-ins (VST/AU/AAX for Mac and PC), to facilitate your personal mastering sessions from start to finish.

214 pages, published by Routledge / Focal Press in 2018.

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Paperback, hardback and e-book

The book is divided into three parts and contains one additional appendix:

  • The first part of the book describes the criteria a mastering studio must meet and provides ways to set up your home studio accordingly. The choice of equipment is discussed, along with the basic principles of room acoustics and acoustic treatment.

 

  • The second part of the book provides an analysis of all possible mastering techniques for optimizing the tonal balance, width and depth, dynamics, and loudness of your music.
  • The third part of the book is a mastering workshop that guides you through the whole mastering process step-by-step in about one hour, using the bundle of five mastering plug-ins that was specifically developed to accompany the book.

 

  • In addition, the book contains an appendix that provides you with a concise definition list of the most commonly used mastering related terms, to help you navigate the subject more easily.
Jochem de Jong

About the author

J.D. Young began producing music in his home studio at the age of fifteen, and later on started producing music professionally.

From the beginning of his career onward, he always felt drawn to the mysterious art of mastering. He researched the topic extensively and over the years he managed to optimize his mastering workflow, overcoming the challenges of working in a home studio. He wrote everything down in his book Home Studio Mastering, eager to share his experiences with other home studio producers. Besides writing his book he also professionally develops audio plug-ins for different companies around the world, and is the founder and lead-developer of his own small software company that creates plug-ins for mastering.

Noiz-Lab LE plug-in bundle

With the book Home Studio Mastering comes a free bundle of five mastering plug-ins in VST, VST3, AU and AAX format for Mac and PC: the Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle.

This plug-in bundle was specifically developed by the author, to provide you with a basic real-world mastering chain. The third section of the book, the “One Hour Mastering Workshop”, guides you through the whole mastering process in about one hour, using only these five mastering plug-ins. Keep in mind though, that although the plug-ins can certainly be used to produce a professional master, the Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle is foremostly created to be a learning tool, and can best be viewed as a basic interpretation of the book’s recommendations, providing a foundation you can expand on as you gain more mastering experience.

Download and installation instructions:

Depending on your system, download either the PC or Mac version of the Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle and unpack the zip-file. Then, make sure your sequencer or audio editor is closed, and run the installer. You will be presented with a standard installation dialog that will automatically install the five Noiz-Lab plug-ins in the appropriate folders on your system. Although the installer allows you to choose custom VST folders on PC, and allows you to deselect certain plug-in formats, it is best to just stick to the default installation, unless you have specific reasons not to do so. If the installation was successful the plug-ins will be added to the plug-in menu in your sequencer or audio editor, either listed alphabetically or in a developer subfolder called ‘Noiz-Lab’. If the installation was unsuccessful somehow, or the plug-ins do not show up in your sequencer or audio editor, please read the FAQs, or create a bug report with the form below.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Is the Noiz-Lab LE mastering bundle free?

Yes, just download and install!
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The PC installer freezes while installing.

Please make sure your anti-virus software is not interfering with the installation. If so, turn it off momentarily, and reinstall.
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The Mac installer generates an “Unidentified developer” warning.

Go to System Preferences in the Apple menu, click Security & Privacy, and click General. You can grant an exception for the installer by clicking the Open Anyway button.
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The plug-ins don’t show up in my DAW in Mac High Sierra.

Mac High Sierra requires a restart of your system, for your plug-ins to show up in your DAW.
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Where are the plug-in files on Mac, by default?

  • VST: Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST/plugin.vst
  • VST3: Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3/plugin.vst3
  • AU: Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components/plugin.component
  • AAX: Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins/plugin.aaxplugin
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    Where are the 32bit plug-in files on PC, by default?

  • VST: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VstPlugins\plugin.dll
  • VST3: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\VST3\plugin.vst3
  • AAX: C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins\plugin.aaxplugin
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    Where are the 64bit plug-in files on PC, by default?

  • VST: C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VstPlugins\plugin.dll
  • VST3: C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3\plugin.vst3
  • AAX: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins\plugin.aaxplugin
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    How are the plug-ins individually named in my DAW plug-in list?

  • Monomizer_LE
  • Equalizer_LE
  • Compressor_LE
  • Convolver_LE
  • Limiter_LE
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    What is the plug-in developer name in my DAW plug-in list?

    "Noiz-Lab"
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    My AAX plug-ins are not showing up in ProTools 10.

    The Noiz-Lab plug-ins use the newest Avid/ProTools code-signing. Please use the latest update of ProTools 10, or update to ProTools 11 or higher.
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    My plug-in controls behave weirdly in FL Studio on Mac.

    FL Studio on Mac is still officially in Beta. Hopefully Image Line will fix this incompatibility issue, when officially releasing FL Studio for Mac.
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    My VST plug-ins crash in FL Studio on PC.

    Please make sure you are using the plug-in version with the same bit-depth as the FL Studio version you are using. Or use VST3 instead.

    Bug report

    Many issues with audio plug-ins, can be solved by performing a clean re-install, as long as it is performed correctly.

    Clean re-install for PC:

    • Make sure your DAW is not running.
    • Go to C:\Program Files\Noiz-Lab
    • Run the uninstaller: “unins000.exe”.
    • Open your DAW to see if the plug-ins have actually disappeared from the plug-in list.
    • If the plug-ins are still listed, delete the plug-in files manually (see FAQs for locations)
    • Close your DAW and re-install the plug-in by running the installer.
    • Open your DAW to verify the plug-ins appear in the plug-in list.

    Clean re-install for Mac:

    • Make sure your DAW is not running.
    • Delete the plug-in files manually (see FAQs for locations)
    • Open your DAW to see if the plug-ins have actually disappeared from the plug-in list.
    • Close your DAW and re-install the plug-in by running the installer.
    • Open your DAW to verify the plug-ins appear in the plug-in list.
    If a clean re-install does not solve your issues, please fill out the bug report form below. As the author is developing and maintaining the Noiz-Lab LE bundle by himself, it can take some time for him to reply. Therefore, if you have little experience with installing and using audio plug-ins, please try googling first, before sending a bug report to the author, as most issues that can occur are not specific to this plug-in bundle, but are generic issues that have solutions that are well documented on several websites and fora for music production.

    Contact

    If you have a non-technical question, and just want to reach out to the author, please fill in the form below. Please excuse the author if he does not have time to reply in a timely fashion due to his busy schedule.