Can we get an announcement posted somewhere that says the following. 1. Before posting a question use the search function to find similar postings. 2. There is no substitute for experience and for the proper equipment to get the job done. 3. If you want a professional mastering job done on your material go to a professional. There is no plugin or program that can do what a good mastering engineer can do. 4. If you are just starting out understand that it is a long road and that just because you spent a lot of money at GC that does not automatically make you a recording/mix/mastering engineer. There is a lot to learn and thank heavens their are places like this to learn and ask questions. 5. There are no magic settings, no perfect compression ratio, no perfect equalization curve that will make your music sound good. It takes good old sweat, blood and tears and LOTS of experience to do a good job recording, mixing and mastering your tracks. 6. The monitoring setup is one of the most important things to have when you are recording, mixing and mastering. If you don't have a good monitoring setup you will not have a way to judge how your stuff sounds. 7. Don't be afraid to experiment. Many really great engineers do a lot of experimenting and may use a piece of gear that is not really deigned to do what you are using it for. But before you experiment learn to use the equipment for what it was designed for. 8. Stay away from using presets. They were done to "show" you a suggested setting but those same settings may not be appropriate for your music. Again do some listening and experimenting. 9. Don't rush your project. Give it some time to grow on its own. Do a tracking session and give it a day or more before you do the mixdown. You may hear things that you did not hear in the "heat of battle" 10. And the most important thing. Don't do your recording. mixing, mastering or what ever without an other pair of trained ears listening to what you are doing. Working in a vacuum is NOT a good way to get anything done. Collaboration is the best way to get the best product done. If you want to see what collaboration has done look at the relationship between Sir George Martin and the rest of the Beatles Just some thoughts from one who has been there and done that Have fun!