First, I've done some searches on here and tailored the question to represent such. Second, "minimum" is meant to be a flexible term. So here is the scenario: I've just finished the mixing stage of my first full band project. I'm learning on my own, so I am trying to do as much hands on as possible, for the sake of learning. This was a for-trade project with that purpose. I've offered to make a pass at mastering for them, in case they don't want to spend the extra money to have someone else do it. I understand the mastering process on the surface: 1. Using EQ/comp/limiting to create a cohesive, balanced product 2. To make it as balanced as possible across a wide variety of audio systems Am I far off on this? I'm using Cubase SX3 for mixing, and Soundforge 9 for mastering software. I have outboard capabilities via my Firestudio and plan to use a Behringer FBQ3102 (stereo) and dbx 166XL. At least, that's the outboard gear I have available. I suppose my questions are: Is this enough to get the job done versus what I'll have available in the software? Am I missing a component (AD/DA)? Is there anything about the outboard gear that makes it a "bad" choice (other than there are superior products) - that is, is it a *wrong* choice versus a *poor* choice? Long, but detailed. I've gone from recording my band's live shows to attempting to build/run a project studio in about one year. I've learned a heap in that time, but know there are a great deal more "heaps" to learn. Thanks for any suggestions, Ben I'll post links to a couple of the mixes to be mastered in a couple of days.