Hi all, I registered here a few months ago but could never load the forum pages for some reason, until now. Probably a good thing, because I've learnt a great deal during that time in the world of engineering, saving me any embarrassing moments. Well, probably more to come. Anyway, I'm new to mastering, but not new to music production and mixing. I switched to doing only mixing earlier this year after having produced my own stuff for 7 years, in an attempt to follow my interest in mastering, only to find out later that was actually called "stem mastering". So as of recently I've started doing actual mastering on stereo mixdowns using Sony Sound Forge and Waves DSPs. I know all you pros would probably frown at me for using a PC based setup, MOTU 828mkII FireWire interface and AKG K 240 S headphones, but that's all I can afford for now (was going to buy Dynaudio BM15As, but I was robbed before I could buy them ). Besides, it's the engineer more than the equipment he uses that determines the final outcome I believe. Anyway, to make this topic a little more interesting, I'd like some feedback on my current mastering procedure and quality of one of my masters from anyone with more experience than me if possible. I don't know if I'm doing this right, but in my most recent master I'm using a total of 12 plug-ins in the plug-in chain of Sony Sound Forge (mixing/mastering EQ (corrective cuts to certain instruments, wider boosts/cuts in certain frequency ranges)->multiband compression->multiband stereo imaging->corrective EQ (low shelf/hi-pass, low-pass)->multiband limiting). Is it usual to have a total of 31 EQ nodes to shape a mix? I started out only using 10 or so, but the more experience I got, the more problematic frequencies I started picking out, and the fact that none of the mixes I get to work on have actually been properly mixed down doesn't make this any easier. After a couple of masters I was able to pick out 0.1 dB changes in EQ boosts or cuts too, so I often end up doing as little as a 0.1 dB boost at 220 Hz, Q 2.87 to add more 'body' to the snare, for example. It's quite frustrating because I end up spending hours on end shaping the mix properly. So, ideally I'd just like to know if this is usual. I understand that it's probably more mixing EQ I'm applying, but I have to correct any frequency problems first before multiband compressing the mix, right? So, after the compressor I use multband stereo imaging usually to tighten the bottom-end inwards in order to create a wider and more defined high mid and top-end, and I follow this with the L3 (I usually aim for a final RMS of around -13.2 dB, and have actually never limited with more than -6.0 dB of attenuation. ) But OK, a short sample of my latest work is available below. I'd be grateful if someone with more experience could give me some feedback (you'll have to excuse the artificial sounding reverb, as it was made in Renoise). http://atlantis.plastiqueweb.com/temp/atlantis.ogg http://atlantis.plastiqueweb.com/temp/atlantis-mastered.ogg Thanks for reading this far and I hope to get a lot more questions answered during my stay here, and perhaps help out any others too.