Hi I'm a newbie when it comes to mastering/mixing, I'm hoping someone here can give me some advice or put me in the right direction. Any help appreciated as I don't even know where to start...... So to explain, I'm recording a heavy rock album, guitars (distorted and clean), bass, drums, vocals. I'm using Cubase SX 3. I've just started recording digitally recently and I've learnt how to record, edit and all that in my couple of months. Ok so I know how to record and I've got 3 songs edited and I want to complete a song. I don't know how to proceed and don't know anything about mixing and mastering. The song sounds good when it's played back in Cubase but when I export the song using the "Audio mix down" option, it sounds crappy and only about 50% as loud volume wise as it needs to be. Upping the volume in the "Level Control" in cubase results in clipping. Obviously I'm clueless in that regard Apart from the Distortion Guitars there are no effects whatsoever and the clean guitars are clean. I know I can add reverb to the guitars and use the compressor for the vocals and know how to change the EQ for all tracks but I don't know any of ther other things such as inserts and sends. I know what some of the plugins do but not sure what I need to use. Anyone recommend other effects that are mandatory for a heavy rock album? With the compressor I have no idea what the ratio does or how much to use for vocals or any other instrument. Plus there seems to be 2 compressors in Cubase, a multiband compressor and one called "dynamics" which has a compressor, limitor and Auto gate. I'm not sure which one to use for what purpose. What else do I need to do in the mixing stage? I only know of the editing, panning and fading in and out. I guess basically I've got tracks recorded and edited for a song and I don't know how to continue. If someone can outline how I would go about to complete a song (what needs to be done in the mixing and mastering stage) and how I export it from Cubase, that would be excellent. I'm guessing that Cubase is no good for mastering? I've spent a lot of money on the equipment and software but maybe I need other software to complete the songs? I'd like to get the best possible sound I can, though this is my first time doing any mixing/mastering so there will be a lot of months spent doing this no doubt which is okay. I'm determined to get the sound I want from my music. Sorry for all the questions. Thank you for your time M.