Unmastered: http://www.headchemists.com/cowboy_orch_mix.aif If you all need the bass stem let me know, and I'll put it up here. Is this song high-quality enough to deserve a master? All the vocals and guitars were recorded on a $20 mic in my bedroom... I'll have access to a studio in about 1 week, where I can re-record using mics in the $5000-$10,000 range. So, if this will make a significant difference in the contest, please don't master anything!, and I'll post a properly recorded version in a week... This mix sounds very strange to me (read: poorly mixed), because I mix with the master effects turned on, and then I adjust levels... I know that's normally not reccomended, but let's just include it as part of my technique that we are putting to the test. I use a lot of mastering techniques in my mixing due to the creative device-routing possibilities in Reason. I put stereo enhancers on instruments I want wider in the mix, high frequency harmonic enhancers on my vocals and any other "lead" instrument, and something I call extreme multiband side-chain compression, which I designed in Reason. You'll hear that last one especially on the bass drum and the orchestral bass. Both those instruments occupied a similar frequency range, so (I think, at least) to get more punch and less mud from the low end, I dynamically cut only those frequencies in the bass line when the bass drum is being played. To explain further: if the MAIN bass frequencies of the bass drum are about 200 Hz (I know the important freqs are in the high end for the bd, but these would be the muddy ones), then everytime the bass drum hits, the 200 Hz band in the orchestral bass will bounce down while leaving all its other frequencies in tact. Did I invent this technique or has something similar been around for ages? Or is it pointless because it has realtively the same effect as a regular singleband side-chain compressor? I also use this same technique with my vocals and other lead instruments over the entire mix. So if I sing something, the frequencies associated with whatever I'm singing are slightly reduced in the rest of the mix. To me, this makes my vocals sound like they sit on top of the mix a bit, and it removes any spikes in frequencies. It's all dynamic and automated. In many songs, however, I choose not to use this because I want more of that "all in it together" sound.