How to Master With Logic Pro

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When recording and engineering a piece of music, the mastering process is the final stage. Unlike the mixing process, during which you apply effects and balance volume and other levels, mastering brings the entire mix together. The finishing touches added during mastering ensure that each frequency blends into the mix for a finished product that sounds cohesive and professional. Logic Pro contains enough editing options to let you master your audio project down to the finest detail.

  • Open your project in Logic Pro. Your song or other audio project should already be saved in Logic, with each section recorded on an individual track within the Arrange window (the main project window). If you recorded your project using another program, import it into Logic by dragging the audio file or files directly onto the Arrange window, placing each file onto its own track. To properly master a song project, each section should have its own file (for example, a guitar recording, a bass recording, a drum recording), and each file should have its own track. Your tracks are the thin, horizontal bars spanning across the Arrange window.

  • Isolate pairs of tracks with similar frequency ranges. For example, a kick drum and a bass guitar often compete for the same low frequencies as they have similar sounds, and so you might start by isolating these two tracks. To isolate a track, click the "S" (or "Solo") button in the left column of the track. If you click the "S" button on the kick drum track and the bass track, you will hear only the bass and percussion when you press "Play."

  • Adjust the frequencies of your isolated tracks if you find that the sounds blend into one another. Start by opening your Mixer window (click "Window" on the menu bar and select "Mixer"), and click the "Channel EQ" grid at the top of each isolated track as it appears on the mixing board. One Channel EQ grid for each track will appear as line graphs containing your low (bass) frequencies on the left side and your high (treble) frequencies on the right side. A horizontal line sits along the center of the graph, which you can move up to raise the presence of selected frequencies, and down to reduce the presence of selected frequencies. Adjust the low frequencies for each isolated track by moving the line on the graph until each of the two tracks sounds clear and uninhibited by the other. Repeat this process for each pair of similar-sounding tracks, such as rhythm guitar and lead guitar, snare and cymbal, synthesizer leads and brass.

  • Adjust the EQ on your Master Track. This allows you to balance out the frequencies of your overall mix. Open your Mixer window and drag the horizontal scroll bar indicator all the way to the right, as the Master Track appears at the very end of the list. Click the "Channel EQ" grid on the Master Track and proceed to adjust the frequencies on the graph as needed. If your recording lacks a bass presence, raise the low frequencies on the graph. If your recording has a fair balance of low and high frequencies but sounds thin, try adjusting the mid-tones, or center frequencies, until the mix sounds fuller.

  • Master larger music projects by opening and mixing multiple song files simultaneously. Unlike some digital audio workstations, Logic Pro allows you to edit more than one song project at the same time. If you need to master an entire EP or album, so that all of the songs sound cohesive, open one well-mixed song and use it as your guide. Keep that project open while editing the rest of the songs individually, adjusting their volumes and frequencies to match those of your main guide song as closely as possible.

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