In this tutorial I show you how to use Maximus for basic mastering purposes. 1080p and full-screen recommended.
If you want to do some basic mastering using just your stock plugins in FL Studio then Maximus is often used to push the volume and reduce the dynamic range. In this video I introduce you to one method of using Maximus to this end.
Before thinking about mastering and before watching this video, I urge you to consider these four points:
- High quality commercial mastering should be done by high quality commercial mastering engineers. The music you hear on the radio and buy on CDs are professionally mastered by people with years of experience and amazing equipment. Those of us attempting to master in our home studios or on our laptops should always be aware of the fact that we will find it very difficult to produce stuff that compares to the industry standard. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
- Mastering is not the solution to a bad mix. You can improve some things in mastering but you cannot fix a terrible mix. For some tips on mixing check out My 10 Most Significant Mixing Lessons.
- Different types of music require different types of mastering. For example, a drumstep track will be mastered very differently to an orchestral piece. The space and dynamic range required for one is not the same as the other. Therefore the type of mastering you need to do depends on the kind of music you are working with.
- This guide uses the FL Studio Maximiser and Parametric EQ plugins. There are lots of other third party EQs, compressors and limiters out there that are probably much better for mastering. I personally use Slate Digital and Waves plugins but there’s a load of other stuff available. This tutorial is meant to give you some basic ideas of how to go about using multiband compression to master a track. These ideas should be transferrable to other products that might get better results.
What is Maximus Doing?
Maximus is a very flexible and powerful multi-band compressor. In this case we are using it to compress three different frequency ranges separately, allowing us to push the volume of the whole track up without clipping.
Multiband compression is not the only tool used for mastering and, in fact, it often won’t be used at all. A good mix should only need a little compression and limiting. EQ is also a very important part of mastering (though also not always needed) as it can be used to reduce the level of certain frequencies, creating more headroom and allowing the overall volume to be pushed up further.
For help with FL Studio’s great stock EQ please check out my guide to the Fruity Parametric EQ 2.
Thanks for Watching
I hope you find this video useful. Please leave comments or get in touch with any thoughts you might have!