By request: Here is a new tutorial on how to master your song, in this case an R&B track from an album I worked on w/ Trap and Soul elements. I am using the RME UFX for my metering but as I mention in the video, you just need a plugin or meter that will show you RMS levels. As you can see, I’m not using a ton of plugins for this master because a lot of the heavy work was already done in the mixing process. I believe this is how mastering should be – it should simply be the icing on the cake if your mix was done properly.
A huge part of mastering is knowing what NOT to do. I hear so many songs where the mastering engineer is trying to “flex” and do too much. They end up ruining the mix, sucking the life out of the song and achieve nothing except satisfying their own egos. Don’t get carried away. Listen to the song and stay true to what it’s telling you to do.
A final note on loudness and limiting; you must be able to compete level wise but be VERY careful about how different limiters treat your transients. They are not all created equally. It’s very easy to squash the mix and lose the important dynamics that are needed, especially in this genre of music.
This is meant to be a general overview and look at how I approached mastering this particular song.