• Welcome to the General Discussion forum for UAD users!

    Please note that this forum is user-run, although we're thrilled to have so much contribution from Drew, Will, and other UA folks!

    Feel free to discuss both UAD and non-UAD related subjects!

    1) Please do not post technical issues here. Please use our UAD Support Forums instead.

    2) Please do not post complaints here. Use the Unrest Forum instead. They have no place in the the General Discussion forum.

    Threads posted in the wrong forum will be moved, so if you don't see your thread here anymore, please look in the correct forum.

    Lastly, please be respectful.

Your 'mastering' VST plugin chain...

what do you use?

I'm tending to use very little these days. Using too much seems to compromise my sound.

1. PSP Vintage Warmer
2. Limiter


Established Member
That's not mastering bro.


I think what you mean to say is, \"what is your loudening chain\"
.... hence the quotations in the thread title. 'MASTERING' Quotations...


Established Member
you added those after the fact.

CHEATER!!!! :^o

jk :wink:

mine = 33609 in modified \"Glue\" preset just to add some color and keep things from spiking -> big db meter for my old eyes -> Spectrum Analyzer

Sometimes I'll add a Precision EQ for some low end roll off and a small boost around 2-3k as per the recommendation of a fellow forumn-ite to add a little sparkle up there.

Stuart Stuart

Active Member
Cambridge - LN1176 (sometimes) - Waves SSL - PSP Stereo Enhancer - SX Multiband Compressor - Inflator - 16 bit dither - Inspector Plugin (to check level).

It works for me. The SX Multiband is a secret weapon that nobody uses.

Stuart Stuart

Active Member
Hmmm, I don't know about that, but personally I find I can get level without over-compression out of it. I seem to be able to pump lots of signal into it before it starts to break up or sound squashy. In combination with the Inflator, I can usually match the level of commercial masters without too much squish. The Waves SSL is brilliant when I actually want a bit of 'pull together' compression. But I find it clamps down a bit too hard for really punchy dance or electronic music.


Established Member
Fair do's :) I just came to end up hating it. In fact, I wish a pox upon all MB compression, frankly :lol:

In my chain, depends on the tune, but usually some of these;

Voxengo GlissEQ
1081 (when it works for the tune it really f#cking works!)
33609 (doing nothing but just sitting there)
Helios (for the top end. Unbelievable)
Sonalksis mk2 comp
Precision Maximiser (I am getting to love this thing)
Whatever limiter I fancy using that day



Venerated Member
I use the P-Limiter in parallel with the mix.
Smashing the hell out of the mix and sneaking it behind the original.
Some EQ with the P-EQ.
Then I come out of the Interface and into a MINI-ME by apogee (set to 16bit 44.1k). Paying close attention to make sure no audio exceeds -1db peak, on the master bus. No limiting the peaks on the master bus, just EQ.
I play with the little on board (Mini-Me) limiter. Getting it as Hot as I can before it turns to shit.
Then record the track and burn a CD. :D
Sounds way better than any Limiter PLUG. :twisted:
The Mini-Me adds the dither automatically.
Best sound I've gotten yet.
I still can't get a (Rock/Metal/Punk) master over -10db rms that sounds good to me.... :?
But hey, I'm no mastering engineer.

Also, when mastering, it's a good idea to compare your moves with something that already been mastered. Like this last project I had. Before I gave the band there test mixes, I mastered along side of something they were familiar with. This time it was Kyuss's \"Sky Valley\". Super sludgy, but very open sounding. I simply loaded one of the songs off that album (which actually equates to 4 songs) :eek: ... and flipped back and forth, when adjusting EQ mainly. :)


Protoculture on Nano records is it? :)

Mastering wise - errr....

Sonalksis Eq
Sonalksis Comp
Precision Limiter

sometimes Vintage Warmer 2...

Paul Woodlock

Established Member
Stuart Stuart said:
Cambridge - LN1176 (sometimes) - Waves SSL - PSP Stereo Enhancer - SX Multiband Compressor - Inflator - 16 bit dither - Inspector Plugin (to check level).

It works for me. The SX Multiband is a secret weapon that nobody uses.
Crikey! - Ever thought of getting it right in the mix? :)

bob humid

Active Member
protoculture said:
what do you use?

I'm tending to use very little these days. Using too much seems to compromise my sound.

1. PSP Vintage Warmer
2. Limiter
the mastering-chain is always different with different tracks. music is a complex beats.. but nevertheless we discussed the classical mastering-chain here already but I am too lazy to pick up the old thread ;) .. I would be careful with any "warmers" (flattened attacks) for mastering issues.. can work at times.. but mostly some transparent , high-resolution EQs and compressors will bring you where you want to be...

I have a few little tricks that I am not keen on telling in a forum but generally the basisc are pretty common, there is a rule of thumb:

1) HighPass Filter around 20-30 Hz (i.e. Cambridge Butterworth 6 HP):

2) High Quality EQs for filling the holes in the spectrum and correct the "mixing mistakes" (i.e. Cambridge, Precision EQ, Algorithmix RED, BLUE, Linear-Phase EQs), fancy outboard EQs...

2 b) A "colouring" EQ like the 1081or Pultec if you feel the unmastered track sounds too lifeless or sterile... use it subtlely!

3) A side-chainable Single-Band Compressor set to leave the bass untouched and squeeze mid / high-bands a little (1-3 dB GR). note: Multiband Comps are not the mastering pros first choices, while they can be cool to enhance dynamics on kickdrums or de-ess difficult spectral zones. MS-capable compressors are also great at times.. the forthcoming Am|muntion Plug by Sascha Eversmeier is really big fun for mastering MS...

4) Stereo Wideners or Phase-Allignement Correction Tools (i.e. VB-Audio C10)

5) A F a s t Limiter like PL or Voxengo Elephant and so on.. head for -10dB RMS and don't believe anyone that wants to convince you that -8dB RMS mastered tracks are phat, they lack bass impact, always. this person obviously never made a comparison of a -10 and -8 dB RMS master set to the same perceived loudness...

MOST IMPORTANT: take down the perceived loudness with your masterfader sometimes to check if the integrity of your unmastered track is not compromissed by the mastering compression and the illusion of "phatness" created by the achieved loudness.. COMPRESSION DOES NOT INCREASE DYNAMICS! ...




Venerated Member
Dan Duskin said:
Plec said:
One of the secrets behind loud masters is to use as little compression as possible.
I would love to know more about this. Maybe you could elaberate. Or, if you did in another thread I missed, maybe you could link me to it.
Ask any succesful "loudness making mastering engineer" and they will tell you they almost never compress the program, and if they do... not more than a couple db at the VERY most. The reason for this is why you also wouldn't place a compressor pedal before a very high-gain guitar amplifier... think about that.
UAD Bundle Month