Mastering is the art and science of creating a 2 channel stereo master that is used to create a commercial CD, or to upload to a site like Apple iTunes. This "master" is produced in such a way that it's sound quality is excellent on a variety of sound systems, from a car radio, to a state-of-the-art stereo system to an Apple iPod. Great bass (but not too heavy!), good balancing bewteen all instruments, and clean, sparkly highs.
Here is how to create great masters from within Apple Garageband.
When mastering... export your final multitrack song to itunes, then create a new garageband file and inport the stereo master. This is the file that you will "tweek" and master for final output!
Take 4-5 great commercial songs that you like the production and sound quality of, and import them into garageband. Then look at the analyzer function of the visual EQ. look to see where the audio spectrum falls...
now compare this reference song with your composition to see where your audio spectrum falls
I like to use songs by steely dan and the doobie brothers which were really well produced
load both your stereo mix, and say, AJA by steely dan... and see how the spectrum compares!
I usually find that my bass is too heavy! so I have to adjust carefully to keep a full bass sound withone having a muddy bass.
Use a parametric EQ for adjusting small areas, since a parametric will let you fine tune exactly how much of the audio spectrum you are adjusting.
As to the reference songs you pick, make sure they are of similar style of music... and an artist who is known for great audio recordings... for instance, if you were writing a new age song, listen to some tunes by a respected new age artist and producer like will ackerman.
if you write a lot of different styles of music, select various great songs that match the different styles of your songs, and import them all into your Garageband "Mastering Master" as I call mine... you can then mute all songs except the one you are using as reference and then ofcoarse your composition.
Hope these help :)
- svend (SEO WEB HOSTING )