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How to Master Your Music Like a Pro without Spending a Penny!

Updated: Mar 15

It's all a big lie... I'm going to let you in on a little secret: audio mastering doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are some fantastic free plugins out there that can work wonders on your tracks. Now buckle up and get ready to meet our top three essential free mastering plugins!


Two of the best free EQ plugins


TDR Nova EQ


First up, we've got TDR NOVA EQ. This bad boy offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, coupled with a classic "knob" setup, giving you quick and smooth control over its powerful processing capabilities. From parametric and dynamic equalization to multi-band compression, NOVA has got you covered.


A free audio mastering plugin: TDR Nova EQ


Ignite Amps PTEq-X


This little gem is a powerful equalizer that will help you sculpt your audio with surgical precision. Whether you need to tame some unruly frequencies or add that extra sparkle to your mix, the PTEq-X has got your back.


It's straightforward to use, and the results speak for themselves. Don't underestimate the impact a good EQ can have on your tracks – and with this one being free, you've got nothing to lose!


A free audio mastering plugin: Ignite Amps PTEq-X


What is the best free mastering compressor?


TDR Kotelnikov Mastering Compressor


A reliable compressor is an absolute must-have for any mastering process, and the TDR Kotelnikov delivers big time. With its transparent and natural compression, it's like giving your audio a warm and friendly hug.


This plugin works wonders in keeping your levels in check and ensuring a cohesive, polished sound. You'll be amazed at how it can bring out the best in your tracks without compromising their dynamics.


A free audio mastering plugin: TDR Kotelnikov Mastering Compressor


Add width with this free stereo widener plugin


Goodhertz Midside Matrix


Now, this plugin might seem a bit mysterious to some, but once you understand its magic, you'll never want to let it go. The Goodhertz Midside Matrix lets you tweak the stereo image of your tracks, giving you full control over the width and depth of your mix.


It's perfect for adding that sense of space and dimension, making your tracks feel more immersive and engaging. You'll be surprised at how much difference a well-handled mid-side processing can make!


A free audio mastering plugin: Goodhertz Midside Matrix


The best free clipper plugin for your master


Initial Clipper


Last but not least, Initial Audio offers Initial Clipper, a free soft clipper plugin that prevents your audio signal from exceeding zero decibels. It achieves this by using soft clipping to smooth out the peaks, beginning at the threshold.


A free audio mastering plugin: Initial Clipper


Summary


So, there you have it – don't let the misconception that high-quality audio mastering requires expensive gear hold you back. These free plugins prove that you can elevate your music to new heights with a little know-how and the right tools.


Of course, mastering is a skill that takes time and practice to perfect, so don't get discouraged if your first attempts don't yield Grammy-worthy results. Keep experimenting, learning, and honing your craft – that's what it's all about! And remember, it's not the gear that makes the musician; it's the passion and dedication.


What's next?


Ready to make mastering easy? Download my free '12 Steps to a Mastering Ready Mix' checklist and make the mastering process super smooth and exciting and take your music up a notch!



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