Mastering With Distortion

distortion Jan 20, 2018

Do you ever find yourself mastering and feel like the EQ moves you’re doing are a little underwhelming? Maybe you are mastering a mix you didn’t do and wish you could go back and add a little more energy to it? Today I want to share a hack with you to add more energy to your masters. It’s called distortion.

What??? Isn’t distortion supposed to be used for grungy guitars and gritty things? NOT ALWAYS. And if you’ve been following me for a while you know how much I love distortion. Don't be afraid to use distortion on your master to enhance certain frequencies and create energy. A little can go a long way. Don’t just think of distortion as an “on or off” type of thing. I love iZotope Ozone for my mastering for this reason. It includes a harmonic enhancer, which is a multi-band distortion.

The advantage to using distortion over something like EQ is you create and enhance harmonics that were not there or were buried beneath the mix. This helps by bringing out shimmery highs when EQ makes it harsh. It thickens and brings bass out to help it translate on smaller speakers. It can liven up the mid range and bring it forward without making it clogged like an EQ might.

Like all things, make sure you do it in moderation. Going too extreme on distortion could really destroy your mix. So use your ears and be smart about it.


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