Mastering Drum n bass music

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Member Since: Jan 03, 2006

So far ive only mastered acoustic/indie music
Im using Izotope ,harbal and Cubase SX

Has any oen got any tops on how to master drum n bass music?
eg : Is it best to use a brick wall effect? should i be boosting the bass frequency?


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Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Jan 03, 2006 10:29 pm

Well, on most D n B you will find the low end boosted a bit. As that is the main part of the music . You dont want it to over power the rest of the track though so dont go over board with it. What your really after is to just make sure the driving part of the rythm, the bass and drums in this case are well set in the mix and not shoved to the back of the mix.

Since: Dec 06, 2009

Dec 06, 2009 03:50 pm

Okay, when it comes to drum n bass mastering you should definitely put a limiter on the master buss. The Sonnox Limiter is the weapon of choice right now for dnb producers. However most dnb producers will create seperate busses for the different elements of the track e.g . bass, drums, fx etc then have them going to a master buss. Simon V has a great tutorial on Mastering and you can find out more about different plugins etc at

Hope that helps.


Since: Jun 05, 2010

Jun 08, 2010 05:16 pm

When mastering, you always need a limiter whatever the music style is. A multiband dynamic processor is a great help if you search for loudness. It also allows deep tweakings if needed. I love the multiband de-expander (upward compression). It rises low levels while keeping the transients untouched. It produce a very dense sound.

Since: Feb 27, 2010

Jan 09, 2011 11:47 am

when it comes to mastering drum and bass it can be too easy for people to boost the bass way too much!!! So remember that you need to keep those bass levels / frequencies in a range that won't make your track sound like one BIG load of bass on a big sound system [which is what drum and bass music is mastered /engineered for]

Also , I recommend making sure theres loads of dynamics in your track and plenty of movement within the overall wave form......give the track plenty of breathing space.....unless you are after the brickwalled / distorted / pushed to the limit kind of dnb master.....

Use some kind of spectral analysis on the overall wave form and A / B test your track with a well known and well produced DnB track....

Good luck !

Mastering Engineer
Since: Jan 09, 2011

Jan 10, 2011 03:48 am

Hi there, mastering drum and bass is a little different cause the fact is it has more bass ! It is not like country music or folk.

As with all mastering it takes a good room, good speakers and a skilled engineer to coax the best out of a mix and optimize it.Without these it's guesswork.

If you are going it alone then you have a challenge unless you know your own system and room inside out and how it translates to other sound systems. Adding to what others have said make sure your reference track is level matched so you are not making judgements against a track that is at a different volume than your mix.

Watch out there is not too much below 30Hz going on in your bass line which can be common, it' is rarely musically meaningful and will make club limiters kick in hard and sound awful. Use a limiter with care don;t stifle the transients too much or it will lack punch, it takes time to compromise level cv distortion and other undesireable side effects. (not to mention a system capable of hearing when the onset of distortion occurs)

Other than this it's hard to generalize as D n B is a wide genre and it very much depends on the production(and producers) goals itself as to what the end result may be. Commonly" warming" of the signal is required if the track and correction of response/tone is almost always required as the music is often produced in less than optimal acoustic environments (stemming from it's urban origins)

Remember mastering relies on an audio monitoring system/room that is better than the one you mixed on, otherwise how can you begin to attempt to resolve problems if your system is not better than the producers system? This is mastering 101.

All the best.


Since: Feb 27, 2010

Mar 16, 2011 05:36 pm

If your after a master with alot of 'energy' try pushing the limiters etc to the max to get that full on energetic brickwalled ,slighty distorted sound......this is most useful for some of the harder , slighty Gabba-esque styles of drum and bass.....

For liquid dnb and the more deeper styles its all about dynamics , which you want to preserve in the master

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