After a great recording session in the studio, comes the most fun bit – the mixdown. Putting the icing on all those individual instruments and adding a certain sparkle that just makes and instrument sing, is extremely rewarding and for me is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing and recording. Once you’ve got that blinding mix sorted, next comes the mastering. Mastering how to master a track can be a lengthy process and one of much trial and error. I remember a few years back, mixing to a stereo tape deck and then rushing to my car to see how the mix sounded in there – usually a half decent mix in the car was a sign of a nice mastering job. These days there are so many plugins to choose from like Multiband Parametric EQ’s, compressors, limiters etc, not only does it take several mixes to get your desired final master, you need a degree in software knob twiddling (real course) before you start. I’m happy to report that I’ve been through the majority of standard plugins over the years and now I tend to stick with what I know works well for me. Below are some of my favourite plugins that add a certain amount of deft punch and top end air to my stereo mixes.