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 In this article I will discuss how to master EDM, pop dance and synth songs.  Every genre (style) of music has its own set of sonic qualities that are unique to the genre.  These sonic qualities are a "must to know" if you want to audio mastering your own EDM, pop dance and synth music.

This article not only gives you my mastering approach for the genre, I also factor in client feedback so your audio masters will make them happy too. But remember, A/B comparison and matching is always your goal. This section assists you in doing that.
 

How To Master Pop-Dance, EDM, And Synth

Ratings - I rate each sonic quality on a scale from 1-10 (5 is an average amount). Except for overall loudness, I use my ReplayGain recommended levels.

Clarity (6) These genres have slightly above average clarity. When arranged and mixed properly, the bright synth melodies are crisp and clear. When they're not, it's a bright stereo reverbed mash of noise.

Brightness (6) Brightness is slightly above average. I say this because most of the instrumentation is naturally bright. Songs from these genres are played loud in clubs, so you don't want them too bright.

Bass Volume & Boominess (6) Pop-dance is a little more boomy (6-7), while EDM and synth heavy music uses a dryer bass that has more punch and less boominess (5-6).

Overall Compression (7) These genres are played loud, so I can't have them breaking up.

Using the Multi-Band Compressor in the UPPER-MIDS, I always cut the top off. I start out with the THRESHOLD at around 40% (and a RATIO of 8:1 to start with) and then work the THRESHOLD up until the song starts breaking up at loud volume playback. Tweak your RATIO as needed.

Stereo Width (7) These genres usually have layered stereo synth melodies somewhere in the song that would sound very weak if they were narrow. You want a nice stereo spread.

Overall Loudness ReplayGain Number (98-98.5) These genres are a step below hard rock and hip-hop volume levels. This helps them maintain a little more dynamic range which is important because they're usually more musical than the aforementioned genres.


For more of my articles on mastering your own songs, check out - Audio Mastering Secrets.
 

The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

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