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Two major techniques used in the execution of the mastering process (sometimes referred to as 'sweetening') involve frequency (tonal) balance and dynamic balance.

Frequency balance is a practice, which requires that the engineer be able to hear, isolate, and correct tonal imbalances that inhabit the frequency spectrum of your music. Corrections are achieved typically through the use of high power equalization filters. Frequency balance can also be useful as a way to connect the overall timbre of related cuts within an album in order to create a sense of performance and continuity.

Dynamic balance is a practice, which requires that the engineer/producer have a sense for musical form, as dynamics are a major structural feature within music. Dynamic changes can be incorporated into music through the use of 'fader automation' and infinitely variable cross-fades. Such fades create convincing performance level crescendos, decrescendos and punctual dynamics.







Another aspect of dynamic control has to do with its manipulation at the micro-dynamic level. The engineer can alter the apparent loudness, clarity, texture and timbre of a musical event by actively attenuating one or more frequency bands in relation to it's incoming signal level. Multi-band compressors are generally used for this process.

The net result of improved tonal and dynamic balance is to provide for a greater sense of fidelity, clarity, realism, three dimensionalism, impact, build, and emotion...