Skip to main content

Creating an EDM Mastering Chain

By July 14, 2023No Comments

In the world of electronic dance music (EDM), mastering plays a crucial role in bringing out the best sonic qualities of a track. A well-crafted mastering chain can enhance the overall sound, ensuring it stands out in a competitive industry. In this article, we will explore the process of creating an EDM mastering chain that elevates your tracks to new heights. From selecting the right plugins to understanding the order of processing, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this essential step in music production.

Understanding the Mastering Chain

To begin, let’s gain a deeper understanding of what a mastering chain entails. The mastering chain is a series of audio processors applied to the final mixdown of a track. Its purpose is to optimize the sound, enhance its clarity, and ensure compatibility across various playback systems. Each element in the mastering chain serves a specific function, and when combined effectively, they can transform an ordinary mix into a professional-sounding masterpiece.

Choosing the Right Plugins

Selecting the right plugins for your mastering chain is crucial. It’s important to work with high-quality tools that offer precise control over the audio. When it comes to EDM, some commonly used plugins include multiband compressors, EQs, stereo imagers, harmonic exciters, and limiters. These plugins allow you to shape the frequency balance, control dynamics, widen the stereo image, and add subtle harmonic enhancements to your tracks.

Setting the Order of Processing

The order in which you process your audio within the mastering chain can significantly impact the final result. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, a common order of processing for an EDM mastering chain starts with corrective EQ, followed by multiband compression, harmonic enhancement, stereo imaging, and finally, limiting. This order allows you to address any tonal imbalances, control dynamics, add warmth and presence, widen the stereo image, and ensure optimal loudness without sacrificing clarity.

Achieving Balance and Clarity

One of the primary goals of an EDM mastering chain is to achieve a balanced and clear sound. This involves careful attention to the frequency spectrum, dynamics, and stereo image. With corrective EQ, you can address any frequency masking issues or tonal imbalances. Multiband compression helps control the dynamic range, ensuring a consistent and punchy sound. Stereo imaging techniques can widen the mix, creating a spacious and immersive experience. The result is a well-balanced track that retains its clarity even at high volume levels.

Embracing the Creative Process

While technical aspects are essential, it’s crucial not to overlook the creative side of mastering. Every track has its unique characteristics, and as a mastering engineer, you have the opportunity to accentuate its strengths. Experimenting with different processing techniques, adding subtle effects, and applying artistic touches can bring out the true essence of the music. Don’t be afraid to trust your ears and take creative risks to make the track truly stand out.


In the realm of EDM, a well-crafted mastering chain is the key to unlocking the full potential of your tracks. By understanding the purpose of each element in the chain, choosing the right plugins, setting the order of processing, and embracing the creative process, you can achieve sonic brilliance in your music. Remember, mastering is a skill that develops with experience and experimentation, so keep refining your techniques and always strive for sonic excellence.


Can I use the same mastering chain for all my tracks?

While it’s tempting to have a one-size-fits-all approach, it’s recommended to tailor the mastering chain to each individual track. Different songs have different sonic characteristics, and adjusting the chain accordingly will ensure optimal results.

Are there any free plugins suitable for EDM mastering?

Yes, there are free plugins available that can be used for EDM mastering. Some popular options include TDR Nova EQ, MeldaProduction MAutoEqualizer, and Voxengo SPAN.

How loud should my EDM track be after mastering?

The loudness of an EDM track is subjective and depends on the genre and artistic vision. However, it’s important to strike a balance between loudness and dynamic range to avoid excessive compression and loss of musicality.

Can I master my own tracks without professional training?

While it’s possible to master your own tracks, professional training and experience can significantly enhance the quality of the final result. It’s advisable to seek guidance from experienced mastering engineers or invest in educational resources to improve your skills.

Should I master my track before or after uploading it to streaming platforms?

It’s recommended to master your track before uploading it to streaming platforms. Mastering ensures that your music sounds its best across different playback systems and provides a consistent listening experience for your audience.