I use TC Finalizer 96k with Apogee Rosetta 200, or UAD stuff if I’m in the box.
Ozone here too. I’m entirely self taught in the mixing world and I always used to downplay the mastering process until I had the chance to use Ozone, then I realized it was the missing ingredient that I needed to get the more professional sound I wanted. That’s about the time my mixes started jumping up to Audio Jungle standards. I don’t really have any specific process with mastering. I usually start with one of the patches that come with Ozone, then tweak away until I get the right sound. Mastering is on my list of things that I need to do more studying on, but what I’ve learned so far has definitely helped me.
I’ll typically master my 2-Track Stereo file in Pro Tools and depending on the needs of the track (and style), my goto plug-in to do some all in-one noise shaping and volume maxing is the L3-16. It has made a difference in coloring my final mixes in a more “pro” sounding way. There are a lot of different release options and I like how you can have a sense of control over most of the frequency spectrum of your mix.
The L3-16 (when used) is last in my signal chain. I may do some minor EQ’ing and multi-band compressing (i.e. Waves C4) before it hits the L3-16 or L3 Ultramaximizer. Of course from here, i’ll print to track via an stereo aux.
That’s where i’m at as far as my “mastering” is concerned. Looking forward to learning more about mastering.
I normally mix and master in one go unless it is a very heavy project. I am very happy with the sound i get. I use waves plugins in the master bus usually L2 or C4. You need control over limiting, maximizing and eq in the master bus…. hope that helps
To achieve a better result, the master engineer who handle mastering should be other than the one who recorded tracks, and certainly should be different from the person who composed music project, by the way, and studio should be changed for good as a result.
Like a lot of people here I use Ozone. Like someone else said upthread it’s just really well laid out and gets good results quickly. It takes time to learn though, and with mastering subtlety is the key I think.
On the topic of whether or not you should master your own work or not, I think it depends. Traditionally the advice is you shouldn’t mix or master your work, but that’s because traditionally the songwriters/musicians didn’t know very much about mixing or mastering! If your skill level isn’t as high in these areas there is a real danger of ruining your track. I feel that this has a lot more to do with the art of listening however, as it simply takes a lot of years of experience mixing and mastering in different styles before your ears get really fine tuned.
My 5 cents – if composition mixed excellent it needs only subtle limiting and some subtle eq or/and enchancer.