Mastering with the Bare Minimum

Hey Mike Bozzi,
I am Dominican-American and I’ve noticed how various artists from lower-income environments like the Dominican Republic, Brazil, etc. use the minimal tools at their disposal in creative ways to get that professional sound that so many of us are chasing.

My question to you, as a professional mastering engineer, is that if you had
the most minimal tools at your disposal (say only 3-4 in-the-box plugins) to master a song, what would they be? Are there any creative tricks you would use with these plugins to replicate the sound you’d achieve with your analog gear?

I’d love to hear back, thanks.

Hey Jeremy,

As you stated, I’m using a unique analog console built in house and rarely use plug ins, so please take that into advisement.

I would first recommend investing in as great a monitoring system as possible. If you’re using headphones, certainly some that are neutral, natural, and accurate in reproducing sound.

As far as plug ins, I would probably look at the FabFilter Pro-MB, Pro-L, and Pro-Q. Maybe a Sonnex Inflator. I master into Steinberg’s WaveLab.

Hope this helps.

Best of luck to you,


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