PROFESSIONAL MASTERING SECRETS – Computer Music issue 236 is out now!

Exclusive attended mastering sessions with the best engineers // FREE FOCUSRITE RED plugin bundle worth £229 // 3GB Samples // NI Maschine Jam reviewed and rated // + more!


This month, discover how the world's top mastering engineers work their magic in our exclusive in-studio videos and in-depth interviews. Across 24 action-packed pages, we visit the Metropolis Mastering and Label Worx studios to get advice from the masters, and then we show you how to do it all at home in our freeware mastering masterclass. Elsewhere, we've got a totally insane giveaway, handing all CM readers two Focusrite plugins – worth £229 – for absolutely nothing!

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METROPOLIS MASTERING – Get behind the scenes

With over 20 years at the top of the mastering game, Metropolis Mastering have worked on music for artists such as The Beatles, Blur, The Rolling Stones, Adele, Led Zeppelin and loads more… and now you get to see how it works, as we take you through their doors to show you how they put the perfect polish on commercial-level tracks.

In our exclusive video and interview, you'll see top engineer Stuart Hawkes master a track in its entirety – from first impressions to final touches – exposing just how the best in the business get the job done. In the mag, we've also got interviews from experienced engineers Tony Cousins and Andy 'Hippy' Baldwin. And once you've drooled over Metropolis' high-end analogue hardware…

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LABEL WORX – Software stem mixing and mastering

Alex Powell and Matt Abbott walk us through their software-based mastering studio, showing us exactly how they get top results for a roster of big-name clients. In our exclusive in-studio video, we see how Alex and Matt work with mix stems before bouncing them out to a master file, which gets treated to the talents of high-end UAD plugin emulations for glue-compression, limiting and EQ. In the mag, you'll get a run-down of how and why this processing is applied, and you'll hear from Matt and Alex in our interview.

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You've seen the experts in their high-end studios with their golden gear, but what about applying their expert knowledge to your own music? Using the techniques and advice from Metropolis and Label Worx, we'll take you back into the computer and show you that it doesn't take a bank loan to get high-quality results.

Using only free plugins and processors from our own CM Plugins suite, we'll take you through the stages of mastering, calibrating levels, using fine EQ tweaks, adding glue compression and limiting an audio file to perfection, across four video tutorials.

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TWO FREE PLUGINS worth £229 – Focusrite Red Suite

Focusrite are, undoubtedly, one of the biggest names in music production, and this month we're giving away their Red duo of high-grade plugin processors.

The Red 2 EQ and Red 3 Compressor plugins emulate the company's hardware units of the same names, bringing a timeless analogue pedigree to your computer-based mixes. This awesome plugin duo is usually available direct from Focusrite for £229, but this month they've let us give it away to CM readers for absolutely free!

Find out more about the Red 2 and Red 3 plugins in their full spec, and check out how they sound in the video below!

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Want that classic 'boom-bap' vibe? This month we're stepping back in time and programming some authentic early-days hip-hop attitude. In this massive tutorial, we show you what made classic hip-hop productions tick, and create our own tributes using modern software. From head-nodding J Dilla-style beats to classic DJ Premier-esque sample sequencing, we'll give you a workout in authentic vibes.

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Through most of our pages, we're usually showing you how to craft killer hooks or design awesome synth sounds, but we're taking a different approach for this feature, taking some time out from beatmaking with a look at DAW customisation. We'll show you how to skin up, add custom icons, use track colours for better effect, work with thumbnails and themes, and generally revamp your workstation. Users of Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Cubase, Studio One and Reaper will get a makeover out of this feature.

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We've got a huge 3GB collection of samples free for readers, including epic packs from Goldbaby, Loopmasters and more!

Music titans Native Instruments have released a bunch of new kit, and we've got our hands on all of it! Check out our in-depth reviews of Maschine Jam, Komplete 11 and new synth Form

Our collection of CM Plugins reaches 66 – readers get them all for free!

We interrogate Octave One about the Detroit scene and how far they've come

New resident production expert Resound kicks off his new column Studio Strategies with a look at visual analysis plugins

Tech house maven Olivier Giacomotto gives us his top five picks of software

Get the music theory behind Implicit Rhythms with some hearty expert advice from Dave Clews

Feast your eyes on this month's free plugin releases in our Freeware News section

We splash out on the top iOS grooveboxes in the CM round-up

Get the recipe for an easy-to-make DIY handclap to whip together in seconds


  • Native Instruments Maschine Jam
  • Native Instruments Komplete 11
  • Native Instruments Form
  • 112dB Cascade
  • Waves & Infected Mushroom Pusher
  • Unfiltered Audio Fault
  • Eiosis e2Deesser
  • Universal Audio Manley Voxbox
  • Universal Audio Ampeg B-15N

Get this issue now

All formats include our 60+ CM plugins, thousands of samples, and tutorial videos/files via Vault download

Subscribe and Save

Never miss an issue with a CM subscription, print or digital!

Two Focusrite plugins, worth £229…
…for absolutely FREE with Computer Music 236