Audio Mastering for Voice Only (Not Including Music Tracks)

This is in reply to David Lewis’ question on the live stream today.

Hi David.

From your multitrack session, send Interview only to a separate bus and add mastering only to that.
(Ignore music at this stage)
When complete, mixdown only bus then mute interview and add bus and music to outputs and export/mixdown all that is turned on in the normal way.

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Hi Ben - thanks for this. I will read over this a few times to digest. I have the interview on a separate track with Ozone Elements to master that alone is that effectively the same thing as a bus?

Could you explain the last part again about mixing down only the interview part. Really appreciate your help.


Let’s think of a bus as a fx channel. The source is your interview track so that goes IN to the bus.
On the bus you add treatments like eq, comp, normalise eq or whatever and you bounce the OUT from that bus to a new track. You then mute the original interview track so only the bus gets sent to export/mixdown. now add the music so bus output (already mastered)
and music go to output and finally to export/mixdown. Don’t forget to use the AA mixer to get the balance between the two.
If @Mike had 5 minutes to shoot up a video, it would be so much easier to explain or even draw a routing diagram to help you.
Once you learn this trick, you’ll be flying.


Here’s one I made earlier. Only vocals mastered on it’s own bus with the atmos track mixed later in post.


excellent and really well explained @Ben_Sound. I have a little while before I am running the interview, so I will play around with that. When I mentioned I was getting the clipping that @Mike discussed today, I had already added the Ozone Elements mastering to it. I am now thinking that was my problem; that should come at the very end of the chain right?

Good to see you answering your own question.

Follow the Hatch, Match and Dispatch method and you have nailed it.

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excellent @Ben_Sound. It means I am learning then. I learn fast, but I came to this only a short time ago! Presenting the show is the easy part, doing these interviews and making them sound good is by far the harder part, but really enjoying learning…cheers

I run week-long summercamp mastering classes with a team of engineers in a residential studio.
I should not think I should name the venue or advertise this on here as I don’t know what the policy here is regarding self-promotion.

They just did the Gypsy Kings new album that was released in July so a quick google should reveal all.
It is very expensive but you will leave as a commercial mastering engineer who can command fees of upwards of £500 per hour with 24/7 support from the studio.



I have worked with @Ben_Sound on this project in the community.
He knows his stuff.

Hi @Ben_Sound.
It was fun.

@David Do you know Cado @The_Tone_Arranger at all?

He has a Facebook Group called Mixbus Pro where all the cool engineers and producers hang.
There’s over 850 of them last time I looked.
Your’re bound to pick up some advice from the old BBC pros on there. It’s a great place to share too.
Look out in particular for Simon Askew engineer at BBC Maida Vale for years.

I have come across @The_Tone_Arranger …and he loves his jazz too! Thanks Bob

hey @Ben, when you say the mixer to get the balance right, do mean the levels between the dents, musuc & interview?

Yes. basically it’s the broadcast balance you’re aiming for between the sources to make a pre-recorded show. (Podcast)
You don’t want to be tinkering about and mixing on the fly.

having a little play now, but I am on air later, so won’t have much time. Thanks again @Ben_Sound

OK on Solar @ 9pm?

You just want your Mic live and play the full show pre-produced in AA?

Have I got that right?

I’m on 10pm - midnight on Solar. I am live for the full two hours tonight. I run interviews on the first Wednesday of the month, so the one I am working on now, will go out 06/09. I pre-record these and edit which is a part of the reason for my lust for knowledge in AA. On that show, I go live for half and hour, then run the hour long, mixed down file of the interview. I use AA to check all tracks for all three of my live shows to match volume pre-broadcast. I then broadcast with Traktor and Nicecast to stream on (Yamaha mixer, Audio Technica mic, two Focusrite interfaces, BBS mic compressor, PPM meters etc). The live show gets recorded in AA. I then give a little sparkle and post that file to Apple for podcast etc

Ok I’ll tune in. Ian Shaw who’s a friend of Cado from this Parish used to do long interviews like that but I prefer to listen to just music and catch the podcast later if there’s an interview from Backstage at Ronnie’s worth catching.

excellent…I will be sure to say hi! Whats your surname Ben?

No need my friend. Happy to help.
Roberts for future ref…

WOW! You talk so fast.
Could not keep up with you.

Paul Chambers in the mix!

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