Building Custom Mastering Weapons in Live

  • Streamed Lessons - Access 24/7/365
  • 8 Custom Mastering Weapons Rack Presets

These lessons, taken from Zeitgeist Mastering's Complete Mastering in the Box with Live Course, show how to build and use your own custom mastering weapons racks in Ableton Live, made entirely from Live's built-in effects. Weapons include an Aphex-style Exciter, a Bass Maximiser and various Stereo Enhancement tools.

In addition to the streamed lessons, lasting over 2 hours in total, all 8 rack presets created on the course come as a downloadable pack, which can be opened up in Live to unleash the power of this devastating mastering arsenal!

These tutorials are part of the complete course Mastering in the Box with Ableton Live by Zeitgeist Mastering. Please note: if after purchasing this course you would like to buy the complete mastering course, drop us a line and we will refund you the price of the course you've already purchased.

Modules in this course:

Module 1 - Building Custom Mastering Weapons Pt. 1 (Aphex Style Exciter)

It's time to expand Live's effects range and think about custom designing a few specific mastering weapons racks. The famous Aphex Aural Exciter sound can be fairly closely simulated in Live, with just a bit of effort. In this chapter we'll put it together, explaining the thought process and every step along the way.

Module 2 - Building Custom Mastering Weapons Pt. 2 (Bass Maximiser)

Similarly to the previous lesson, in this module we'll consider how we can achieve a little extra bass, especially when mastering for good translation on small systems or speakers. It's not uncommon in the age of the Internet to make sure that the bass or the low end of a track can be heard on systems of all sizes, including tinny PC speakers or trashy mp3 headphones. The plugin we build here will do exactly that and can be compared to the likes of the Waves MaxxBass example.

Module 3 - Building Custom Mastering Weapons Pt. 3 (Stereo Enhancer)

Stereo Enhancement is a very sought after & necessary tool in any mastering arsenal. Since we do not have anything of mastering quality at our fingertips in the standard range of plugins, we'll look at how we can best assemble an enhancer that is both flexible and musical. You'll wonder how you lived without it! By the end of Pt. 3, you'll be confident with macros, control mapping, audio effects racks and signal chains within Ableton Live.

BONUS MODULE - Building and Applying a 3-Band Exciter & Mid Side Compressor

In this lesson, we'll build 2 more extremely useful mastering tools. The Mid Side Compressor can really achieve results that a standard compressor cannot as we experienced in the mastering of a full track chapter. The 3-Band Exciter is simple in design but also very effective: a plug-in of desired taste but nonetheless a great alternative way to add a touch of bass impact, mid presence or warmth, or even some high sizzle to a master!


Nick D'Ombrain

The Head Engineer at Zeitgeist Mastering - Nicholas D'Ombrain - has over 17 years experience in the industry, and in this time he has worked for major production studios around the globe, including Universal & EMI, as well as being responsible for several international independent record labels. Nicholas is connected to well-renowned studios in London and several of the big guns around Berlin, including Manmade Mastering, so is well versed in studio life! Artists he has worked with include Alex Smoke, Orbital and Sascha Braemer. With a deep understanding of the world of mastering and a love for sharing knowledge, Nicholas makes an excellent tutor on the subject.