Mastering is the art of sweetening the mix and preparing the mixdown for duplication. The goal of this chapter is to familiarize you with some of the very basics about the mastering process. Mastering is a very technical process that often involves specific gear that is calibrated to subtly alter a mix in ways that improve the sonic qualities of a specific song, and to alter multiple songs to work together as an album. Mastering often requires ears that possess the sonic precision that takes years to develop. A good mastering engineer is both a good ally to have and a good person to learn from!