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3 free Mastering Chains like Deadmau5, Laidback Luke - free Download

Professional Mastering Chains for Ableton In this article we’re going through the mastering chains of pro producers like Deadmau5 and Laidback Luke. We will also show you our PML Mastering Chain, made with Ableton stock plugins. These racks come in handy when polishing up your tracks - that’s why we have included them as a free download. Enjoy!

Get the free download of our Ableton-only mastering rack in the free section

Deadmau5's Mastering Chain


1) LinEQ (Waves)

Low Cut: roll-off below 32HZ (depends a bit on input track)

Removing low frequencies we can hardly hear on most playback systems and gaining headroom for our other elements.

LinEQ Mastering Chains

2) MStereoExpander

Widening the stereo spectrum of the track, achieving a richer stereo image.

34% Depth (in this case)

MStereoExpander mastering Chains

3) Xfer Records OTT

Multiband Compressor, Compressing our different frequency bands (low, mids, highs) with different intensities, depending on what the track needs

Xfer records Mastering Chains

 4) FabFilter Pro MB

Used by Deadmau5 as Dynamic EQ - for one band at 59.462 Hz, +3.42dB,

Usually is used as multiband compressor

5) FabFilter Pro-L

Allround Limiting (increasing general loudness of the track)

+13dB (track dependent), Attack 118 ms, Release 500 ms

Fabfilter Pro L view for Mastering Chains

6) L2 UltraMaximizer (Stereo Mode)

Additional subtle limiting (-2.1 Threshold)

(depends on the source track)

L2 UltraMaximizer

See article: Top 6 Goals In Mastering


Laidback Luke's Mastering Chain


1) Ableton EQ8/FabFilter Pro-Q

Multiple instances for surgical and balance control over the frequency range. Settings vary from track to track.

Ableton EQ8/FabFilter Pro-Q Mastering Chains

2) Izotope Ozone 6 - Exciter

Slightly overdriving the higher frequencies for a "crisp hihats" effect

Dual Triode Setting

Low Band: 0% Amount

Mid Band: 194 Hz - 3.97kHz. 0.7% Amount

High Band: 3.97kHz - 11.9kHz. 3.8 Amount

High Band 2: 11.9kHz - 20k. 6.6 Amount

Izotope Ozone 6 - Exciter Mastering Chains

3) Ableton Stock Compressor

Compressor focussed on adding a bit of punch to the track:

Threshold: -2.07dB (depends on track)

Ratio: 9.14:1

Attack: 5.47 ms

Release: 37.4 ms

Dry/Wet 100%
Makeup Gain On

RMS setting

Lookahead: 1ms

Ableton Stock Compressor Mastering Chains

4. Ableton Stock Chorus

Stereo enhancing for high frequencies. Therefore its highpassed: 

Hipass setting at 1.93kHz

Amount 5.22 ms

Rate 1.67 Hz

Fix Mode

32% Feedback

Dry/Wet 15%

Ableton Stock Chorus Mastering Chains

5. T-RackS Spectrum Analyzer

Analyses adjustments made before applying the limiter.

T-RackS Spectrum Analyzer Mastering Chains

6. FabFilter Pro-L

Brickwall limiting at the end

fab filter pro L 

See article: What are RMS & Peak levels?


PML „Ableton Only” Mastering Chain

When “mastering” on this basic level, we are trying to accomplish 3 things:

- balance the mix

- clean up resonance

- add loudness (punch) to the track


Lowcut - This EQ is operating in mid side mode. We are cutting out frequencies below 100hz on the side and freqs below 35 hz in the mids. That way we have a clean low cut and our bass is operating in mono

Glue compressor

We are catching some of the peaks over the entire frequency range


We are flattening out some unwanted resonances

Multiband Dynamics

We are balancing the low, mid and highs with 3-band multiband compression

Compressor Punch

We are adding punch to the mix, emphasizing the dynamics

Compressor Sustain

We are flattening out the mix a little bit (in order to be able to make the sum louder in the end)


Final touches, we are pulling up the bass a bit and adding a little bit of brilliance in the top end


We are increasing the loudness of the sum of our track. Note: don’t push it too far, Ableton’s limiter starts distorting the sound quite quickly.

Of course, this chain has its limitations - but we found it a good way to start with a basic master for your Ableton productions. Make sure you adjust the loudness of your mix before entering the chain. If the mix plays at low volumes, add a utility in front of the chain an turn up the level to get the chain compressors working - if its getting too heavy - turn it down a tad.

Author: k-pizzak-pizza

I’m a music maker who likes to share his experiences with other producers. I regularly show up with tutorials, articles & project files at PML.

Skype lessons with me: http://bit.ly/pml_s_one2one


More articles on Mastering:


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Keywords: Mastering with Izotope Ozone, LUFS vs dbFS, Fab-Filter Saturn, Mastering with Fab-Filter only, Mastering with Ableton only, Fletcher-Munson Curve, Mastering Chain Blueprint


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