please critique, need advice for mastering


Active Member
i've been working on this song for over 2 months, i've been a DJ for over 10 years and enjoy production but production is my weaker point for sure. i've never spent too much time with mastering before, in fact i would just EQ past songs and carefully amplify them, not true mastering by any stretch of the word. but i've spent some serious hours reading, watching videos and experimenting to try to get a grasp on getting a proper, professional sound out of my songs.

technicalities of the song:
this song isn't 100% finished yet, ignore everything past the 5 minute mark, i was just dicking around with ideas and don't like it so that will be redone entirely. but i really wanted to get some people's opinion on it. any advice/tips would be GREATLY appreciated. i EQ'ed everything, i high-passed everything that's not bass-related and notched out areas of synths/etc to make room for vocals and drums such as toms. i EQ'ed the vocals really heavily so i tried my best to clean everything up the best i could. i used parallel compression by routing everything to a return track and applying heavy compression, blending that in a little with the uncompressed signal on the master and i am definitely impressed with parallel compression. it's a new concept to me and aside from increasing the loudness on the song it seemed to provide some warmth, thickness to the song which i'm happy with. the plucks and supersaw were moved out to the sides alot because there was some fighting over frequencies between my lead synths and the vocals. the drums and sub are all mono. i increased the volume so that most of the peaks are around -3db but there are a couple peaks here n there that shoot up to -1db and i need to tame with a little compression. i don't want to squash the dynamics too much but if anyone looks at the waveforms of the song does it look like it needs a little more compression? compared to professional releases i can see much more headroom on my song which is a good thing but at the same time there may be too much headroom? these are all minor things so i thought it would be a good time to get some other opinions and after countless hours spent on this song i'm anxious to get opinions and tips. when i open up the frequency cutoff of the plucks to being a lead synth at around 2:07-2:14 i had a problem with the volume increasing substantially as the additional frequencies were allowed out. i tried heavy compression and also tried mappnig the freq cutoff to the synth's volume but the freq cutoff increase doesn't match the volume, it's not linear, i had to automate the volume while watching the peaks in a limiter to try to get the volume under control - i may need to do a better job with keeping the volume under control at that part also.

the song itself:
a couple words about the song itself, the drums are inspired by Adam F - Circles and LTJ Bukem - Horizons, too classic songs i'm a huge fan of. i resampled and sliced up the Do The Do break, did some stuttering towards the end, old skool dnb inspired. the supersaw and pad are trance inspired, the plucks are progressive house inspired. i started trying to fuse trance synths with dnb around 2007, i've been making dnb since 2000/2001 but i rarely make tracks b/c i'm not confident in my abilities. i feel i have good ideas but poor execution. this is by far my best attempt at a decent, worthy song so far. i feel there is probably a lot of improvements that can be made as far as the mixdown, mainly mastering... something that someone who's used to spinning vinyls probably has no business doing but i'm trying like hell to get a grasp of it and try to put out some professional sounding tracks.