As a mastering engineer it hurts me to see people 'master' their tracks by simply bringing down the threshold on their iZotope limiter. The thing that alot of people don't know about mastering is that it is actually more about EQ and compression than it is about limiters.
Compressors you say, aren't they just limiters anyway? In a way yes, but compressors can be used to allow transients and dynamics to pass through, they also don't have their 'make up gain' set to match the amount they compress automatically like most limiters.
EQ is the biggest and most important aspect of mastering. It is the frequency balance that is going to determine how loud you can actually get the song and how it will sound. Will it be punchy? Subby? Glassy? Harsh? Sharp? Brittle? Transient? Sibilant? Warm? Smooth? It is all down to how you EQ.
So please if you are thinking about smacking iZotope Maximiser on your track and just bringing it down. At least make sure you get a great mastering eq and make some moves with it before you start crushing an unbalanced mix!
Now we are talking about EQ why not get our full Mastering EQ course for free
As always if you have any questions feel free to email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day guys!