So the first version of this song (below) was mastered with a combination of some Reaper plugins, then that file was imported into FL Studio >> Maximus >> Slam Amp Master.
This version uses ReaEQ, and then AAMS with a custom reference file. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry. It’s bedroom music producer talk.
The main thing that these two different versions illustrates is how essential mastering is to a song. I never realized this before getting into home music production. But now when I hear a song, say, in the supermarket, I’m not only reminiscing over the melody, but also listening to how it was mastered. Mastering needs a good tune for a hit. But a hit needs a good mastering job too!