Part 5- Too much compression before mastering...
Sometimes i will get a track that is one big rectangle. This usually means that the track was heavily compressed on the mix buss/master fader. What this means is, sound quality wise, the track will sound lifeless, dull, no impact. This does not mean that the track came to me loud just that it was compressed to the point where every part of the song was the same level.
There's not to much one can do. If there is no dynamic information to work with then the options are limited. So what if anything can be done? Automation... Automation can create the illusion of dynamics. You can automate the level of certain parts of the song. You can automate the frequency to change at certain points to create the illusion of dynamics. The use of upward compression can be used as well, upward compression works like a normal compressor but instead of reducing gain it increases the gain.
If there is a certain sound of the heavy compression that you like, always send two pre-master versions to your mastering engineer, one with the heavy compression and one without . Your mastering engineer will listen to both and get an idea of what your going for. After all a mastering engineer is there to work for you and your art.