So you’ve just spent days on end producing your new track and can’t wait to upload it to your various channels or send it to a record label. But something’s missing. It still doesn’t sound similar to the tracks you’ve referenced or other tracks in a similar genre.
You’re still missing out on one last step – mastering. In a broad sense, mastering involves adjusting the overall volume of your track to make it suitable for commercial release and to ensure it’s appealing to listeners. But there’s actually a whole lot more to it.
So What Is Mastering?
Mastering is best described as the final stage of audio production. It’s the process of enhancing the sound and ensuring consistency throughout the track, preparing it for distribution. So in a sense, mastering can be seen as applying the finishing touches to a song.
The way a coat of varnish or polish is applied to a piece of furniture, mastering is the final step in audio production that optimises playback quality on a range of devices – from your ear-pods to the massive club sound systems.
So you definitely want to master your latest track. You could try mastering it yourself, but if you’re not experienced, you may want to avoid doing this as you may further unbalance your music. Alternatively, you could look at hiring an engineer who’d master the track for you, but this can often set you back a good amount of money.
So what are your options?
Well, luckily we live in a digital age. One where we’re blessed with the power of the internet and the host of services available online. You can now opt for a number of online mastering services or mastering apps available in the market.
Each of these solutions work differently, but the underlying logic remains the same. A series of complex algorithms use artificial intelligence to analyse your track, detect anomalies and apply different adjustments to each track individually.
In this blog, we’ve done the research and have come up with the 5 best solutions for anyone looking to master their track online.
Landr Audio is a cloud-based music creation platform developed by MixGenius, an artificial intelligence company based in Montreal, Quebec.
Before signing up with a subscription, Landr allows you to test their services with it’s free library plan. Landr uses one of the most sophisticated AI-powered mastering engines – Synapse. Improved clarity, smarter compression and superior loudness are some of the changes you can expect.
Landr also allows you to load entire albums for mastering, which really helps achieve a unified and cohesive sound across your album.
Designed with GRAMMY-winning multi platinum collaborators such as Mandy Parnell, Mike Tucci, Maria Elisa Ayerbe, Justus West, and Will Quinnell, BandLab is one of the best mastering tools available out there.
BandLab gives you three options when it comes to mastering your track. Each option has been configured to make it simple for artists to find the right sound they’re looking for. Moreover, you’re not limited to the number of tracks you can download. Truly making it an unlimited resource for mastered tracks.
And the best part?
It’s completely FREE.
Related to the famous Abbey Road studios, Cloudbounce is a product of the Abbey Road Red. Cloudbounce has taken the trouble to offer two entirely different solutions to their users.
The full mastering service, where you can send in your track to their experienced mastering engineers in their studio and an automatic online version for artists who might not be able to afford the former.
The online version allows you to pick from a multitude of genre styles, ensuring your track comes out with a particular touch.
One of the most user-friendly platforms out there today is eMastered. Again developed by a team of musicians and engineers, the eMastered uses machine learning to improve with every song it masters. The platform tailor makes each master based on unique features it picks up on the track.
eMastered mimics human engineers, working on similar professional processes like EQ, Compression etc bringing out a professional sounding master at a fraction of the cost.
A product of Popgun, Gloss is a completely free solution that doesn’t even need you to create an account.
A really nifty feature is that you get a list of ‘things they had polished’ after the master is complete. This is a particularly great tool to analyse your track, go back to the mix and make some adjustments there before proceeding to the mastering setup.
So there you have it!
A list of our top 5 mastering tools available online. It goes without saying that these tools are not the only options available and every artist is likely to find different pros and cons with each of them.
Have you used a mastering tool that’s not on this list? Let us know in the comments below!