Hmmm... so do we still need golden-eared mastering engineers with years of experience, state of the art monitoring and a studio full of expensive gear?
MasteringBOX has introduced its free mastering online application, that they say has a sophisticated algorithm that can detect the dynamic and spectral characteristics of the track being mastered and apply appropriate adjustments, allowing amateur producers and independent artists alike to master their song, podcast, or live recording in less than a minute, and for free.
They say that anyone accessing MasteringBOX can quickly achieve a professional sound by first uploading their track. You simply drag-and-drop the audio file to be mastered, preview the mastered result before committing to mastering, and then download the finished result. A spokesperson told us, "Believe it or not, it really is that simple! Mastering. Made Easy."
MasteringBOX has apparently been designed by a group of professional sound engineers with years of experience, and aims to make professional mastering easy, fast, and affordable. "We know mastering can be tough to understand, and it has a slow learning curve. We are music enthusiasts ourselves and want to help other musicians by making the production process easier," says MasteringBOX founder Dídac Corbí, "This is why we created MasteringBOX, the result of years of work and research in the field."
Here's the full details in MasteringBOX's own words:
The creators of MasteringBOX acknowledge that users like choices and will want to control the result, which is exactly why they have also developed a simple but powerful Loudness control -- simply select the desired target Loudness and the system will automatically adjust compression and limiting settings to obtain it. This is, of course, an important feature for those wishing to achieve similar loudness levels in all the tracks destined for inclusion on the same album, for instance.
PRO Account and PRO Unlimited subscribers can also adjust EQ via three knobs allowing for Low, Mid, and Hi gain control -- superficially similar to a shelving EQ, though the central frequency and Q parameters of each band are, in fact, dynamically set by the mindful MasteringBOX system itself in accordance with the track's spectral response.
To start using MasteringBOX, upload a track to listen to a preview. If you like what you hear, simply sign up online -- subscriptions start for free -- and download it. The FREE Account offers unlimited WEB OPTIMIZED MP3 masters at 320KBPS, including Loudness control.
For further features, sign up for a PRO Account at a reasonable €9 EUR monthly subscription to have access to up to five uncompressed CD QUALITY WAV (16BIT/44.1KHZ) masters per month, together with the above-mentioned EQ control.
Those needing unlimited uncompressed CD QUALITY WAV (16BIT/44.1KHZ) masters could consider the PRO Unlimited option, offering exactly that in addition to everything else in the PRO Account for €19 EUR per month. Can't say fairer than that, surely?
MasteringBOX does not necessarily compete with professional mastering studios. Indeed, it may not quite achieve the same balanced and smooth sound that a talented mastering engineer can achieve with fine-tuned adjustments in a suitably-equipped professional mastering studio. It is, however, a seriously sophisticated mastering tool in its own right -- one that is also fast, easy to use, and affordable to all. As such, why not try MasteringBOX? Mastering engineers are always available at significantly higher rates to anyone not satisfied with its results, after all.
For best results using MasteringBOX, may we recommend reading the helpful Blog post on 'How to prepare your track for Mastering' here.
We at Sonic State think that the statement "MasteringBOX does not necessarily compete with professional mastering studios. Indeed, it may not quite achieve the same balanced and smooth sound that a talented mastering engineer can achieve with fine-tuned adjustments in a suitably-equipped professional mastering studio." says it all really, but we'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it. Perhaps some of you would like to upload a track and try out the service...
Pricing and Availability:
Anyone interested in using the MasteringBOX online mastering application can sign up for a FREE Account -- or PRO Account or PRO Unlimited paid-for subscription services, respectively priced at €9 EUR or €19 EUR per month (not including taxes for EU residents)
Analogue, digital and DSP voices
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