The best Mastering Plugins –
Audio mastering is the final step in the music production process, and it involves a variety of techniques and tools to enhance the overall sound and balance of a track. One of the most important tools in the mastering engineer’s arsenal are VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins. These software programs can be used to add effects, adjust levels, and make other changes to the audio to help it sound its best.
There are many different VST plugins available for mastering, but some are considered to be better than others. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best VST plugins for audio mastering, and what makes them stand out from the rest.
Ozone is a comprehensive mastering suite that offers a wide range of tools and features for mastering audio. It includes a variety of equalization options, dynamic processing, stereo imaging, and more. One of the standout features of Ozone is its advanced spectral shaping, which allows you to make precise adjustments to the audio’s frequency content. It also includes a mastering assistant that provides intelligent suggestions for settings and adjustments.
Waves Masters is a bundle of several mastering plugins from Waves Audio, one of the most well-known and respected audio software companies. The bundle includes several different plugins, such as the L1 Ultramaximizer, the C4 Multiband Compressor, and the Linear Phase EQ. Together, these plugins provide a comprehensive mastering toolset that can be used to achieve a professional, polished sound.
FabFilter Pro-L 2 is a powerful limiting plugin that can be used to enhance the loudness and overall level of a track. It offers a transparent, high-quality sound and a variety of advanced features, such as true peak limiting and an integrated LUFS meter. Additionally, it offers a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily make adjustments and fine-tune the settings.
iZotope Insight is a powerful metering plugin that can be used to analyze and visualize the audio signal. It offers a wide range of meters, such as loudness, phase, and spectrogram meters, as well as a variety of options for customizing the display. This plugin is particularly useful for mastering engineers, as it can help identify issues and make adjustments to the audio that would be difficult to hear otherwise.
Brainworx bx_masterdesk is a mastering plugin that offers a variety of tools and features for achieving a polished, professional sound. It includes a high-quality equalizer, a stereo imager, and a variety of dynamic processing options. One of the standout features of bx_masterdesk is its “Masterdesk” mode, which simulates the sound of mastering in a professional studio.
The UAD Precision Buss Compressor is a plugin that emulates the iconic bus compressor of the SSL 4000 console. It’s a versatile tool that can be used to add punch, glue, and warmth to the mix, and it’s considered one of the best for this kind of task.
LANDR is a cloud-based mastering platform that uses AI algorithms to analyze and master audio tracks. It offers a variety of presets, as well as the ability to make custom adjustments, and it’s considered a great option for those who want a quick and easy mastering solution.
iZotope Neutron Advanced is a mixing and mastering plugin that offers a variety of tools and features for achieving a professional-grade sound. It includes a channel strip, a dynamic equalizer, and a variety of other processing options. One of the standout features of Neutron 3 is its “Neutrino” mode, which provides a simplified interface for making quick adjustments.
TDR Kotelnikov is a mastering compressor that offers a wide range of options for adjusting the dynamics of the audio. It includes a variety of different compression modes, as well as a transparent and precise sound. It also offers a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily make adjustments to the settings. Additionally, it includes a built-in peak limiter and a stereo link feature that allows you to control the stereo image of the audio.
The Sonnox Oxford Limiter is a mastering plugin that offers a high-quality and transparent sound. It includes a variety of advanced features, such as lookahead and program-dependent release, which allow for precise control over the limiting process. It also includes a built-in true peak limiter and a variety of options for adjusting the level of the audio.
These are just a few examples of the many VST plugins available for mastering. The best plugin for a particular project will depend on the specific needs and requirements. However, these ten plugins are considered to be among the best in the industry, and they are a great starting point for anyone looking to improve their mastering skills. It’s also important to remember that mastering is a complex art, and achieving a professional-sounding master takes not only great tools but also knowledge, skills, and practice.
Also, Keep in mind that mastering is not just about using plugins, it’s a combination of technical and artistic skills, so having a good monitoring setup and a trained ear is also important.