Not that long ago, track mastering was only ever carried out by engineers in high-end studios kitted out with thousands of pounds’ worth of equipment. Now, though, programmer Igor Vasiliev has produced possibly the most affordable mastering solution yet – the Audio Mastering Studio for iPad.
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The GUI isn’t the most attractive but it is easy to use, with four main tabs for Files, Waveform, Controls and Settings. There are several ways you can load in files, including AudioPaste, iTunes file share and a useful web-access feature whereby the app sets up a local network with your computer.
Once you’ve added your unmastered track you can move to the Waveform tab to set loop points and fades before moving to the Controls page, which is where the action happens. There are four processes you can apply to your track: ten-band linear-phase graphic EQ; harmonic saturation; 3-band stereo imaging; and loudness maximisation. The saturation is OK for subtle shimmer, but could do with a low-cut function as the bass began distorting when pushed. The stereo imaging worked well too, but it would be nice to know where the crossover frequencies are. Finally, the loudness maximizer did a decent job of raising the overall volume, but again, our bass-heavy track caused issues when trying to get a really loud mix. Once you’re finished you can export to a range of formats, convert files and even apply dither.
Of course, it’s unfair to expect the same results from a £6.99 app as you would from much more expensive software and hardware. However, assuming your aim isn’t to produce a super-loud master, this is a fantastic and intuitive app that will enable anyone to quickly improve their mixes
An easy-to-use mastering app that can yield excellent results. There’s currently nothing else like it available for the iPad.