I reviewed Igor Vasiliev’s recent update to ‘v.2.0’ of the excellent Audio Mastering app back in January on the blog. Version 2 bought some significant new features with the ‘advanced’ mode providing a flexible parametric EQ and real-time spectrum display of your audio while you work on the processing options.
A number of other updates have appeared since then – v.2.1 added a multi-band compression option, while v.2.4 included improvements in the Stereo Imaging module, additional metering options in the Compressor, the addition of high and low cut filters within the EQ module and a new presets manager.
Yesterday, Igor released a further update bring the app to v.2.5. Again, there a collection of new features added to the app and it’s great to see these incremental additions building Audio Mastering into a powerful mastering solution for iOS musicians. This time around, there are new options for metering within the compressor module allowing you to visualize more clearly what your compressor settings are doing to the dynamics of your audio. If you don’t trust your ears to tell you when you have taken things too far (and it is all too easy to fool yourself when mastering), visual feedback is a very good thing.
Amongst a number of other additions, you can now also ‘capture’ a snapshot of the frequency spectrum of your track during playback. This can either be the peak values or an instant value. Again, this is useful because you could make visual comparisons between your own tracks (before/after processing) with commercial tracks in the same musical genre. This kind of frequency ‘fingerprint’ is an interesting tool and you could easily imagine Igor developing this further so that you could save a frequency spectrum and display it as a ‘target’ while mastering a different track. Eventually, that might lead you to the option for spectrum matching via EQ; I’ve no idea if that is in Igor’s plans but it would be great to see :-)
The other neat addition in this release is the ability to do A/B comparisons between different processing options but at ‘equal loudness’. One consequence of mastering is that it does encourage us to make our tracks louder. When you then compare the processed and unprocessed versions, the processed version can sound ‘better’ to our ears simply because it is louder when, if fact, that loudness might be masking all sorts of other issue where our processing is actually taking us backwards in terms of audio quality rather than forwards. Being able to A/B the processed vs unprocessed (or one set of processed settings against another) and compensate for differences in volume is, therefore, a very useful feature to have.
As I’ve commented before on these pages, Audio Mastering is a great app and it is good to see an indie developer who keeps bringing new things to the table in his apps adding to their value to the user. If you feel like a bit of DIY iOS-based audio mastering is in order, at UK£8.99, Audio Mastering is exceptionally good value for money.