Like many long-standing iPad music makers, I’m a big fan of the iOS music apps produced by Igor Vasiliev. These include Master FX, Master Record, the brilliant AltiSpace and the equally brilliant Audio Mastering.
Mastering your audio (giving it that final polish through EQ, compression, maximising and stereo enhancement) is a bit of a dark art (and certainly requires some experience) but Igor’s Audio Mastering app does make that process very accessible even for relatively new users.
I reviewed ‘v.2.0’ of Audio Mastering app back in January on the blog. This 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. V.2.5 gave 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.
Igor has just announced that v.2.7 has just entered the Apple App Store approval process and should be with us in a few days time. The headline new feature is that – audio hardware permitting – Audio Mastering can now operate at 96kHz sampling rates. Providing your audio interface allows you to get audio into and out of your iPad at this sampling rate, Audio Mastering will work with that file and all internal processing will be carried out at 96kHz.
While I’m very much a 24-bit/44.1kHz kind of a guy, I can appreciate that this is quite a big step forward. One of the common criticisms those unfamiliar with iOS music production often make of the platform is that the audio quality isn’t as good as in the ‘professional’ world (whatever that might actually mean). Frankly, at 96kHz, the sampling rate will not be the cause of any audio problems; the issue will be whether other parts of your audio processing chain actually justify working at this resolution. If they do, then Audio Mastering will now keep up – and if you like what the app does to your mixes, there is no reason at all why you might not use it to master tracks recorded and mixed on a high-end desktop recording system.
Other additions in v.2.7 include support for Audiobus’ State Saving, new Stereo Imaging options and some new colour schemes…. and you still get all this for UK£8.99. Audio Mastering is an impressive app and, with v.2.7, it now looks even better.