Final Touch update – Positive Grid add some tweaks to their iOS mastering app

Download from iTunes App StoreFinal Touch logo 2Mastering used to be a bit of an unknown art form hidden within the depths of the overall music production process….  the last stage of an album project where a golden-eared, super-experienced (read ‘costly’) engineer, using esoteric and super-high quality equipment (read ‘costly’) set about the various mixes on the album project and applied some sonic fairy dust to get the project sounding (a) like a coherent whole, (b) ready for broadcast (and which often meant making the overall playback level a bit louder) and, in the olden days of vinyl, (c) making sure the stereo mix wasn’t going to get the needle jumping out of the groove.

Today, of course, everyone knows about the existence of the mastering process and, while it is still somewhat shrouded in mystery, lots of DIY musicians will, as part of their own music production process, also take on the role of DIY mastering engineer. There are some powerful software solutions for this and, on the desktop environment, software such as iZotope’s Ozone has allowed even those on a modest budget to give this final processing stage a bit of a go. That doesn’t always mean the results are good – mastering is a difficult job and those golden ears and high quality monitoring are required for a reason – but, where budgets are tight, DIY may be all you can afford.

Final Touch packs quite a punch given the price - even at full price :-)

Final Touch packs quite a punch even at its original full price :-)

Given the history of the mastering process, it is hardly surprising that lots of experienced music professionals spit their coffee when you tell them you can have a stab at DIY mastering on an iPad. In fact, iOS is blessed with two very good mastering apps; Audio Mastering and Final Touch and, while you have to add all the other qualifiers about needing good ears and a decent monitoring environment to fully exploit them, in terms of the flexibility and quality of the processing (and, after all, digital audio software simply crunches ones and zeros so any modern computing device ought to be able to cope with that), both of these apps do a remarkable job.

Final Touch is very well featured but, like all mastering software, there is both art and science in its use.

Final Touch is very well featured but, like all mastering software, there is both art and science in its use.

Final Touch has been updated and v. 1.1.4 of the app appeared on the App Store today. As with the previous v.1.1.3 update back in May (which bought the Audiobus support up-to-date), this is primarily a maintenance update with a few fixes and minor tweaks. Still, its good to see that BIAS is not getting all of Positive Grids’s attention and the App Store blurb also hints at some new mixing/mastering tools that the Positive Grid team. Keep your eyes peeled….

As I covered in my original review of Final Touch, at the original asking price of UK£13.99, it was a heck of an app and to see such a sophisticated set of audio processing tools running on a platform like the iPad is very impressive. As it is now selling at UK£7.99 it most certainly qualifies as a bargain so, if you don’t already own a copy, hit the download button and check out the full details on the App Store. Well worth having in your iOS music app collection if you record your own stuff….

Final Touch

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    1. and…………………..wait for it. They are working on some new mixing mastering things. So……This begs the question……..Same destiny as JamUp and Bias FX route?

      Which, JamUp still works perfectly well, and still sounds great. But……….. Well you get the drift. right?

      • Hmmm…. that’s a thought…. Still, not much to go on simply via the hints in the App Store description so I guess we will have to wait and see…. Best wishes, John

    2. Chris Catalano says:

      Guaranteed they pull the same manoeuvre they did with the Jamup, Bias FX mess. I am sticking to Vasiliev or the Auria stuff. Even though I have Final Touch, I just have stopped using Positive Grid stuff out of Principle. Sorry John, I love your site, but these guys continue to piss me off with every move they make…

      • Hi Chris… I’m sure you are not alone in having some reservations in terms of what the rather brief message might mean given how PG approached the introduction of BIAS FX. We will, of course, have to wait and see what transpires…. but it is a shame if they have lost support of enthusiastic users such as yourself because, however the business model might be structured (and however any individual responds to that), they do make very good software…. very best wishes, John

    3. John,

      Does the stereo graphic work for you since the update? The blurb on the App Store says they fixed it but I’m still having problems. Mini 2, iOS 8.4 (not 8.4.1).

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