Mastering used to be a bit of an unknown art form hidden within the depths of the overall music production process. However, today, of course, everyone recording musician 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.
iOS is blessed with a number of very good stand-alone mastering apps. Audio Mastering and Final Touch are probably the most widely used but there is also the new contender from IK Mulstimedia to consider; Lurssen Mastering. 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), all of these apps do a remarkable job.
Final Touch has been updated today and v. 1.1.7 is now available for download on the App Store. This is primarily a maintenance update but the notable changes are an update to the latest AudioShare SDK and a fix for an issue in the Stereo Imager module. It is, however, good to see the app being maintained in this way.
As I covered in my original review of Final Touch, at the usual asking price of UK£14.99, the app offers a heck of lot of processing and to see such a sophisticated set of audio processing tools running on a platform like the iPad is very impressive. Having now used the app on my iPad Pro, while it may remain operationally the same, in terms of easy of use, it is good to have a little more breathing space for the fingers. Final Touch is well worth having in your iOS music app collection if you record your own stuff…. Oh, and as it is currently priced at UK£3.99, then it is an even better deal :-)