Mastering is a vastly misunderstood process that’s a lot more than just raising the level and adding some EQ. That said, mixers definitely have a need to do just that when mastering budgets are non-existent. That’s where the new MasterMind mastering plugin from United Plugins and SoundDevice Digital comes in.
True mastering revolves around a mastering engineer with years of experience coupled with a precision room, both of which are out of reach for most songwriters or musicians. However, if you can automate some of the functions, that goes a long way towards getting similar results, and that’s what Mastermind attempts to do.
Under The Hood
First of all, it has an OPTIMIZE function that features a specialized algorithm to make the resulting signal sound richer and bigger-sounding, both from an audio and psychoacoustic standpoint. The optimizer control adjusts how much of that algorithm process is applied.
MasterMind’s MATCH function allows you to match the response of your track to a reference track. Load in the ref track, play it so the plugin can analyze it, then analyze your track and dial in amount that you want from there.
It wouldn’t be a mastering plugin without an EQ section, and you’ll find a two-band EQ that aims to sound like a vintage American tube EQ (I’m guessing Pultec). You get +/-16dB of low and high frequency shelving, along with an input level control and an output trim so you can push the EQ harder if you want a more saturated sound.
Speaking of saturation, MasterMind’s LIMITER section also provides a saturation control, along with the expected gain, threshold, and the critical out ceiling controls. There’s an off/off selector for the section, which you’ll find on the other sections as well.
In the middle of the plugin you’ll also find a nice real time analyzer, which will show the input, before limiter and after limiter signals. Finally, there’s also a stereo width control if you need to widen or shrink the stereo soundfield.
MasterMind features internal 64-bit audio processing and will handle sample rates to 192kHz. It will also intelligently detect when processing is required, and turns on sleep mode if not needed, meaning it requires very little CPU power so there’s still computing resources left for other processes.
The best part is the MasterMind is just $30 right now as an introductory price. Find out more here, or watch the video below.