- This topic has 9 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by eX Cess.
February 1, 2016 at 12:50 pm #3717Cris Sabater SabaterParticipant
Hi guys, I was reading the latest edition of Sound on Sound magazine when I came across something that tweaked my attention. There is a cloud based company called Landr that have introduced a mastering concept where you drag and drop into it's web interface and does it all for you apparently! They have now introduced a desktop app that they are teaming up with Presonus to use in Studio One 3 which happens to be my D.A.W. of choice. It runs on a subscription basis either Monthly or Yearly with different levels of end product I would imagine depending on how much you pay!
My question to you guys is what are your feelings about this? Obviously I would imagine it is aimed towards those who have either limited funds and don't want to go to a mastering engineer, or don't want to dabble themselves. My personal feeling is that I think everyone should have at least a little understanding of the different skills that go into a production whether it be production, mixing or mastering so they can appreciate the art that goes into it. I can understand that this is new technology and should be looked at and given a chance to prove it's worth but I think the Human element i.e using our ears and judgement must surely be why someone would approach us in the first place, it certainly is when I get approached to Mix or Master. If any of you have experience with this software perhaps you could let us know your feelings too.
February 1, 2016 at 7:15 pm #3742nhamielParticipant
- This topic was modified 7 years ago by Cris Sabater Sabater.
- This topic was modified 7 years ago by Cris Sabater Sabater.
I actually have a blog post coming out on this really soon. As a matter of fact it's mostly written I just need to find some time to get it looked over and finished, so thank you for the prod on that 😉
I'll summarize. The Landr results are pretty much unusable for any serious releases or anyone serious about their music. If you think about what Mastering actually is, then you will see that it really serves very little of the mastering purpose. The algorithm used is pretty horrible and contains a ton of artifacts from poorly done multiband processing and filter matrixes.
Mastering is the last step in the creative process and the first step in the distribution process. So not only is the service interfering with your creative process it's also providing none of the distribution process activities necessary for an actual release.
There are a ton of things that happen during mastering and the algorithm doesn't handle any of them here are a few examples:
Context (metal track or hip hop track)
Versions (digital, CD, vinyl)
Deliverable formats and metadata
The list really goes on and on and hopefully my blog post will add more context around these.
Jonathan Wyner really summed it up:
The best thing I could say about the LANDR result was that the level was consistent from one track to the next. What came out of it was harsh and bright with audible compression artifacts and the unmistakable signature of multi band compression. The balance of the vocals against the rhythm track had changed significantly....and it was fatiguing to listen to. Frankly, no, it was not useable in the sense that I could not, in any instance, recommend that someone use it....frankly even in a 'demo preparation' scenario, the result is just too unfriendly.February 2, 2016 at 3:00 am #3759Cris Sabater SabaterParticipant
Hi nhamiel, many thanks for your thoughts on this and I look forward to reading your article soon! As I suspected my concerns for this were right and I totally agree with you. I just couldn't see how this would work and it is great to have someone like yourself give your thoughts and confirm my own impression of this product.
CrisFebruary 4, 2016 at 10:53 am #3926nhamielParticipant
I finally decided to just put the blog post out. In the post I try to summarize and articulate my points of view on these automatic mastering services and why I feel they in no way perform their job well. I didn't even get in to the fact that even levels are a perception thing, but I think people can take what I wrote and figure out the rest.
Automatic Audio Mastering Services are Bad at Mastering
http://freqzone.blogspot.com/2016/02/automatic-audio-mastering-bad.htmlFebruary 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm #3931Lee HawkinsParticipant
"Choose a Mastering Engineer over an Algorithm" sums it all up perfectly. I've tried Landr and Aftermaster and the results were pretty poor.February 6, 2016 at 9:49 am #4056Magnus JohanssonParticipant
Hey Lee, did you also try to master your track yourself to see how you stood up against an algorithm?
I havn't tried either service but it could be fun to try beating the robot.February 6, 2016 at 10:01 am #4057Lee HawkinsParticipant
Mange, haha yes I did. I always do a master myself and I did compare against the 'Robots'. The tracks ended up going to pro mastering houses anyway so that was more of a comparison. Well there is no comparison..
For a guy who doesn't want to master and just post to Soundcloud, it may work. For commercial releases, not for me!February 6, 2016 at 11:16 am #4061Cris Sabater SabaterParticipant
Hi nhamiel, I read your blog post and it is very good and to the point. Great article mate.
CrisFebruary 15, 2016 at 9:10 am #4559camoe
Agree with everyone else. I had an artist send a landr version and I thought it sounded terrible. Not only was it smashed, thin, and way out of balance but the stereo field was collapsed to almost mono.
I assumed the clients mix wasn't all that good so I told him I would do one for free just so I could find out where it went so wrong.
He sent the mix and I was blown away. It was a good mix...ten times better than the master sounded with great balance and a wide, deep, stereo field.
Long story short, I've been mastering his single online release tracks ever since. I don't claim to be a mastering engineer by any means but any fool could out-master lander with just a stock plug-in limiter.
Chuck MoeMarch 16, 2016 at 4:39 pm #6104eX CessParticipant
I'm gonna read your article nhamiel, but so far what's been said is close to my assumptions...
Interestingly enough a friend's friend of mine who's a pretty big US producer told my friend he used Landr for one of his artists after being dissapointed by a mastering engineer and was really happy with the result. Knowing the pedigree of the guy I was kind of shocked, and my friend (who's got a pretty big carreer in France) argued that it was a matter of frequencies balance, so it was logical a machine or algorithm could do it...
At first i didn't know what to answer until I figured out it would obviously lack the human touch^^
Thanx anyone anyway to confirm my feeling about that thing
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