Nugen Audio has unveiled MasterCheck Pro, a new loudness, dynamics, and codec toolset for music professionals.
MasterCheck Pro enables producers to hear and visualise the playout encoding and loudness matching techniques now in use by music streaming service providers such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Digital Radio.
Ideal for both mix and mastering engineers, MasterCheck Pro lets producers audition different codecs in real time to help avoid codec distortion or over-compression, resulting in perfectly tuned masters for each digital music streaming service, Nugen says.
The plugin lets users instantly hear how their tracks are affected by loudness matching algorithms on different devices and services. Real-time codec auditioning helps users understand how masters respond to different codecs and bandwidths by giving them the ability to preview the mix through different encoding schemes and quality settings. Industry-standard meters show loudness and peak-to-loudness ratio (PLR or dynamic range) and how these factors are affected when the music is played on the target platform. Producers can also A/B the master FX chain with other reference tracks or with the uncompressed mix.
MasterCheck Pro’s loudness auditioning also reveals any level changes that may be applied by the streaming service. Its true-peak metering ensures the mix is within the delivery spec and guarantees the music won’t be clipped at later encoding stages.
“With MasterCheck Pro, producers can take back control of the listening experience and mix to the streaming services’ criteria. They can identify problems ahead of time and optimise their mixes, resulting in music that reaches the listener sounding exactly as originally intended,” explained Jon Schorah, Nugen’s founder and creative director. “With MasterCheck Pro’s loudness and PLR features, producers can find the sweet spot between perceived loudness and dynamics, resulting in a master that’s optimised to the format.”
For a limited time, MasterCheck Pro is available at an introductory price of $149 (regular price $199). The plugin supports AAX, VST, AU, and RTAS for both Windows and OS X operating systems.