FLAC And Opus Codec Support Added
MasterCheck Pro v1.4 adds FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) and Opus codecs to its loudness, dynamics, and codec toolset. Opus is one of the YouTube formats; FLAC is often used for downloads as it is a high-quality (lossless) format — for example, exploited by the music streaming service TIDAL.
What Is A Codec?
The term codec is an acronym for coder/decoder. Music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify use codecs to reduce the data bandwidth required to stream audio to the consumer. Codecs, unfortunately, affect audio quality, so it is important to be able to audition them in realtime in Pro Tools and other DAWs in order to mitigate side effects caused by intersample clipping and bit depth reduction.
Isn't FLAC Lossless? Not Always Explains Nugen Audio
It may seem strange that Nugen Audio has included a lossless code in FLAC to MasterCheck Pro. Like other lossless formats, FLAC uses compression algorithms that preserve audio data so the audio is exactly the same as the original source (input=output) when encoding within the same bit depth. FLAC is normally used to encode at 16 bit, but the conversion from 32 to 16 bit is not guaranteed lossless. FLAC also uses integers while DAWs deploy floating-point representations, so there is an additional complication even when producing a 32-bit FLAC stream.
Update To ISL On The Way
So in this lastest update, Nugen Audio has designed MasterCheck Pro to be used to audition those conversions while an upcoming update to ISL — Nugen Audio’s look-ahead limiter for true-peak compliance will soon be used to add suitable dither to help mitigate the effect of quantisation errors if necessary.
Streaming apps, download stores, websites, and podcasts all use data compression, loudness matching, or both. These processes can affect mixes in various undesirable ways with what once sounded loud and punchy possibly ending up quiet and flat, or being clipped or distorted.
Don't Just Hope For The Best
The advice is, don’t just mix for CD and hope for the best. The updated MasterCheck Pro is designed to reveal problems ahead of time, enabling engineers like the Grammy Award-winning Mandy Parnell to deliver masters tuned for online playout systems — including TIDAL and YouTube. Hearing how tracks are affected by loudness matching algorithms on different devices and services so knowing how masters respond to different codecs and bandwidths just became better with MasterCheck Pro v1.4... just ask Mandy Parnell.
Compatibility And Pricing
MasterCheck Pro is available to purchase as a 32 and 64-bit-supporting AAX-, AU-, VST-, and VST3-compatible plug-in for Mac (OS X 10.7 and above) and Windows (Vista and above) with a price tag of £126.00 or $199.00
Hear From Mastering Engineer Howie Weinberg
In this video, you can watch Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Howie Weinberg wax lyrical about mastering for the internet age with MasterCheck Pro.