In this video we test LANDR's new "album mastering" feature which is claimed to be able to master up to 20 songs all within a single and simple online process. Previously, LANDR could only master one song at a time, now LANDR subscribers can achieve a cohesive sounding mastered album simply by a couple of click of a mouse.
It can be very difficult to get a collection of mixes to sound as though they all belong in the context of an EP, album or playlist. Often one mix will sound louder than another, while others sound too quieter.
Years of experience has enabled me to develop several mixing and mastering methods that help me get songs to sound balanced both in tone and in loudness. It takes time and practise to develop those skills, but if haven't quite got those skills yet but you need to master a collection of mixes together to sound like a unified album then LANDR's new album mastering feature may be a tool that can help you.
LANDR's new album mastering feature claims to produce consistent, pro sound across entire projects. In this video we test that claim.
Video - Testing LANDR Album Mastering Feature
Spot The Difference - Before & After Audio Examples
Below you can critically listen to uninterrupted "before and after" audio snippets from each of the songs featured in this video. Each example was mastered through LANDR's album mastering feature. Listen to each example and try to spot the differences between the unprocessed mixes and LANDR masters.
The LANDR masters cut in and out at random times throughout each example. Can you hear the results of LANDR's processing? Tip: Each example starts with the unprocessed mix playing.
Sadly LANDR does not compensate level differences when comparing unprocessed mixes with masters in its engine. This is a real shame, we hope that LANDR will include this at some point in the future. It's so important to be able to hear changes in tone and dynamics without level differences. We have provided level matched audio examples below to enable you to hear the effects of LANDR without level differences playing tricks on your ears.
All examples below have been level matched to enable you to properly hear and compare the results of LANDR without any major level difference clouding your judgement
Download Audio Examples To Test In Your Studio
Download the audio snippets used in this test. Each song snippet has three audio example components:
- Mix - Unprocessed
- LANDR Master - Level matched to mix
- LANDR Master - Full loudness
Testing LANDR Album Mastering - Our Verdict
I can clearly hear the overall effects of LANDR's processing when I listen and compare the level matched masters to the unprocessed mixes. In each of the examples I can tell that some gentle EQ boosts have been applied along with limiting but nothing much more than that, nothing tonally distinctive, creative or characterful.
LANDR doesn't state what processes its engine uses but from what I can tell the overall results of the processes are fairly transparent and faithful to the original mixes. The results of LANDR's album mastering, on the whole, is also quite good. I wasn't expecting the album mastering algorithms to be able to get these tracks so close in level and presentation. I have also performed another LANDR album mastering test with different, more dynamic, material and the results were equally as good as the results in this test
I don't personally use LANDR because I self-master using a hybrid mix of analog outboard gear and software. Though I don't see myself using LANDR anytime in the future I will say that I'm very impressed with the results from this test. I can see why LANDR is so popular, it's easy to use, gets the level of songs up to spec and doesn't really mangle with the tonal picture of the mix.
My wife pays for an annual LANDR subscription so that she can quickly "master" the mixes of her songs in order to post her songs to Soundcloud or deliver to song pitches and collaborators safe in the knowledge that the overall levels of her tracks are competitive without having to worry about learning how to master or paying a mastering engineer each time she finishes a demo mix.