June 23

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Landr Review: The Best Automated Online Mastering Platform?

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Mastering is the process of unifying an audio mix and the sound of the record, ensuring that there is consistency across the album. Normally, mastering is done by professionals known as mastering engineers. Mastering engineers unify various elements of an audio mix, edits the sound using audio engineering equipment into a final version of a song.

Following the advancement of technology in the music industry, there has been the development of algorithmic automated mastering websites and services. Many online mastering platforms such as Landr have been established and are reshaping the mastering industry. These platforms act as alternatives for human mastering engineers.

The following article is about the review of Landr, which has a mastering platform.

👉 Click here to Learn More about LANDR and Get 10$ Dollars BACK when you Choose a Plan!

 

landr site

What is Landr?

Landr is an online, cloud-based, evolving, automated mastering engine which uses artificial intelligence to master songs. Landr was developed in 2012 by MixGenius in Montreal, Canada, and is one of the major players in the rapidly developing online mastering industry. The purpose of Landr is to make the mastering process quick, easy and available to musicians, without any special knowledge required.

Landr reports that its automated mastering engine took over 8 years of research involving hundreds of mastering engineers and thousands of mastered tracks to develop for it to mimic what human mastering engineers would produce when mastering a track. It achieves this by using an algorithm.

Landr provides a cheaper alternative of mastering music, not only depending on human mastering engineers. It also makes the service available especially to upcoming musicians who may not have sufficient funds to pay for the services of a human mastering engineer. Landr is also a great tool for independent artists since it provides you with professional mastering services.

landr musician

My Experience Using Landr

I am a mastering engineer and I have to admit when I heard of Landr, I was not too keen to know what it was about. I was inherently skeptical especially of the thought of the art of mastering being performed by a software ran by an algorithm. That the process is completely automated and it does not use any human beings. I decided to try it out and compare its masters to mine, just to see if the masters were as good as those done by human mastering engineers.

I signed up on Landr. I was impressed by the free sign up. There was a free trial but the results I would get from it would not be as satisfactory as I wanted them to be. I paid for the pro subscription and uploaded one of my original mixes on Landr for mastering. The payment plan was somewhat confusing and needed a lot of concentration in order not to be misled.

The platform was pretty easy to use as all I had to do was to drag and drop my file on Landr and the mastering process began immediately. The process was fast and I downloaded the master. I then confirmed Landr’s master with mine and I was really impressed.

Landr had done a really good job in mastering my track and did not sound very different from my master and was fairly transparent and faithful from my original mix. I’ll definitely use it again, although not exclusively since I already know how to master, but it was a wonderful experience.

landr mastering

Key Features of Landr

Instant AI mastering

The main feature of Landr is its instant AI mastering. Landr has an adaptive mastering engine driven by an artificial engine which ensures that your tracks are mastered as soon as possible. All you have to do is to drag your files and drop them and the mastering process starts instantly.

Desktop App

Landr launched a free desktop app in 2015. The app was designed to make the mastering of music much easier. It was designed to expand the reach of Landr.com. It includes amazing features such as digital audio work stations (D.A.W.S), cloud storage, improved file management, and cloud storage backup for all tracks that have been mastered.

Bulk upload

Another new feature that Landr has is bulk upload. With this feature, artists are now able to upload whole albums for mastering. It is a quick, simple and cheap way to deliver an album which gives the audience a unified, cohesive listening experience across an album while at the same time expressing independent mastering from one track to the other. Landr is the first cloud-based mastering platform to offer mastering across an entire album. This is especially useful since musicians can now use Landr to polish all the songs of their album within a very short period of time.

Music workflow integration

The next feature by Landr is music workflow integration. With music workflow integration, you are able to point your digital audio work exports towards the Landr bounce folder and everything that you output will be automatically mastered.

landr promo

Cloud backup

Landr also features cloud backup. This means that every track that you master on Landr’s app and on Landr.com is automatically backed up on Landr’s cloud. The cloud is also very secure and you can be able to access any of your tracks anywhere, anytime.

Multiple formats

Landr also features multiple formats. Those who have subscribed to Landr have access to three different types of mastering sounds. The first mastering sound is “warm”, which is described as being thick and smooth and having a vintage warmth. The “balanced” mastering sound mainly focuses on depth, clarity, and balance. The final mastering sound is “open”, which is described as more modern and focuses on making the audio more present and punchy.

Volume matching

Another feature that Landr has is volume matching. Volume matching is utilized for playback. It lets you A/B between the mastered version and the original track which you uploaded at the same time. This feature is important since when comparing volumes, you are able to stay neutral about your thoughts on what sounds good. This will help you to avoid following the wrong notion that “louder is better.”

Mastering preferences

Another feature by Landr is mastering preferences. Mastering preferences enable you to save the intensity and style which you prefer most for you to refer to for future masters. This feature, however, is only available to those subscribed to all Advanced and Pro plans.

Samples

Another feature that makes Landr stand out is the free sample service that it has curated. The sample features several collections curated by various artists on a variety of genres ranging from soul to hip hop. The samples provided are free and the users are able to browse the genre of their choice. Using these samples, musicians are able to gauge the mastering that will be done on their tracks and influence the type of mastering they prefer.

How Does Landr Work?

This section of the article will tackle how best you can use Landr to master your Tracks.

Before you decide on how you want to master your track, you first need to have a good understanding of two crucial concepts applied during the mixing phase. It is very important that you take note of transients and headroom. Transients are the portion of a sound which create of attack. They are essential especially if you want your track to hit people in the chest. Transients make a sound interesting to hear. Transients should be delivered in such a way that there is decay after the hit, to create a nice variation.

Headroom is the physical space that is usually left in a mix for the purpose of the mastering process that comes afterwards. You should ensure that your track has sufficient headroom after mixing so that there is enough room for the mastering process. This ensures that your track has enough space to work with during mastering.

In order to ensure that your track has enough headroom before mastering by Landr, you need to record and mix at sensible levels. Preferably, you should maintain your peak levels at about -6dB on your master fader.

A mistake that most people make during mixing is that they mix too hot, then they put a limiter on the master bus to prevent things from clipping. The problem with doing this is that although the overload lights might be kept from turning on by the limiter, your dynamics are still harmed since all your nice transient peaks will be reduced and the dynamics from your track will be removed. This will result in a master that is less than ideal.

You should instead concentrate on ensuring that your mixes sound as best as possible. You should not be troubled if your mix does not sound loud enough since that will be taken care of in the mastering stage.

In addition, you should always ensure that your tracks are in the best file format possible before you submit them to Landr for formatting. You should preferably submit your track in a WAV or AIFF format. Your track should be exported in the same bit depth and sample rate as your session.

You should avoid sending MP3s, WMAs, M4As, or OGGs to be mastered. The best output format to choose for your Landr master is HD WAV. This will ensure that all copies of your soundtrack will be of the same good quality. In addition, you should use 24-bit resolution at all times. You should also let Landr handle the dithering if you can export 32-bit files.

You should also choose the right sample rate, depending on how much additional CPU strain your computer can handle. You need to work at the correct sample rate especially if you already know what your output needs to be, in order to avoid unnecessary conversion steps at the end. You should always ensure that the format you use for your Landr format is HD WAV so that you can be prepared for any formatting needs in the future.

With Landr, you get to choose how you want your mastering to be done depending on your preferences. You can select the style you want. Whether warm, balanced, or open, or change your preferred intensity. The mastering preferences, however, are only available for the Advanced and Pro plans.

Mastering your track is then simple from here. You just drag and drop your tracks into the track library. You can also click the “Master Tracks” button and then select the files you want to upload.

landr pricing

Price and Plans

The pricing system of Landr may be somewhat confusing. There are two main payment plans; the yearly plan and the monthly plan. Under these plans, there are three subscriptions from which you can choose from. These are; Basic, Advanced, and Pro. There is also a free option which you can use to test out Landr. With the free account, you can download the tracks you have mastered in low-resolution MP3s for free. The WAVS, which are of higher quality, cost about $10 a piece.

For the Basic subscription under the yearly plan, you can either pay $4 per month or pay $48 per year, and save 32%. The result of the master from the Basic subscription is described by Landr to be quick, dirty, and compressed. For the Basic subscription, you get to download an unlimited number of your mastered tracks in low-resolution MP3s. The cost of downloading your tracks in HI-MP3 is $4.99 per track. The cost of downloading your tracks in WAV is $8.99 a piece, which is about 10% off compared to when downloading when using the free option. There is also an option to download your tracks in HD WAV, which costs $17.99 a piece.

For the Advanced subscription under the yearly plan, you can either pay $9 a month or pay $108 a year, and save 35%. The result of the master from the Advanced subscription is described by Landr to be small files that sound great. For the Advanced subscription, you get unlimited downloads for both low-resolution MP3s and HI-MP3s. The cost of downloading your tracks in WAV is $6.99 a piece, hence you get to save 30% of the actual cost. The cost of downloading your tracks in HD WAV is $17.99 a piece.

For the Pro subscription under the yearly plan, you can pay either $25 a month, or pay $299 a year, and save 37%. The result of the master from the Pro subscription is described by Landr as the gold standard. For the Pro subscription, your masters get unlimited downloads for low-resolution MP3s, HI-MP3s, WAVs, and HD WAVs.
The monthly plan is similar to the yearly plan, only that the Basic subscription costs $6 per month, the Advanced subscription costs $14 a month, and the Pro subscription costs $39 a month.

I would advise you to choose the yearly plan instead of the monthly plan because it is cheaper, especially if you plan on using Landr for a while.

landr music

Pros

  • Provides a cheaper alternative for human mastering engineers
  • Has instant AI mastering
  • Frequently updated to provide quality services
  • Supports bulk upload
  • Provides quality mastering

Cons

  • Their pricing system is somewhat hard to grasp
  • It lacks the “human touch” felt when tracks are mastered by human mastering engineers

Verdict

Compared to other similar products, Landr does a very nice job in mastering. It is definitely worth giving a shot if you are looking to reduce your music post-production expenses.

The free trial is absolutely godsent because it gives you an opportunity to try the software out first before committing financially to it. So definitely try it out and see if it is something you could see yourself using longterm because you have nothing to lose.

👉 Click here to Learn More about LANDR and Get 10$ Dollars BACK when you Choose a Plan!

 

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