If you want to affordably master your music online without the need for any special software or training, LANDR (affiliate link) should be one of the first online mastering services you consider. You can hear the results for yourself further down this review, but the overall take away of LANDR mastering review is that LANDR offers a very useful tool for musicians who want to quickly, easily, and affordable get their tracks mastered.
In this LANDR master review, you'll learn:
- What is online mastering
- What makes LANDR's online mastering unique
- eMastered vs. LANDR
- Additional services offered by LANDR
- Hear 3 real demos of LANDR's online mastering
- LANDR pricing and whether LANDR is worth it
- What alternatives to LANDR are available
- What people are saying about LANDR
- Closing thoughts of this review of LANDR
As always, please feel free to share any questions or concerns about this LANDR review in the comments below. If you've used LANDR before, I'd especially be interested in hearing your reviews and evaluations.
Note: some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning that I receive a commission if you purchase through them.
What is Online Mastering?
Simply put, the primary purpose of mastering is to transfer the final mix of a master track to a storage device from which all copies of the track will be produced and distributed for commercial use.
The ideal outcome of mastering is to optimize the playback experience across all media formats (Spotify, CD, TV, etc.). Mastering is the final step in the music production process – much like the final coat of paint is for a bedroom wall. Adequate mastering requires sharp listening skills and is achieved through methods such as equalization and compression.
Historically, the skill of mastering was limited to professional sound engineers who had access to robust equipment and a versatile listening environment. Nowadays, an abundance of incredible tools on the market gives artists with little to no experience the ability to adequately master tracks from the comfort of their own home. In fact, the tools we will explore in this article live completely online so you can access them in a ‘drive-thru’ fashion for little to no cost.
Online mastering has proliferated over the past few years, and relies heavily on AI. Essentially, they've trained an algorithm by making it listen lots and lots of really good sounding, well-mastered recordings. Then they've taught it how to transform what you upload into something that reflects the qualities of the best masters out there.
Given how subjective art is, nothing can really compare to the results of a professional mastering engineer, but, as you'll hear later on in this eMastered review, the results from AI mastering are surprisingly usable!
What Makes LANDR's Online Mastering Service Unique?
LANDR is a massive competitor of eMastered (click here for an eMastered review), and for good reason. This mastering platform is built upon AI and machine learning technology from over 8 years of research and development to replicate the painstaking detail and nuances that professional human sound engineers are able to extract from their master tracks.
eMastered vs. LANDR
Much like eMastered, LANDR has the ability to master your track in accordance with other professionally mixed master tracks, within a given genre. The main thing that makes LANDR different, is that LANDR has a massive library of master tracks, styles and genres, which are automatically referenced.
eMastered (eMastered review & demos here), on the other hand, has you manually reference only a single track at a time. In my opinion, this gives LANDR the advantage in this department, because the software takes a larger sample size which will ultimately give your master track more precision and reference points in a given genre. That said, you also have the option to reference only a single track as well.
A super cool feature of LANDR is its customization. Based on what the AI learns in the analyzation of your tracks, it will create a unique set of audio controls to further tweak your sound in the post-production process. These post-production tools differ from one track to another based on the genre and data gathered during analyzation. Some of these tools include EQs, compressors, enhancers, etc. This gives you even more power at your disposal to make your master tracks 100% unique, allowing you to impart your own creative vision on the track!
On of the most important features that sets LANDR apart is its interface which allows ease and efficiency when mixing an entire album. You can easily create an album of master tracks and have the software do the heavy lifting of making sure each master track has similar mastering qualities across the album.
This will give your album a consistent sound which allows for a seamless transition from one master track to another. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping your album master tracks into the LANDR album mastering algorithm and letting the smart robots do the rest!
This is honestly a killer feature, because getting consistency across tracks is one of the biggest challenges in mastering. Just imagine if one song was noticeably quieter than the following track, or noticeable brighter? It would totally ruin the flow of your album!
If you're more comfortable with Instagram than sound engineer, this last feature is also really amazing. For example, if you are an inexperienced sound engineer, or would simply like to see what LANDR can do, there are three different mastering presets you can choose from – warm, open and balanced. Each of these mastering styles have their own unique feel and character. If you like a given preset, you can adjust the intensity of the filter and even save it as a favorite so you can apply it to your master tracks and finish them even faster.
LANDR also gives you unlimited storage, the ability to save a track and all the formats you need to share you music across all mediums. As discussed below in this LANDR review, they can even handle album distribution for you!
LANDR – additional services they offer
In addition to a mastering tool, LANDR also has a suite of plugins that are accessible through the website. You can test drive these plugins for three days at no cost before committing to one. There are no hidden fees and you can stop the plan at any time. The most popular plugin at the time of writing is their auto-tune plugin which gives you the ability to add subtle pitch correction or create extreme real-time effects with ultra-low latency; it only costs $5.49 per month! There is also a synthesizer plugin, and two free plugins – a guitar amplifier and a spectrum analyzer.
But that’s not all. LANDR has their own distribution platform to help artists get on all the major streaming platforms and market their music while keeping their royalties. LANDR helps you learn how to monetize your music across online channels and gain access to real time stats and data so you can make more informed decisions.
LANDR also has a library of sample beats you can choose from and even a network of professionals in the industry that you can browse and partner with to help you on your journey to creating the perfect master track or album.
Real Examples of LANDR Mastering
For the purposes of this LANDR review, I've gone ahead and run three of my songs through LANDR so that you can hear demos of how well LANDR did. I've also included a version of the songs that I've mastered myself, using offline software. I'm not a pro at mastering, but I've got enough experience to do ok. I'll let you be the judge of whether you think I did better than LANDR.
The first LANDR demo track is a hip hop beat:
The second LANDR demo track is a rock song:
I think the results from LANDR, sound pretty good, and the flexibility it offers is enough to make it a serious consideration for musicians who'd rather focus on other things. Still, if you don't want to hire a mastering engineer or take the time and expense of learning how to master, I think eMastered offers a pretty decent choice.
LANDR Pricing: is LANDR worth it?
You can test out LANDR by creating a free account and accessing two free masters per month. There are three main buy-up options: Basic, Advanced and Pro. Basic costs $6 per month and includes reference mastering. Advanced costs $14 per month and includes styles, volume match, mastering preferences and reference mastering along with unlimited LO-MP3 and HI-MP3 downloads. The Pro package costs $39 per month and includes all of the features in the Advanced package along with unlimited WAV downloads.
LANDR is much more affordable than eMastered, and in my opinion sounds better.
Of course, LANDR isn't the only option for mastering, let alone the only option for online mastering. When it comes to online mastering, eMastered's two big competitors are eMastered and Bandlab.
You can find my eMastered mastering review here.
You can find my Bandlab mastering review here.
Additionally, as I mentioned above, you can purchase some good mastering software and learn how to use it. Then learn how to put together a mastering signal chain. This will cost more money in the short-run, and take awhile to start getting good results, but over the long-term, you'll probably end up saving money and get better results.
Finally, you can hire a real, honest to goodness mastering engineer to take your tracks to the next level. This will undoubtedly lead to the best results, but may cost more - though it's still relatively affordable. Sites like AirGigs and LANDR Network offer lots of professionals to chose from.
LANDR – What people are saying/review quotes
“LANDR is what the game’s been missing” - RsonistArtist, Producer and member of iconic production duo Heatmakerz
"LANDR offers a quality finish that stands up to any major label release." – NAS, Rapper, Songwriter & Record Producer
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