Music Gear Review: Nugen Audio Mastercheck

MasterCheck is a metering/measurement plug-in (Native AAX, VST, AU) you would place on your stereo master mix bus. It comes in two variants: MasterCheck and MasterCheck Pro and both are designed to measure mixed audio destined for loudness normalization by streaming services such as iTunes Radio, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora and others.

Audio producers/mastering engineers are increasingly concerned with loudness targets and must take advantage of increased headroom that would be otherwise lost to automatic loudness normalization employed to lower the level of a “hot” masters making them quieter than they could be.

Nugen’s MasterCheck allows the measurement of loudness in real-time to a specified target level and also determines if your mix level will clip a subsequent streaming compression codec. MasterCheck has presets that let you compare the dynamics and loudness level of your mix to target loudness levels for a particular streaming platform. You can A/B and set the amount of dynamic compression/limiting of your mix to match loudness objectively.

The MasterCheck Pro version adds monitoring and measurement and real-time encoding and analysis of up to five codec streams to simulate what your music mix will sound like when streamed by any of the online services.

Nugen Audio’s MasterCheck Pro is a “must have” for modern mastering, music/audio producers to maximize the quality of their work when played-out of the streaming services. It is downloadable for $199.

nugenaudio.com/mastercheckpro-playout-loudness-dynamics-codec-metering-aax-au- vst_60

BARRY RUDOLPH is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com