As a part of Cakewalk’s strangely named Newburyport update to their SONAR range of DAW software, they are teaming up with online mastering robots LANDR to give you fully integrated mix mastering.
The integration comes in the form of a desktop app that is launched whenever you select LANDR from the export menu – so it’s less like integration and more like a companion really. At any time during your music making you can export a mix to LANDR and see how it might sound as an end product. You can export and preview the result as much as you like but if you want to download the result you have to sign up and start per file or via a subscription. The SONAR tie-in gives you two free low-res MP3’s per month which, if you’re anything like as prolific as I am, will be plenty.
LANDR is a very cleverly constructed artificial intelligence based on algorithms designed to mimic the techniques and skills of “top” mastering engineers. They don’t claim that it can replace a human’s ears and experience but it many cases it probably can. They call it a “production companion” and talk a lot about the science of mastering and how LANDR is designed by sound engineers as a useful tool. It can certainly give you an idea of how good it could sound if mastered properly, or if you need something in a hurry. The sort of language they use is very diplomatic but to be honest if you don’t feel you have the skills to mess around with mastering plug-ins or the money to send it to a mastering house then this is a really attractive option.
The other new thing in the Newburyport update is an Add Track Menu which makes it easier to choose and setup a new track plus a bunch of other bug fixes and improvements. This is a free update to all members of the SONAR glee club and is available in February via the Command Center.
More information: https://www.cakewalk.com/Products/SONAR/Rolling-Updates#Coming-In-2016