NUGEN Audio has announced an update to its MasterCheck Pro loudness, dynamics, and codec toolset to Version 1.5 — with enhancements embracing support for the Apple AAC iTunes Plus native OS X codec and an update to the PSR (Peak to Short-Term Loudness Ratio) measurement to AES Engineering Brief 373 specification.
MasterCheck Pro is designed to assist producers to mix and master for Music Streaming services. Services such as Apple Music and Spotify use codecs such as AAC and Ogg Vorbis, to reduce the data bandwidth required to stream audio to the consumer. Codecs affect audio quality, so it is important to be able to audition them in realtime in a DAW in order to mitigate side effects caused by intersample clipping and bit depth reduction.
MasterCheck Pro is an essential mix optimisation toolset for mixing and mastering for streaming services. Version 1.5 places two important improvements in the hands of engineers keen to tackle advancing audio frontiers. Firstly, now that MasterCheck Pro supports the Apple AAC iTunes Plus native OS X codec, people producing to the MFIT (Mastering for iTunes) standard can take advantage of real-time monitoring of the native Apple codec in OS X.
Secondly, this update adds an option to use the recommended PLR measure as described in AES 373.
"The 'loudness war' still rages, but with major digital streaming services switching to loudness normalization by default, its end is near. Since absolute loudness is no longer effective at making music 'stand out, ' engineers are finding it much more effective to optimize micro-dynamics instead. The overall PLR (Peak to Loudness Ratio) of an audio track is widely recognized as a useful metric to assess the overall micro-dynamics of a section of audio and the likely results of normalization. However, short-term variations are also important, especially when judging the results of compression and limiting on audio quality, and these can be usefully assessed by a real-time property known as PSR (Peak to Short-Term Loudness Ratio). PSR is found to be straightforward and intuitive to use..." - excerpt form AES 373.
- Loudness matching for different music play-out services.
- Real-time encoding and decoding of streaming codecs within the DAW.
- PLR micro-dynamics measurement and visualisation.
- Broadcast compliant True-peak metering.
- Objective balancing of loudness and dynamics.
- Pre-mastering for digital streaming.
- Mastering for digital music services.
- Mastering for podcasts and digital radio.
- Codec distortion detection.
- Codec distortion prevention.
- Loudness and dynamics comparison with reference material.
MasterCheck Pro 1.5 is available now priced at $199 for Windows and Mac OS X in VST, VST3, AU and AAX plug-in formats.
It will be showcased by NUGEN Audio on booth #14005 at The 2018 NAMM Show, January 25-28 in Anaheim, California, so check it out if you're going.
Watch Mastering engineer Howie Weinberg on MasterCheck Pro: youtu.be/gT4wKgx-0NI