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  • Writer's picturehorizonsoundstaff

Comparison with automatic mastering service

Updated: Nov 28, 2021



Recently, there has been an increase in the use of AI technology and a type of mastering called automated mastering. I feel that the world has become a more convenient place. So I'd like to compare automatic mastering and manual mastering.


So let's get started.

Sound source for the original two mixes

I felt that the bass was a bit dense. I thought it would be cool if I could improve the separation a bit in the mastering process, so I wanted to improve the separation and raise the treble a bit to change the frequency distribution, which is common in rock music.


Some automatic mastering made in Japan

The sound pressure is definitely slightly higher. I guess the name of the service is right.

For those who feel that mastering is only about adjusting the volume, this service seems to be useful because it is free. If you don't want the mastering to be actively musical, you can use it to automatically adjust the volume with two mixes.


Manual mastering

A certain automatic mastering company was raising the sound pressure, so I raised the sound pressure as well. I don't think sound pressure is a point of concern in this day and age, so I think the main point of difference besides the sound pressure is the addition of left-right spread. You can also hear that the contour of the sound has become larger. With an automatic mastering service, the volume is increased, but the contour of the sound remains the same, as if it were packed in a small box. With manual mastering, the sound spreads out to the left, right, up and down, and the contours of the sound become larger. And the frequency distribution is adjusted to sound like rock.


summary

Mastering can't be automated yet, and even if AI does its best to learn, it doesn't always know whether theoretical adjustments are good for the song, and it's hard to believe that the best parts of analog equipment can be completely simulated. With manual mastering, it is possible to completely change the atmosphere according to the client's request.


Mastering is like a fad, especially for AI systems, and I think you need to be careful when using it. The current AI is simply suggesting settings that are the result of analyzing many past songs and finding the right balance for many songs. Artists are trying to create music and sounds that have never existed before, so it is more important to create a sound and balance that is "new now" than to analyze the past. Therefore, I think it is important to use the software with the idea that it needs to be fine-tuned by human judgment.


Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

In conclusion, I think that manual mastering through human hands can still give better results. This time it was an instrumental recording, but it would be interesting to compare the automatic mastering with a version of a song.



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