4 Best Online Mastering Tools for Independent Artists

Mastering your tracks is essential in preparing your music properly for distribution. In this guide, we break down our four favorite online mastering tools. 

Written by
amuse - May 2, 2022

Learning how to master your tracks is extremely time-consuming and finding the cash to pay for an audio engineer is difficult when you’ve got (one hundred) other things you need to spend your money on. You’re already hustling independently and finding creative ways to get your music heard, from promotion to securing live bookings. Time and budget are valuable, especially when you’re starting out.

Following the advancement in technology in the music industry, there has been an evolution in algorithmic online mastering tools and services. We compiled a list of our preferred online mastering tools that are easy to use and budget-friendly.

Before your song is ready to be mastered, you will need to make sure it’s properly prepared. Our friends at Masterchannel broke it down into 3 easy steps on how to prepare your music for mastering.

1. Masterchannel

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Masterchannel was co-founded by the superstar DJ Tom “Matoma” Stræte Lagergren – himself one of the most popular producers in the world, with over three billion streams amassed of his tracks – alongside German Mastering Engineer and Audio Researcher Simon Hestermann and Norwegian serial entrepreneur Christian Ringstad Schultz. The three share a burning desire to be a positive change in the music industry, so they joined forces to create their automated online mastering solution: Masterchannel!

Masterchannel aims to democratize the mastering process, offering a premium service at an affordable price, and per track instead of a subscription. This flexibility was designed for smaller labels with limited recording budgets, and to open up opportunities for independent artists to supply studio-level sound enhancement in earlier demo versions of their tracks.

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Key features

Other AI-driven products on the market compare the tracks users upload to existing songs and genres, but Masterchannel took a different approach. Instead, their unique algorithm mimics the thought processes of a human mastering engineer to deliver an impressive result.

Some of our favorite stand-out features from Masterchannel:

  • Studio-grade master quality: optimizes your music to sound great on all devices and streaming platforms, increasing your chances to get your music featured in the right playlists and outlets. 
  • Zero technical expertise required: requires no user adjustments, you'll get a ready-to-go master.
  • Mastering results in less than 10 minutes.
  • Master several tracks at once. Perfect for EPs and Albums. 
  • Revisions: we give you the chance to re-upload your mix if you need to do any adjustments to your initial upload.

Pricing

Masterchannel has a free trial upon sign-up, where you’ll be given a special code to use for a free mastering session. A great way to test their mastering service out before committing! 

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Masterchannel offers three different subscription tiers:

  • Lossless: The standard for distribution to streaming services. One mix revision included. 48 kHz 24 bit.
  • Hi-Res: Higher quality optimized for HiFi playback. Two mix revisions included. 96 kHz 24 bit. 
  • Ultimate: Pure raw audio for future remasters or archiving. Three mix revisions included. 192 kHz 64 bit. 

Now onto the pricing! 

FYI (🤫): amuse has an exclusive offer for Masterchannel for $11 for Lossless Mastering. To claim our exclusive discount, use the code AMUSE_VIP upon checkout.

For amuse users:

  • Lossless tier at $11 flat.
  • Hi-Res tier at $16 flat.
  • Ultimate tier at $21 flat.

Original pricing:

  • Lossless tier at $20.95.
  • Hi-Res tier at $25.95.
  • Ultimate tier at $30.95.

If you want to win a one-year subscription to Masterchannel: they have a special giveaway going on right now! Click here to read more.

Pros

☑️ Affordable pricing
☑️ Studio-grade quality with no technical expertise required.
☑️ Upload several tracks at once.
☑️ Quick turn around of your master (only 10 minutes).
☑️ If you need to adjust your upload, they offer one re-upload free of charge.

Cons

A computer-generated algorithm won’t pick up on some nuances in the audio that an experienced human audio engineer could.

2. Bandlab Mastering

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Bandlab started as a social network in 2015, set out to help musicians collaborate and share their music through their app and web service. You can currently make music, share it, collaborate, and engage with your followers.

A team of Bandlab’s audio engineers developed their artificial intelligence mastering service that’s now become a key feature in their service. Like other automated online mastering engines, you can upload a song to get it quickly mastered, for it to be suitable and ready for distribution. 

Key features

There are different elements to the free Bandlab membership including: 

  • BandLab: Their original membership allows you to upload songs, make music, and collaborate with other creatives who use BandLab. You will have access to all the necessary engineering tools needed to compose and record new music.
  • Sounds: With a big archive of royalty-free loops and sounds, you can use their library without worrying about infringing intellectual property.
  • Cakewalk by Bandlab: An online DAW created by industry professionals with over 30 years of expertise. You can record, edit, compose, mix, master, and upload your music when it’s ready to be shared.
  • Mastering: Their AI mastering service.

Pricing

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BandLab is 100% free, meaning you don’t have to create an account to master your tracks. But we recommend signing up for an account to access their long list of premium features. 

Pros

☑️ Always 100% free
☑️ You don’t need to create an account to master your music.
☑️ If you have an account, you can master past songs you’ve made through BandLab (Cakewalk).
☑️ Strong full suite of sound tools.
☑️ Smooth mastering for your existing tracks.

Cons

❌ You can’t edit or bundle an upload (one track at a time).
❌ The mastering tools are somewhat limited compared to other services.
❌ A computer-generated algorithm won’t pick up on some nuances in the audio that an experienced human audio engineer could.

3. CloudBounce

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CloudBounce is online audio AI mastering service created in 2015, backed by some of the most well-known names in the audio industry, including Focusrite and ROLI. Its AI mastering improves the sound of a song by boosting its volume and helping it match streaming loudness regulations.

CloudBounce’s service enhances the audio quality of any track by applying a wide variety of effects needed for that particular song. Some of these include compression, EQ, limiting, stereo imaging, and many others all designed to match the result of what a human engineer does when mastering a track. If you make sure your song is properly mixed before uploading, CloudBounce will give you back a great mastered result.

Key features

  • Upload multiple audio files at once.
  • You can choose the track's genre (for optimized mastering result).
  • The choice to use a reference track.
  • You can master a whole album or EP in one go. 
  • Organize the songs into one library.
  • Various format options are available when exporting the mastered song/s (MP3, FLAC, AIFF, WAV, etc).

Pricing

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CloudBounce has three subscription plans to choose from: 

  • Pay-as-you-go (billed per track) at $9.90. 
  • Infinity monthly plan (billed monthly) at $19.90 per month. You are able to master an unlimited amount of songs on this plan.
  • Infinity annual plan (billed yearly) at $199.99 per year. You are able to master an unlimited amount of songs on this plan.

They offer a free "trial" version on their website, so you can try out their service by mastering one track for free (before committing).

Pros

☑️ Affordable pricing
☑️ You can pre-listen to your mastered track before you accept it
☑️ Quick turn around of your master (only 5 minutes)
☑️ Easily share your mastered tracks with your fans
☑️ Constant updates, improving the quality of their service
☑️ Option to specify which characteristics of your audio file to enhance

Cons

❌ A computer-generated algorithm won’t pick up on some nuances in the audio that an experienced human audio engineer could
❌ There are limited preference styles

4. eMastered

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eMastered is an online automated mastering service that uses artificial intelligence to master tracks. The service was co-founded by Grammy Award-winning engineer Smith Carlson and hit EDM singer/producer Collin McLoughlin to create a mastered product that meets professional standards.

You can upload your song to their platform (in MP3, WAV, or AIFF) and have it mastered in seconds using their AI-powered mastering engine. Their algorithm is built on automation and will analyze your song to choose the best tools that will help enhance your track so it sounds like eMastered says, “more full of life”.

It’s not 100% automated, with some control over the intensity of several aspects like EQ, compression, volume, stereo width, and the overall "strength" of the master. There's also a simple 3-band EQ (Low, Mid, High) that you can boost/cut to your liking for each recording.

eMastered uses machine learning to improve each song it masters and is compatible with any genre. The premise of their service is to use traditional mastering techniques in an automated format.

Key features

  • You get a quality sounding master regardless of genre. 
  • Reference mastering. You can upload a reference track to be analyzed by the system. It then applies effects to your song in order to create a sound that is similar to the reference.
  • Advanced options/customizability. Allow for manual control of compression, EQ, and other factors so that the AI isn't performing all of the job without any help from the user.
  • Cloud storage. All of your masters should be backed up on the eMastered server.
  • One subscription plan which unlocks unlimited masters and downloads.

Pricing

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eMastered has one plan that you can pay for in three different ways. Upon subscribing, you get unlimited access to their mastering tools and downloads. Additionally, you get access to their reference mastering, shareable library page, cloud storage, and track statistics. 

Here are the three payment options for their plan. 

  • Yearly (billed monthly) at $24 per month. A one-year commitment is required with this plan.
  • Yearly at $14 per month. ($168 billed upfront).
  • Monthly (billed monthly) at $49 per month (you can cancel anytime).

Tip: If you want to get free months of unlimited mastering, eMastered has a referral program. Read about their offer here.

Pros

☑️ Affordable pricing
☑️ Several mastering settings that you can easily adjust
☑️ Quick turnaround and easy to use
☑️ Sonically it fills the complete frequency spectrum
☑️ Master your song using a reference track
☑️ Share your finished track with your fans

Cons

❌ The mastered track lacks a little magic that you get when you employ a dedicated mastering studio

If you find that you have the time to learn how to master your tracks, check out this article that breaks down our best mixing, mastering, and sound tools to help you step up your game.

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