NUGEN Audio has released version 1.5 of its MasterCheck Pro loudness, dynamics, and codec toolset.
The update comes with enhancements embracing support for the Apple AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) iTunes Plus native OS X codec and also the PSR (Peak to Short-Term Loudness Ratio) measurement update to AES Engineering Brief 373.
“I have to deliver final mixes that will sound great on multiple streaming services, radio, iTunes, and in clubs; MasterCheck Pro allows me to do this… it might just be the most important toolset in my arsenal.”
– Dave Pensado, GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer (Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige), 2018
The term codec is an acronym for coder/decoder. Music streaming services such as Apple Music® and Spotify use codecs 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 (Digital Audio Workstation) in order to mitigate side effects caused by intersample clipping and bit depth reduction.
Rescue from this sorry situation is always at hand, however, thanks to NUGEN Audio’s award-winning MasterCheck Pro, perfectly positioned as an essential mix optimisation toolset for mixing and mastering for streaming services.
Ultimately, Version 1.5 of MasterCheck Pro places two important improvements in the hands of eager-eared 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 — and all from within the comfort of their chosen DAW.
Delving deeper, by way of brief background, NUGEN Audio joined a panel of experts, together with the AES (Audio Engineering Society), to write an engineering brief — AES Engineering Brief 373 (Measuring Micro-Dynamics — A First Step: Standardizing PSR, the Peak to Short-Term Loudness Ratio) — on PSR, pushing to encourage consistency and adoption amongst manufacturers and engineers, and harmonise usage. Usefully, Version 1.5 of MasterCheck Pro updates its PSR measurement in line with the resulting AES panel recommendations contained within that brief — available for download in the AES E-Library, where the following excerpt from its introduction makes for fascinating reading:
“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…”
Updating MasterCheck Pro to Version 1.5, NUGEN Audio are advancing this essential mix optimisation toolset for mixing and mastering in accordance with today’s increasingly streaming serviced-society so that the likes of GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer Dave Pensado can continue to deliver music mixes safe in the knowledge that their work will work… wherever it is being streamed.
NUGEN Audio will showcase version 1.5 of MasterCheck Pro on booth #14005 at the 2018 NAMM Show, January 25-28 in Anaheim, California.
MasterCheck Pro for Windows and Mac (VST/VST3/AU/AAX) is available from Plugin Boutique for £126 GBP/$199 USD ex. VAT.
More information: NUGEN Audio MasterCheck Pro