This is a pretty amazing time to be a recording musician. With the options available in plug-ins, standalone programs, and even apps for your mobile device, the modern musician has the ability to record with the quality that was unheard of only a couple of years ago. IK Multimedia has long been the leader in mobile apps, plugins and other hardware for the modern, mobile musician. With the Lurssen Mastering Console now available for Mac/PC (in addition to iPad), they’ve taken their commitment to musicians even further.
Designed to allow “musicians, producers and engineers the ability to master their music, radio and tv commercials, film scores and more with the confidence and know-how of mastering engineers Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen of multi-grammy award winning Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles, CA,” this program is simple to master, whether you’re a seasoned pro at recording/mastering or taking those tepid first steps.
The streamlined mastering processing chain is modeled after the same audio processor chain and settings used every day at Lurssen. To make it even more streamlined and provide a solid starting point, there are 25 different “Styles” presets based on the collective experience at Lurssen. You can also opt to use it as an Audio Units, VST 2, VST 3 or AAX plug-in inside a DAW. In either case, the input gain and push knob controls can be automated and viewed. In the plug-in version, the dynamics processors can be automated and controlled with the preferred host DAW, complete with a high level of sonic detail (8.2/96kHz DSP processing).
All that is well and good, but how does it work in the real world? As luck had it, I had just finished a recording session for an upcoming album a week prior to this review, so with the raw, unedited takes in my possession, I figured it was the perfect choice to give the Lurssen Mastering Console a workout.
Opening the program and importing a file was as simple as you’d expect. I listened to it through unedited, and then started playing with the “Styles” presets. I ended up settling on the EDM (More Glue) Style, which made a noticeable difference (especially since the take in question is just solo bass). The In/Bypass switch made it very easy to tweak some of the EQ settings and get a real time idea of what effect (good or bad) I was having on the overall sound. Clicking on the top right allowed me to get into the compressor settings as well, and tweak that to taste. Once I was happy with what was done, I saved the track.
While this was just a very quick (and pretty easy, considering it was just one track) mastering project, it was clear that the Lurssen Mastering Console from IK Multimedia is a serious editing tool, whether you’re just doing some quick updates or are spending some serious time crafting the perfect master. And with the ability to share projects between the console and the iPad for even more options, the street price of $199 (for the PC/Mac version) is a fantastic deal.