Reviewing T-RackS 5 MAX in the April 2018 issue of Sound on Sound, studio sound expert John Walden was impressed by the variety and quality of the emulations available.
Here are some of the key comments from his extensive review:
"One that's worth paying attention to: the Equal Gain button. With this engaged, T-RackS does its best to match the apparent level of the processed and unprocessed versions of the audio. This makes it easy to check that your processing chain is preserving the sonic quality, without your ears being fooled simply by volume increases. This is an important, and very useful, feature."
"T-RackS 5 MAX would take you from zero to hero in one step."
"The visual design and workflow are slick and, if you have passed your 'Loudness Wars 101' class, the metering options offer more than enough to help keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to getting your output levels in the loudness sweet spot for your musical genre."
"IK's own designs are the existing Classic and Linear Phase EQs, plus the new EQual. With 10 bands, very transparent operation and extremely precise control, this is a sophisticated tool."
"The Saturator X is an interesting take on tape saturation, with multiple modes. Used gently, it can add some subtle analogue style warmth in a mastering context, but you can also really cook things if you want something more obvious for an individual track within a mix."
"I was actually very impressed at how easy the ONE module makes it to do a basic mastering job when your starting point is a solid mix ... and I can imagine those new to DIY mastering finding this a really great place to start."
"The bottom line here is that even the standard edition is a perfectly capable mastering package; by the time you reach the MAX version, it offers an almost endless set of options including the ability to add 'character' using the various emulations of classic EQ and dynamics hardware."
John's final verdict is:
"Whichever version suits your needs, this is a quality product that has matured nicely to offer both a comprehensive mastering package and a really good collection of plug-ins for mixing duties."
+ Standard edition is a great choice for those new to DIY mastering
+ MAX contains some excellent emulations of hardware classics
+ Stand-alone version offers an effective and easy-to-use mastering environment
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