Sound on Sound has been taking an extensive look into T-RackS 5 MAX in the March 2019 issue and found it to be a mature, powerful and high quality mastering solution.
Here are some of the key comments from reviewer and audio expert, John Walden:
"Worth paying attention to is the Equal Gain button. With this option engaged, you hear the processed and unprocessed versions of the audio at similar overall volumes when you toggle the processing chain on and off. This makes it easy to check that your processing chain is preserving or enhancing the sonic quality, without your ears being fooled by simple volume increases. This is an important, and very useful, feature."
"The visual design and user experience 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."
"The new EQual module is particularly impressive, with 10 bands, very transparent operation and notably precise control making it a sophisticated tool."
"New for version 5 is an homage to the classic Manley Variable Mu compressor called Dyna-Mu. Along with the existing VC-670, this does a very forgiving job on any bus or master bus, even when pushed quite hard."
"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."
"The MAX version offers an almost endless set of options including the ability to add 'character' using the various emulations of classic EQ and dynamics hardware."
"The range of tools is impressive, and the mastering environment within the T-RackS 5 front-end is straightforward."
John's final verdict was:
"T-RackS 5 has matured very nicely. Whether as a mastering solution, or as a collection of plug-ins for mixing duties, T-RackS 5 does an awful lot very well indeed and misses very little. The range of price points also make T-RackS 5 accessible to a number of different groups of potential users: those new to DIY mastering are a prime target for the standard edition, while those already fully committed to building their in-the-box mixing and mastering system are likely to find MAX an impressive and powerful addition to any DAW."
+ Standard edtion is a great choice for those new to DIY mastering
+ MAX collection contains some excellent emulations of hardware classics, making it a good choice for mixing as well as mastering
+ Stand-alone version offers an easy-to-use and slick mastering environment
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