IK Multimedia teamed up with mastering engineers Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen of Lurssen Mastering in LA to create the new Lurssen Mastering Console. I had a chance to take it for a spin recently with some Hiphop instrumentals. Here is what I found.
As far as mastering plug-ins go, Lurssen Mastering Console is intuitive. The interface is a decent balance of visuals and controls. The controls are input drive, push, 5 band EQ with 5 knobs, pre/post switch, stereo / mono monitoring switch, bypass switch, left/right link, transport controls with loop button and the automation button. Finally there are the classic analog modeled VU meters. That pretty much makes up the bottom half of the Lurssen Mastering Console.
Up top there is the file open and export icons. To the right side there are the waveform button that allows you to see the waveform of the file you are working on. Then there is the console chain button (for lack of proper terms). This button toggles the view from either the studio view (which has no apparent functionality) or the wave form view to allow you to view the actual chain of processors in the chain (more on that shortly).
Then there are the Song, Styles and Preset drop down menus that allow you to choose and list songs, select any one of 25 presets and/or save, load and manage presets.
According to the Style you choose from the menu of 25 styles, the processing chain of components may change. Conversely, parameters that you are allowed to adjust may change as well. This is sort of the crux of the entire product. IK and Lurssen wanted to expressly limit which parameters could and could not be adjusted. This is not a matter of particularly limiting the product and/or the user’s ability to use Lurssen Mastering Console. Instead it was a matter of assuring that the Lurssen philosophy and style of mastering remains in place as the user processes their audio.
According to Gavin Lurssen, the Lurssen Mastering philosophy is a matter of the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” which in turn “focuses on the connections, relationships, and interactions between each individual processing component in the chain.” This is why the chain cannot be changed overall. The chain is in fact dictated by the style chosen which then leaves minimal parameters available for adjustments. Honestly that works for me because it takes away the guess-work. I make beats and produce music. I have no time to master the craft and philosophies of mastering.
Let’s take a look at the Lurssen Mastering Console video review. Audio example begins at approximately 16 minutes.
So, the video above should give you a bit of an idea of the capabilities of Lurssen Mastering Console. If I could add anything or change anything it would be to maybe add an expert/advanced mode where the tools are available to be adjusted in the chain a bit more in-depth. For the mastering novice’s like myself, I’d maybe add the ability to switch between a digital meter and the included VU meter. For some reason I’ve always been a bit more inclined to lean towards the digital meter but I do understand that VU meters are typical in mastering. None the less, I realize that making these changes would change the product overall and I have to say that It works well for what I needed in a no frills mastering product.
Lurssen is available for iPad and for Mac/PC ($199) as a stand alone software mastering suite and as Audio Units, VST 2, VST 3 or AAX plug-in for use in your favorite DAW. Although when using in your DAW I’d recommend throwing it on the master when you pretty much completed production as most mastering software causes a bit of latency during production, especially in older machines. Imagine saving your session and adjusting it in the whip with the system up. That’s allowing you to a/b before committing or exporting. Pretty fresh indeed.
All in all, Lurssen Mastering Console is a pretty solid product that I know I’ll be using for some time to come. I’m already a fan and long time user of T-Racks, Lurssen Mastering Console sounds great and seems to up the ante while simplifying the process.
For more info head over to http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/lurssen/