NUGEN Audio MasterCheck Plug-in

Loudness Metering and Standards Comparison Plug-in - Mac/PC AAX, RTAS, VST, VST3, AU, AudioSuite
5/5 1 Write review Item ID: MasterCheck
NUGEN Audio MasterCheck Plug-in image 1
NUGEN Audio MasterCheck Plug-in image 1
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Software Compatibility

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If you're using Pro Tools, AAX plug-ins (or RTAS for older versions) are what you need. Most other Mac DAWs support AU plug-ins. VST is compatible with a number of Mac and Windows programs. Be sure you choose plug-ins that work with your DAW!

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NUGEN Audio MasterCheck Plug-in
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A Must-have Tool for Today's Loudness War

As yesterday's volume wars give way to today's loudness standards, the need for beefier dynamics processors has been largely supplanted by the need for detailed loudness meters. Nugen's MasterCheck doesn't just give you the accurate loudness metering you need to prep your mixes and masters for iTunes, Spotify, and mobile streaming, it lets you hear what your music will sound like when subjected to their standards. What's more, MasterCheck lets you easily compare multiple processing chains to see what effect they'll have on your mix after compression, so you won't be surprised when your 24-bit master is reproduced as a streaming AAC file.

Nugen MasterCheck Loudness Monitoring Plug-in at a Glance:
  • Standard loudness measurements go far beyond the volume of your material
  • Loudness monitoring that lets you mix for today's streaming and compression codecs
  • Easily A/B processing chains with matched loudness to provide accurate comparison
Standard loudness measurements go far beyond the volume of your material

Just as the era of the CD and tape are over, so is the standard of mixing to -3dB. On the plus side, this new age of mixing is finally putting to bed the practice of squashing the life out of every mix with brutal dynamics processing, but on the minus side, and serious mix engineer has to master a whole new scheme of loudness metering, and yesterday's -3dB is today's -16LKFS. Luck for you, Nugen's MasterCheck plug-in makes that easy. Strictly from a metering standpoint, every important metric for loudness, whether it's program loudness, PLR (Peak to Loudness Ratio), short-term loudness, or true peak, you'll find all the metrics you need onboard MasterCheck.

Loudness monitoring that lets you mix for today's streaming and compression codecs

MasterCheck is far more than just a metering plug-in, and while its metering is impressive in its own right, it's the ability to apply and monitor through the loudness schemes of various compression codecs to hear how your mix will sound as, for example, an iTunes AAC file or streaming from Spotify that makes it a must-have mixing and mastering tool. Loudness presets for iTunes Radio, mobile streaming, and international standards such as EBU R128 and the ATSC A/85 Calm Act let you instantly check how your material will sound on most popular platforms, so there will be no ugly surprises down the road. And thanks to functions such as Offset to Match and color banded target zones for precise metering, checking your mix and tweaking it to meet your expectations is remarkably easy.

Easily A/B processing chains with matched loudness to provide accurate comparison

As we mentioned before, the coolest aspect of MasterCheck is its Offset to Match function, which applies the reference loudness standard you've called up to your material. But what really blew away the engineers here at Sweetwater is the way you can combine this function with MasterCheck's Send plug-in. Insert the Send plug-in at the beginning of your processing chain, and you can effortlessly A/B your unaffected signal with your processing through the loudness standard of your choice, providing you with an instant comparison along with a loudness comparison meter. What's more, you can use this same external input function to check your mix against reference material.

Nugen MasterCheck Loudness Monitoring Plug-in Features:
  • A fully-loaded loudness metering and comparison plug-in designed for streaming and compression standards
  • Mix and Master directly for Apple, Spotify, DAB Radio, and other modern music consumption formats
  • Offset to match function lets you hear what your audience will hear, so you can to produce with confidence
  • Standards include Apple iTunes Radio, Spotify, EBU R128, ATSC A/85 (Calm Act), and mobile streaming
  • Measurements include program loudness, PLR (peak to loudness ratio), short-term loudness, and ITU-compliant inter-sample peak
  • Color banded target splits let you zero in on specific zones within the bar meters
  • Included Send plug-in and external reference function let you A/B processing chains for quick comparison
  • Check your mix compared to reference material to more easily achieve your loudness goal
  • Compatible with AAX, VST, AU, and RTAS/AS plug-in hosts on Mac and Windows PCs
Win the loudness war with Nugen's MasterCheck plug-in!

Additional Media

Winter NAMM 2016: NUGEN MasterCheck Plug-in

Tech Specs

Software Type Mastering
Platform Mac, PC
Upgrade/Full Full
Download/Boxed Download
Bit Depth RTAS, AAX, VST, AU, AudioSuite (32-bit)/AAX, VST, VST3, AU, AudioSuite (64-bit)
Format AAX, RTAS, VST, AU, AudioSuite
Hardware Requirements - Mac 512MB RAM
Hardware Requirements - PC 512MB RAM
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.6
OS Requirements - PC Windows XP
Manufacturer Part Number 11-33126

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Write your review

Excellent Tool

With the changes in place and coming to the broadcast/streaming of audio, a tool like MasterCheck is vital to understanding how a mix will sound in the new normalized loudness environment. If you are not yet aware of the changes, in the old 'system' music was played so that the peaks were at 0 dBFS, or slightly below. If you wanted your music to sound loud, all you had to do was use compression or limiting to make the average level closer to the peak level. This lead to the 'Loudness War' with some music having an average level only 2-3 dB below 0 dBFS, and usually sounding like c**p in the process! Death Magnetic was so crushed that even hardcore fans protested the release. And it is not even the worst casualty of the 'war'. The new broadcast/streaming requirements set the average (program loudness) to a prescribed level - a greatly compressed song plays at the same average level as a very dynamic song. In fact, in many cases a highly compressed/limited song will sound quieter than a dynamic one! MasterCheck not only allows you to analyse the dynamics of an audio file, but can automatically set the program loudness to a given level after analysis, allowing you to compare two or more songs after they have been analysed. This enables comparing your work to reference songs, or comparing several versions of your work processed in different ways. And there is more! One of the most useful features in MasterCheck is the ability to normalize the audio level in an FX chain so that you can listen to the effect of the FX with the loudness change removed, and instantly switch between FX and no FX. As you know, louder always sounds better (until the audio is badly crushed!) so a tool that automatically adjusts and routes audio around a set of FX plugins is crucial to hearing how the FX are actually affecting the audio. Overall, a fantastic and important tool for 21st century music production.
Music background: Many years of live sound, recording, mixing and mastering.
See also: NUGEN Audio, NUGEN Audio Plug-ins: Utility