Mastering is perhaps the single most important part of the music-making process. Along with a good song and well-balanced mix, the final processing of the track — creating the master —is of paramount importance to the finished result. Traditionally, mastering has been the preserve of a small number of highly skilled engineers in sonically perfect rooms with bespoke stereo-processing equipment. But with developments in technology — and in modern music-making workflows — new ways to master have emerged.
CloudBounce is one service that disrupts the traditional mastering workflow. It’s an online service that aims to “bring affordable, high-quality audio mastering to all musicians around the globe”. Users simply create an account and upload their mixed pre-master files (WAV, MP3 or AIFF) to the CloudBounce servers. From there, after submitting some basic information about the track, the system’s adaptive engine analyses the audio for characteristics, applies signal processing, then presents you a free full-length track preview for audition.
Users of the service can tweak the sound with a wide selection of genre-specific mastering styles until satisfied with the result, after which final masters are delivered in 24-bit WAV and 320kbps MP3 formats. (CloudBounce also offers a variety of other features for free, such as a shareable player page and infinite cloud backup.)
CloudBounce’s Artist Happiness Officer (yes, really!) Kristian Haapasalo explains further. “Our vision is to give all music makers and content creators a chance to insert mastering into their daily workflow in a way that’s high quality, affordable, and user-friendly. The vast majority of bedroom producers can’t afford or don’t need professional mastering. Also, many of them don’t have time or skills to do the mastering themselves. With the help of CloudBounce’s intelligent DSP technology using industry-grade mastering tools, professional level mastering is now within reach for the previously underserved demographic.”
With their service so readily available — and not having to content with the busy schedules of mastering engineers — Haapasalo also suggests other uses for their service. “You can enhance the sound of samples, loops, DJ sets, live recordings, speech and so much more. It’s a complete game-changer for aspiring producers looking for inexpensive yet high-quality mastering.”
CloudBounce is the Plugin Partner for the October 2017 Focusrite Plugin Collective.