Producing music has come a long way since record players and radio were the only means of listening to songs. With the wealth of technology and access, we have to create our own tracks and release them to the public.
Making your mark on the industry is more simple than ever. You just need a plugin of your own to work with and produce quality mastered music that you can release straight to Bluetooth radio.
Choosing the right program for you can hinge on many different factors, and some software does better for your specific mastering needs than others. Some lean towards a manual approach, while others enjoy the assistance of an AI while working.
It’s important to know what you’re getting into before deciding on a mastering program. Your music deserves to be heard in the highest quality, keeping a sense of your unique and personal flair that will strike listeners. Plugin your earbuds and get ready to learn about the best mastering plugins from 2021.
Best Mastering Plugins 2021
1. Curve Bender by Softube
We start out the list with a program that’s been put to the test for years. It’s known as one of the best mastering EQ plugins of all time because of its connections to the past. It boasts analog sounds that have been popular for decades and the anthems of many popular musicians.
The quality and peace of mind that come from a reputable brand bring confidence to a user trying to make their musical mark.
Abbey Road was the studio home of the Beatles and, in more recent years, has recorded and mastered music from Amy Winehouse, Adele, Sam Smith, and Florence + the Machine.
Curve Bender gives you various options and additional plugins seamlessly a part of the deal and access to popular sounds that have passed the test of time.
- It gives your music an airy and clean sound with notoriously high quality.
- Flexible design lets you master various tracks with ease.
- It adds a classic vintage sound to your tracks.
2. Ozone 9 by iZotope
A modern and efficient plugin that gives you space to be creative and control your sound, Ozone is one of the most all-inclusive programs on the market with waves mastering plugins. It is available in Standard and Advanced, and new features and improvements are updated regularly.
It’s a great program for beginners, with its AI assistance tools allowing you to get the hang of it. While it is simple, there are many features bundled up into a clean program that make it convenient for Pros to use as well. It is by far one of the best mastering compressor plugins on the market today.
A quick search shows how popular and relied upon Ozone 9 has become in recent years, almost as a staple in the mastering world for artists of any skill level and genre. It can seem too good to be true, but it really offers a broad spectrum of tools for every mastering need.
- Simplistic and helpful design for beginners and pros alike.
- Excellent Tonal Balance Control and EQ matching.
- Lots of tools for different points in the mastering process.
3. Brainworx by bx_masterdesk
This plugin gives you a mix of all needed components to create a professional-sounding track in a neat package. One TMT plugin gives you a quality analog mastering system that puts you in charge of your experience.
It boasts no AI, multi-band, or virtual assistants, so it leaves you in full control of the sounds you produce. Since it has all the needed components for professional material and an intuitive interface, it is simple to learn the basics by yourself if you are just beginning. There are presets and a clear metering system to allow you to get started and get the ideal sound for your project.
For those who want to rely on their own knowledge and skills when trying a new program, Brainworx is a great candidate.
- Intuitive and inclusive mastering in one place.
- Extensive presets for quick sounds.
- Manual control of your creative process.
4. Pro-L 2 by FabFilter
Fabfilter has multiple quality plugins for mastering, one of these is their peak limiter plugin which allows for top-class metering for the best possible sound results. Its interactive assistance gives hints for a simple user interface—great for the beginner dabbling in mastering.
There are eight different limiting algorithms, optional compact layout, and transparent sound—these are just the start of the complex features the Pro-L 2 offers.
- True peak limiting.
- Lots of limiting tones.
- Award-winning program.
5. Pro-Q 3 by FabFilter
Once again, FabFilter returns with an equalizer that produces the highest possible sound quality while remaining easy and efficient to use. A good equalizer makes or breaks a mastering system and is one of the most common aspects of mixing.
Not only does the Pro-Q 3 offer beautiful sound mastering, but it is also presented on a crystal clear and stunning display. It’s pretty to look at and easy to use and designed to give your creative process a boost.
- Easy to use interface.
- Top-quality sound.
- Award-winning program.
Choosing your mastering program is a personal decision based on your preferred ways of working. Manual or assisted by the program, your music will sound epic when mastered by any of these mentioned plugins, whether streamed on a laptop or blasted at a festival.
For beginners, it might seem daunting to try your hand at mastering your own music with not much background, but these programs give you solid options to choose from for your endeavors. Professionals who are trying out new systems and products have a wide variety to test and approve.
The market has great options for everyone looking into mastering plugins no matter what skill level they’re at, and we’re glad to recommend our top picks to all current and upcoming mastering engineers across all genres.