Just To Clarify
I am a mix engineer making the transition to mastering. I read all the reviews and was hoping for shades of a Neve Portico II MBP. Not so much. If I want to nit pick, the compression of the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor blows away the Masterdesk compression. I have never been a fan of fixed ratio compression, so there is an inherited limitation that comes with this plug in. That being said, the parameters of the Masterdesk plug in are subtle, specifically for mastering. If you combine Masterdesk with Shadow Hills, it becomes more of an all-in-one solution, keep that in mind. I would like to see the Neve Portico II MBP as a plug in. I want SILK.
This plugin is the best mastering plugin I've used. I own other mastering software, but this beats them all. I can consistently produce better mastered tracks in less time. I use it on every master bus.
Mastering Made Simple
I've always found the art of mastering to be a bit of an enigma. Plugins like Izotope's Ozone can help provide a starting point but you're still left with a veritable minefield of complex parameters to tweak in the chain. Masterdesk not only puts these under the hood but would appear to have taken the strain and pain out of the guesswork too that's so often a part of this post processing for lesser mortals. You're left with a very intuitive system of controls to deal with that can only lead to a great result.
It's not cheap and constitutes a significant investment but when it's a plugin you can see yourself using on, more or less, every creation to deliver that polished and balanced analog tone quickly and easily, it will pay for itself in next to no time.
Legit analog tone, powerful, simple.
From top to bottom, this is a fantastic plugin to use on your master bus. I keep mine at the end of the chain right now.
The compression is very useful, the widening is sweet, and the eq is very musical but practically invisible in how it operates. This is just a great box. Not as in depth and surgical as an Ozone 8, but the point is, it's got a very musical, analog sounding tone to it, and it's just a joy and real breeze to tinker with from the listening position.
Hands down one of my favorite UAD plugs. I'm sure an analog unit would probably be even better—and slightly larger/wider—due to the imperfections, noise, and harmonic distortions. But gosh... this is as analog as I've heard any plugin get, and it doesn't leave me wishing for more. Very sweet box.
Don't try the demo though unless you want to buy it, because you will want to buy it. Also, if you're going to buy it, always buy a 3-5 pack of plugins. Just makes so much more sense price-wise.
All the best, world.
Excellent Quick Mastering for Busy Engineers
The Brainworx bx_Masterdesk allows you to "finish" your mix in a way that will allow it to stand alongside mastered material in terms of colour and loudness. It's not a replacement for a properly mastered track by an experienced mastering engineer but it will get you in the ball park. I use it as the last thing on my mix bus in all my mixes now. i used it every day during the 14-day trial period and couldn't go back once the trial expired. I had to buy it.
One thing I have noticed and it might be DAW specific (Studio One 4.1 in my case) is that entering a value manually by double clicking the large volume control doesn't make the knob move or appear to make a difference at all, meaning I have to use the mouse to set the volume to a specific value. This can be a tad finicky. Other than that one small foible, I thoroughly recommend this excellent plugin.
Honestly amazing and foolproof.
I have never been very good with getting that "Magical" mastering result. This thing is the secret weapon for all of us who can mix, but miss that last special piece. Its PERFECT!
All in One.... Eccellente!
È uno dei plug-in più costosi ma il suo lavoro lo vele tutto.
In una splendida grafica semplice ed intuitiva avete tutto ciò che serve per fare un mastering di qualità. Fantastico il De-Esser, il Turbo Limiter e le Compressioni TMT, il suono rimane sempre molto naturale (grazie anche alla Compressione Parallela)
Con l'ausilio di un buon equalizzatore (a me piace il Pultec-Pro Legacy), io mi diverto a rimasterizzare vecchi album degli anni 70 / 80 rendendo loro nuova vita e nuovo sound.
Consigliato a tutti quelli che vogliono un plug-in semplice ed efficiente senza dover perdere tempo e soldi in numerosi altri plug-in
UA plugins are my favorites because they're great tools. To get the most from them you really have to know what you're doing, but they always deliver. This one is different. It's kind of like magic. Maybe I just say that since I'm a mix engineer and not a trained mastering engineer. But this plugin just pulls together and finishes mixes with a simplicity I haven't encountered in any other plugin. Goodbye Ozone!!!
What a beautiful plugin: this is so elegant and user-intuitive, especially for non-mastering experts who are learning! Awesome in every detail! The sound quality is unbelievable.
Nice and Practical
Practically make the mastering as easy as listening.
Very efficient I like it
Been using this for over a month now...
This has changed my musical life. I am getting so much better at mastering now. This is just that extra cream on the top. I have been experimenting with many chains using other UAD mastering plug ins like Manley Massive Passive. For example, the dance settings on that fit very well and the BX Saturator too with the Materdesk. It can handle a little API 2500, handles anything. Just got to be careful not to make the mix too bright before you put this final Masterdesk on the buss. UAD, please look furthrer into this mastering. It is a wonderful area to explore for us and I would be very interested in other alternative mastering chains like this. I reckon you guys could get some very different interpretations of the mastering sounds. This is where we all need the help. These days we got to DIY big time and be the jack of all trades and the master of em too. Thanks for this. It has really put the final touch on my mixes and made them sound so even and everything coming to life. I am able to use guitars with software and hardware synths and they will all work together just fine. That takes some doing and you guys have achieved it here. I am gertting some Hot Hose vibes with the Deep kicks and lovely Moogs and Gibsons working together because of this. It takes out all the horriblr bumps that I could never iron out, like a terrible creased shirt and now it is total smooth silk.
As close to perfection as you can get
His is by far the best and most useful product UA has released. It’s easy to use and seems completely bullit proof. I have been in the game a long time and this is by FAR the best mastering plug I have ever used. It’s gonna put some folks out of business. It’s THAT good at what it does.
Easy to use
Love this. Sounds great. It found a new home on my master buss. It won’t be leaving any time soon.
Get's better with time
I was wow'd in the 1st 10 minutes of the demo so I bought it and it continues to become more useful. I love the simplicity and immediate results. Perfect well rounded plugin.
Wow! It can make everything sound better. The filters are dope, the eq's are dope, the TMT is amazing! It only takes a little and it really does go a long way!!!!
Don't confuse convenience for compromise
This is an excellent mastering option. It's designed to master material that was recorded within a wide margin of "acceptability", but if you need to do some serious RX to the mix, throw a couple other plugs in the chain before Masterdesk and get it in the ballpark - something you'd have to do anyway. Once you're anywhere near having the kind of mix you want, this thing will let you get the rest of the job done in a heartbeat, with guidelines for what's happening in your process so you wind up with exactly what you're looking for. I've used Ozone for a lot of masters over the years, but I see no reason to use anything other than this now. Can't recommend it highly enough.
Easy but limited w/ one unique fantastic feature
I have the Native version.
I want to give it 5 stars, & despite some limitations, a unique feature almost outweighs any shortcomings.
Here are the 'Pros' and Cons':
Pro: I opened a mastering session I did a few months ago and replaced the high end limiter with Master Desk. The mix just opened up! Wow! Doing an A/B, the mix sounded 2 dimensional with the other limiter - flat as a board; Master Desk provides that Analog sound rarely heard from in the box mixes / masters. Plugins have incrementally improved since @ 2000 in various ways, but most manufacturers would still implement one channel and copy it, so even e.g. UA's excellent VariMu still didn't quite sound like the hardware. I realized they were still missing the subtle component variations that a stereo hardware unit has and give 'dimension' to a stereo signal. Other designers (UA included) should take note of Brainworx's TMT modeling (I have other TMT plugins, but this is the 1st that sits well on the 2 buss).
The Stereo Width / Mono Maker is very good when needed - at least as good as the BX Digital V3. The width supposedly works differently than standard M/S balance. I've heard it sound great on some mixes and not as great on others; more time will tell.
The 4 compression choices (and associated TMT models) are a bit limited & may not be right for every mix / genre. And most of the TMT flavor comes from the comp, so that is the most important section for my uses. A few more options would be nice.
The Comp mix knob should go a little lower, which would help w the previous point.
Though the filter freq choices are good, they always cut the same amount (which seems too much for my taste). I find the low filters in particular frustrating; they hit the common problem spots, but they take too much away. The highs are also aggressive, but they are so narrow and well tuned, they work well for mixes w distorted guitars, cheap cymbals (and or overheads) & mediocre converters.
The Foundation & Tone stack combo is interesting; it can surely help a skewed mix, but don't expect to fix gremlins - it's a broad brush combo.
Last complaint: I'll probably lose more mastering work as people get their hands on this. The TMT 'analog' imaging is very impressive; to have it in a good mastering tool is the main selling point for me. Would that UA implement the same for the VariMu, MMP, 33609, SSL G Comp & other plugins I use for mastering.
not bad for a plugin...good quality, easy to use but bit pricy.
JUST DO IN A FEW CLICKS A LOVELY MASTER
IM SO SURPRISED USING THE DEMO PLUG, I CAN MAKE A FASTER MASTER FOR MY MUSIC WITHOUT CALL AN ENGINEER... THIS IS THE MOST FINALLY CRAZY MASTERDESK I EVER SEEN