Best Free Mastering Plugins for the Home Studio


Hey guys, in this video we’re going to look
at 6 of the best free mastering plugins for the home studio. These mastering plugins are great for the
adding some final polishing onto our tracks. Some of the tools we want to use are compression,
limiting, saturation, and stereo widening. If you want to get these plugins for yourself,
check out the links in the video description, and if you like these kinds of videos, make
sure to subscribe to see more of them. IVGI by Klanghelm is a simple saturation plugin
designed to give some analog warmth and harmonics to what is otherwise a very clean digital
sound, and they’ve designed this plugin to be used for mastering, as long as you don’t
overdo it. The first option is an input trim which we
can use to bring the level to 0 for best performance. Drive is what controls the amount of saturation
added. Output is used to adjust the output level
to be the same as the input, so we can make a direct comparison. ASym mix and response will change the sound
of the saturation a bit, so tweak them for the best match to your track. MQ57 by J1000 is a parametric equalizer for
mastering. We’ve got 7 bands plus a high and low pass
filter. This plugin has a few different modes to put
it in, and frequency, gain, and width for each of the bands. Since it’s made for mastering, it provides
small adjustments in gain and a wide Q to allow for broad frequency changes instead
of narrow cuts and boosts. TDR Kotelnikov by Tokyo Dawn Labs is a very
transparent and powerful mastering compressor, allowing for big dynamics changes if necessary
while preserving the quality of our sound. We’ve got options for our threshold, crest
factor for RMS and peak, soft knee to round off the ratio transition at the threshold,
a ratio control, attack, and peak and RMS release. A1StereoControl by A1Audio is a stereo widener
plugin to adjust the stereo width of our final track. All we really need to concern ourselves with
is the stereo width control if we want to keep it simple. The other great option is that it has a safe
bass mode. When working with a final master, we want
to make sure our bass frequencies are in mono and the higher frequencies are in stereo. We can do exactly that by setting a frequency
cutoff, so that the frequencies below that stay in mono. Span by Voxengo is a frequency spectrum analyzer
plugin. I like monitoring the balance of my frequencies
on a master, to make sure there’s no problematic excessive frequencies. This can be especially important for the low
frequencies, where it can be difficult to monitor them in the home studio. We can adjust things like the average that
the spectrum analyzer looks at so we can slow it down instead of seeing immediate peaks. We can also add some smoothing to get a general
idea of the frequencies instead of tiny spikes along the graph. One of the goals of mastering is to increase
the loudness of the track, and this can be done using a limiter such as Limiter No6 by
Vladg Sound. This plugin has an RMS compressor, peak limiter,
high-frequency limiter, clipper, and true peak limiter, and it’s designed specifically
with mastering in mind. We can do mid/side limiting and multiband
limiting, and the plugin also has the option for oversampling for those that use that as
well. Thanks for checking out this video on free
mastering plugins. Let us know some of your favorite free plugins
in the comments. If this video helped you out, don’t forget
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