My take on LANDR vs eMastered

Since I’ve been working on my music project #taylorism, I’ve been using online mastering tools like LANDR and eMastered. They are ideal for people without many mixing and mastering skills like myself.

The first of this kind of tools I’ve ever used was eMastered. For no particular reason, it was probably the first one I found on Google. Overall impression was good I needed something to quickly improve the quality of the tracks so I thought eMastered was the perfect tool for that and I quickly bought a subscription.

Quickly enough, I started bumping into trouble with some of the mastering results from eMastered. These issues typically resulted in background noise in the beginning and end of tracks. I really started to get annoyed by this, customer support was fruitless so I decided to put my engineering hat and started looking for solutions and I tried all kinds of tricks with EQ and frequencies and still, I couldn’t get it to work.

One day I found what was causing the issues. Both eMastered and LANDR have the possibility to compare the original and mastered versions so users can see the results side by side. The issue with eMastered is that when I listened to the “Original” the track already had the background noise. So how is this possible if the track that I added didn’t have any background noise?!
For me it was obvious that the “Original” wasn’t actually the original track I uploaded and there’s some kind of conversion between the track I uploaded and the track eMastered defines as the “Original” track.

I tried explaining this via customer support without any luck and quickly turned to LANDR for comparison. All of the tracks that had issues with eMastered worked immediately on LANDR.

This was a bit of a surprise because I was already doubting the quality of the mixes I was using for mastering but this finding quickly demystified that and proved that there’s some kind of issue going on with eMastered.

So my conclusion is that at first glance eMastered is more appealing because of its pricing, user experience, design, and speed. But when it comes to results, although I feel that eMastered delivers better results when mastering actually works. On the other hand, LANDR seems to be more reliable even though the pricing is a little higher and results take much longer but may be worthwhile.

Thanks for reading,
Remember to take a look at #taylorism and any feedback is highly appreciated.