This is a list of free mastering software for PC and Mac. For more software categories, return to our Free VST Plugins page.

Audio mastering is the process of preparing the final stereo mix for distribution. The mastering workflow may include various types of mastering plugins – equalizers, compressors, limiters, saturators, even reverbs. That said, the primary technical goal of mastering is to detect and fix any critical audio issues that are present in the final mix. Additionally, the mastering engineer can attempt to “enhance” the quality of a mix.

See also: Best FREE Music Production Software

The best and fastest way to master your music is to hire a qualified mastering engineer and let them do the work. That is also the most expensive option. The least expensive option is DIY mastering using free mastering software.

So, what is the best free mastering software? There are surprisingly many mastering VST plugins that you can download for free, and we selected the best ones for this article.

The article has three sections. The first section is our Top 10 list of freeware mastering plugins. Next up is the complete list of free mastering VSTs. And finally, we provided some useful mastering tips for a home studio environment.

Free Mastering Software List

This is the best free mastering software:

Find more info on each plugin below.

Click here to see the extended list of mastering software.

Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle

Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle

Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle is a collection of five freeware mastering plugins developed by Home Studio Mastering. They are a set of learning tools for the readers of the Home Studio Mastering book, but everyone can download the plugins for free from the product page. Visitors can also download the “The One Hour Mastering Workshop” chapter from the book and follow the free mastering guide using the Noiz-Lab LE plugins.

The bundle contains five freeware mastering plugins: a compressor, an equalizer, a limiter, a “monomizer” (for adjusting the processed audio’s stereo width), and a convolution reverb plugin. All five effects share a similar visual style that is intuitive and user-friendly. The plugins look clean and modern, with clearly labeled control parameters.

Most importantly, the feature set is on-point. You get all the essential tools required for home audio mastering, without any extra fluff. The Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle doesn’t attempt to deliver any sort “secret mastering mojo.” Instead, this is a set of specialized audio tools to help you master your tracks quickly and intuitively.

More info: Noiz-Lab LE Mastering Bundle

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Youlean Loudness Meter 2

Youlean Loudness Meter 2

Youlean Loudness Meter 2 is an all-in-one tool for loudness measurement. When mastering audio, being able to monitor the result of your work correctly is crucial. Since most of us don’t have access to acoustically treated rooms and high-end monitoring equipment, measurement plugins like the Youlean Loudness Meter 2 are an absolute must-have.

Although it won’t change your audio in any way, Youlean Loudness Meter 2 will help you not to go overboard when using other mastering plugins like compressors and limiters. Keep a close eye on the loudness of your mastered track and compare the results with the loudness standards set by popular audio and video streaming platforms like Spotify, Netflix, and others.

We have an in-depth Youlean Loudness Meter 2 review on our website, too. Read the full article for more information on one of the best audio analysis plugins on the market.

More info: Youlean Loudness Meter 2

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SPAN by Voxengo

Another must-have mastering tool for audio analysis is SPAN by Voxengo. SPAN is arguably the most popular real-time spectrum analyzer plugin on the market, and for a good reason. It has been around for ages, but Voxengo keeps updating it with new features and enhancements regularly.

With SPAN, you’re getting everything you need from a spectrum analyzer plugin, packed in a sleek and fully resizable user interface that will fit any computer screen. Mastering engineers with access to dual-display setups will often use SPAN as a full-screen spectrum analyzer on the secondary display. The reason for this is that the user can fine-tune the plugin’s color scheme and completely customize the way in which the real-time audio spectrum is displayed.

Voxengo’s freeware spectrum analyzer and Youlean’s freeware loudness meter are an essential duo of metering tools for any home-based mastering studio. Both plugins are a must-have addition to a mastering software toolkit.

More info: SPAN

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TDR Nova

TDR Nova by Tokyo Dawn Records

TDR Nova is a state-of-the-art parallel dynamic equalizer for advanced users. With its five dynamic frequency bands, TDR Nova can handle many mastering tasks. You can use it as a basic parametric equalizer, a dynamic EQ, even as a multi-band compressor.

The most impressive thing about TDR Nova is how its interface remains clutter-free despite the plugin’s versatile feature set. If you want to use it as a simple parametric EQ, the advanced features won’t get in the way. When you do need a powerful dynamic EQ, the multi-band compression features are right at your fingertips.

TDR Nova also features a fully-featured spectrum analyzer, undo/redo functionality, A/B comparison capabilities, and more. The optional Gentleman’s Edition version of the plugin is there for the users who need additional features. Without any doubt, TDR Nova is an essential mastering plugin and one of the best equalizers on the market.

More info: TDR Nova

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Marvel GEQ

Marvel GEQ by Voxengo

Marvel GEQ is a 16-band linear-phase graphic equalizer by Voxengo. The benefit of using a graphic equalizer is the ability to quickly apply a broad shape adjustment to a full mix. Also, a linear-phase equalizer uses linear-phase filters that preserve the original wave shape and don’t introduce any phase shift artifacts.

Whereas TDR Nova is the go-to plugin for surgical EQ corrections, Marvel GEQ is an excellent tool for broad adjustments on the master channel. Use it to adjust the overall frequency balance and tonal symmetry of the mix. Another bonus is that Marvel GEQ features a resizable UI with a fully customizable color scheme. You can keep it running in the corner of your screen and use it to maintain the balance of the mastered track while tweaking other plugins.

More info: Marvel GEQ

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TDR Kotelnikov

TDR Kotelnikov by Tokyo Dawn Labs

TDR Kotelnikov is a “stealthy” compressor for mixing and mastering. Tokyo Dawn Labs designed TDR Kotelnikov to be as transparent and natural-sounding as possible. The developers describe it as a plugin that is “proudly digital” in the sense that it doesn’t intend to emulate the analog-like behavior of hardware compressors.

Much like TDR Nova, you won’t run into any workflow obstacles when using TDR Kotelnikov. The interface is equally intuitive for quick compression tasks and more careful compression on the master channel. Also, it’s impressive how much dynamic range reduction TDR Kotelnikov can do while still sounding natural. That’s what makes it such a great compressor plugin and an essential piece of free mastering software.

More info: TDR Kotelnikov

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Limiter №6

Limiter №6 by Vladislav Goncharov

Limiter №6 is regarded by many as the best free limiter plugin. It packs five dynamic range reduction modules into a single interface: an RMS compressor, a peak limiter, a high-frequency limiter, a soft clipper, and a true peak limiter. The idea is to limit the processed signal one step at a time, resulting in a more transparent and natural sounding mastered track.

With additional features like M/S and multiband processing modes, 4x oversampling (optional), and true inter-sample peaks (ISP) limiting, Limiter №6 is an absolute workhorse of a limiter for mastering purposes. If you want even more features, check out the Gentlemen’s Edition of Limiter №6 which is available exclusively at Tokyo Dawn Labs.

More info: Limiter №6

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Search Results Web results LoudMax by Thomas Mundt

If you find Limiter №6 too complicated, LoudMax is a great alternative. It is an easy-to-use lookahead maximizer plugin with a transparent sound. LoudMax is very easy to use – one slider adjusts the ceiling and the other slider adjusts the amount of limiting applied to the signal. Optionally, the user can link the two sliders to speed up the workflow. LoudMax also features an inter-sample peak detection mode for true peak limiting

LoudMax has been my go-to limiter plugin for years, due to its simple workflow and transparent sound. It sounds clean and doesn’t produce audible compression artifacts even when pushed hard. Despite its simple looks, LoudMax is capable of boosting the loudness of the mastered track rather drastically without squashing the dynamics.

More info: LoudMax

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IVGI by Klanghelm

IVGI is a freeware saturation plugin by Klanghelm. All mastering plugins mentioned in this article thus far were designed to sound clean and transparent. But, there are times when the final mix lacks in color and character. That’s when a saturation tool like IVGI can come in handy.

This is a subtle effect. It will gently saturate the signal, adding harmonics and reducing the dynamic range ever so slightly. Yes, you can push IVGI into audible distortion territory, but it works best as a soft coloring tool to add a bit of sparkle to the mastered track.

With only four control parameters, IVGI is a plugin that is easy to use. Experiment with the ASYM MIX knob to change the symmetry of the signal and use the DRIVE knob to apply more saturation.

More info: IVGI

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Ozone Imager

Ozone Imager V2 by iZotope

The last plugin on our free mastering software list is Ozone Imager. This is an intuitive freeware tool for monitoring and controlling the stereo width of the mastered track. It offers three stereo monitoring modes (Polar Sample, Polar Level, and Lissajous) and a couple of processing modes for adjusting the stereo image.

The plugin is based on the algorithms used in iZotope’s flagship Ozone mastering plugin. The Stereoize II mode is suitable for subtle stereo enhancements, whereas the Stereoize I mode delivers a more colorful phasing effect.

More info: Ozone Imager

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Free Mastering VST Plugins – Full List

This is an extended list of the best free mastering plugins. The plugins are sorted into categories for easier browsing.

Mastering Plugin Bundles

Here are two mastering software bundles for users who don’t want to spend time downloading individual mastering plugins from multiple developers. Both packages provide an all-in-one set of tools for audio mastering at home.

Audio Analysis Tools

The most crucial aspect of mastering is understanding the issues that are present in the unmastered stereo mix. That is hard to do when you don’t have access to an acoustically treated room and high-quality monitoring equipment. Thankfully, these free audio analysis and metering tools can help you detect those issues.


Mastering equalizers can balance the frequency spectrum and remove any unwanted harsh frequencies that are present in the unmastered mix. Here is a collection of transparent linear-phase mastering equalizer plugins.


Tame the volume peaks and add “glue” to your mix with these high-quality mastering compressor plugins. When using a mastering compressor, less is more. Subtle parallel compression and multi-band compression are the way to go.


Limiting is the final dynamic processing stage of the mastering process. A high-quality mastering limiter can boost the loudness of a stereo mix without ruining the dynamics.


Sometimes, an audio clipper can be placed before a mastering limiter to trim down the highest volume peaks.

Saturation Tools

Saturation can be useful in mastering, but it takes skill and some careful listening. When used correctly, a saturation plugin can enhance the mastered track by adding depth and character.

Transient Shapers

Transient shapers are rarely applied to a mastering chain, but they can be useful. A transient shaper can add punch to a mastered track.

Stereo Tools

Put the stereo mix under control with these free stereo processing tools.

M/S Processing Tools

As a little bonus, here are a couple of mid-side processing plugins that can be useful for mastering.

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Thoughts On Mastering Audio At Home

A proper audio mastering studio needs more than just a good set of mastering plugins. Far more so than for mixing purposes, you will need an acoustically treated room, proper audio monitoring equipment, and plenty of experience.

Trust me; that isn’t some nerdy/elitist talk or me trying to tell you that you’ll never become a mastering engineer (I’m not a mastering engineer, either). Nope, the point is that, from my experience, audio mastering is the one step in the music production process that you should, if possible, outsource to an actual professional. If you’re serious about releasing your music commercially, try to find a way to have your song mastered by a professional mastering engineer.

On the other hand, mastering your own demos, to post them online or share them with your audience, that’s a different story. By all means, the mastering software featured on this page will be more than enough to achieve a well-mastered demo. Also, if you want to become a mastering engineer, the only way to do it is to practice!

When it comes to free mastering software, this article will be a great starting point. Yes, there are some better commercial plugins for mastering out there, but the freeware mastering plugins are so good nowadays that you can do a great mastering job without spending a dime.

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This article features the best free mastering software for PC and Mac. For more categories, return to Free VST Plugins.

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About Author

Tomislav is a music producer and sound designer from Belgrade, Serbia. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief at Bedroom Producers Blog.


    • Bedroom Producers Blog


      nice, i’ll give Maxwell Smart a try. never used it myself, but it seems that people really like it over at KVR.

      also, thanks for suggesting JB stuff, i completely forgot about those!

      • The MAnalyzer is a good alternative to the SPAN with some extra features like sonogram.
        Then there’s also the MStereoscope and the MLoudnessAnalyzer in the free bundle, but I haven’t checked them yet.
        I also like the old but good DFX RMS buddy for metering purposes.

    • Bedroom Producers Blog


      you’re right! i’ve just added Smash Pro, Barricade Pro and Broadcast to the list.

      awesome tools! thanks for reminding me Irion!

    • Bedroom Producers Blog


      it’s more of a gimmick than a serious mastering tool, but it can work as a nice little exciter/booster on certain occasions. it’s basically a preset version of IL Maximus.

      btw, i have no idea, which song is it? :)

  1. Thanks for including ClipShifter on this list. It is great to be included on a list with such venerable plugins. I do want to mention that ClipShifter is now on version 2.1 (soon to be 2.2). I also have OSX support (AU, VST, and VST3).

    • Bedroom Producers Blog


      hi Matt, no poblem! thanks for sharing such great freeware with us!

      i’ve updated the list with the fact that ClipShifter now also offers Mac support.

      please share this article if you can and thanks for reading BPB!

  2. these kinds of posts are my favorite. know why? Because young producers will google certain phrases like “mastering tools,” and poof they’ll come across the humble bedroomproducers blog that has given such great information about new plugins and production.

  3. You really should link this article from your VST Plugins page to make it easier to find. Great content and plugin ideas. Thank you for another useful article!

    • Bedroom Producers Blog


      good idea!

      i’ll do it as soon as i come back from my holiday. the connection is quite crappy atm. :)

  4. from the You Wa Shock product page that you linked:
    “You Wa Shock !

    Make it truck shine !

    You Wa Shock ! is VST/Winamp effect for brighten up and maximize any truck you hand him.

    Use: Though nothing can bring back the missing particle You Wa Shock ! strength is in the behind parts. Excrete excite sound for your trucks. Push harder for more excite sound. The knob will go up. You can operate You Wa Shock ! as early as possible in the truck or to be late. The 4 A B C D fixings create new crunch excrete. Listen for a happy sound.”

    What’s up with this?

  5. I Use a good bit of these daily. I live in Nashville Tn. and mix and master as a big part of my income. I had completely forgotten about the Baxter EQ and I don’t know why….. Just downloaded it and applied to a couple mixes that I did recently…. and was totally impressed… I was taught that anyone can slam a mix to the limit, but if the EQ is bad,,, you just have a loud track with no quality.