Plugin Boutique offers LEVELS ($59.99 value) from Mastering The Mix for FREE with any purchase this month. It has to be a paid purchase (no free products), and you can’t pay fully with a coupon or virtual cash (any amount under 100% is fine).
The freebie offer is available until May 3rd, 2021, in 64-bit VST/VST3, AU, and AAX formats for macOS and Windows.
LEVELS (read our LEVELS review) is a metering plugin that makes some of the tedious parts of making music a little less tedious. These days, it’s easy to create and share music straight from your bedroom, which is amazing, but the abundance of platforms/formats can be a headache when it comes to mastering.
Having the tools to do everything ourselves sometimes leads to mistakes and bad habits if we don’t know what we are doing.
LEVELS is a plugin that I wish I had years ago. Mixing and mastering are two areas that can be pretty daunting for beginners or anyone who isn’t a professional. LEVELS condenses a complex process into a small, easy-to-understand plugin.
Instead of overwhelming you with information that you then need to process yourself, it just tells you what’s wrong. It even tells you how to fix an issue if you don’t already know.
The interface is straightforward, with a central display surrounded by icons for 6 crucial aspects of your mix. The 6 icons represent Peak, Stereo Field, LRA (Loudness Range), Bass Space, Dynamic Range, and LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale). When you click on an icon, the central display will become a dedicated display for that mix element.
If everything is fine, all sections will be green; if something is wrong with a section, it will change to red. Visually, LEVELS is awesome; there’s no confusion about what’s going on.
Taking the Peak section as an example of how intuitive the GUI is, the display becomes a true peak meter, showing how close to 0dBTP you are. Each bar represents 1dB, with everything below the current threshold being green and everything above being red. Going through the available presets (Spotify, YouTube, CD, Club, etc) will change the threshold level, so you get the optimal level for all formats.
Every section of LEVELS is just as simple, and you can listen in mono (as your audience might do in a club) through one or both monitors.
I use Ozone 9 and Nugen Audio’s MasterCheck, and they let you do everything. LEVELS strength is that it only lets you do what you need to and prevents people like me from being tempted to mess with things that I don’t need to be messing with. I like it.
More info: LEVELS (FREE with any purchase @ Plugin Boutique)