Musik Hack Master Plan: What is it?
Mastering can be a complicated business, especially for anyone working within the confines of their home studio, so having all of your mastering tools available in a single plugin has to be enticing? Musik Hack’s latest plugin hopes to provide just that. Its stated aim is to reside on the backend of your DAW’s output, soaking up a number of mastering processes in a single instance. All the mastering components are presented in a simple format, which could change the way that you approach mastering in the DAW.
Musik Hack encourages you to remove any additional plugins from the master bus, before activating Master Plan. Once you load the plugin, it is pretty easy to see why that is; in spite of its relatively small and petite working area, there is a surprisingly large amount of content to call upon, to make radical improvements to your track.
Musik Hack Master Plan: Performance and verdict
You can’t miss the large pot, which is located centrally, adorning the legend Loud. Interestingly, Musik Hack states, “We do not endorse Loudness Wars… But you will win!”. It’s effectively a Limiter, which is designed to maximise loudness, while maintaining clarity at all times.
In use, the elevated results are obvious, although it is easy to push things to distortion. Guidance is offered on the best way to approach the use of the limiter, and upon refinement, works incredibly well. There’s also association with other favoured mastering tools that really bring the punch.
In the upper-most corners of the plugin, pots control signal input and post-plugin output. The input level plays a pretty significant role in the Loud function’s behaviour. To the middle-left of the plugin, Low and High pots subtly control tone, which also play their part on the outputted signal, from the limiter circuit. While the temptation would be to drive the plugin to a frenzy, lower levels of engagement do sound incredibly musical.
Completing the pot lineup, a Wide control induces stereo depth; this feels quite subtle, but through a process of A/B audition, you can hear the improvement very clearly. It’s not overtly obvious from the fascia, but clicking the legend below each pot will defeat the effect, making it easy to A/B the effected signal.
Along the bottom of the plugin window are a host of attractive elements. It’d be well worth your while to audition these in isolation, as they all have much to offer. As an example, the Thick button induces an analogue-inspired saturation, while the Clean and Calm buttons help to de-clutter the low and high ends respectively. In all of these cases, activation reveals a small fader, which can be used to dictate the amount of applied effect.
The Multi button reveals a 3-band multi-compressor; a really useful tool in any mastering scenario, while the Tape button adds classic analogue tape emulation, tightening bass frequencies and adding subtle high-end saturation, along the way.
Master Plan is packed full of some superb mastering facilities, but one intriguing function relates to the auditioning of your mix and master in different scenarios. If preparing your work to be played to the public, via the usual streaming platforms, think how useful it’d be to gauge how your track will respond in these settings. That’s the exact facility that Master Plan offers through a number of playback filters designed to emulate various playback settings.
Located on the right of the plugin window, you can choose a Mono filter, which is very useful for checking back mono-mix phase cancellation, with debatably the most useful provision labelled Phone. Most of us will have to listen to music through our phones from time to time, so this facility is incredibly useful for mastering in the modern age. By offering this option, Musik Hack makes it all too easy to adjust your mastered mix to accommodate all platforms in one, and that’s very useful indeed!
Master Plan is quite a surprising plugin; it garners an enormous amount of impressive sonic power in a relatively small package, in fact that’s one of the minor gripes that we have with it. The interface is not resizable, and while it’s arguably more about the sound than the graphics, a slightly larger working area would be very welcome.
The lowest portion of the plugin provides essential information, such as LUFS (Loudness Units Full Scale) and peak values. There are also presets and defaults to get you going. The darkness of the interface can also make it difficult to view, especially through its small scale, but there is a setting to alter the GUI to a white interface, which is easier to view. But what really matters is the absolute sonic punch of the plugin in this regard Master Plan is a hugely impressive modern mastering tool.
MusicRadar verdict: Nervous about mastering? Master Plan has plenty of controllable content to make home mastering a reality for all.
Musik Hack Master Plan: Hands-on demos
Bolo Da Producer
Musik Hack Master Plan: Specifications
- Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later, AAX/AU/VST3, Intel and Apple Silicon.
- Windows 10 or later, AAX/VST3.
- CONTACT: Musik Hack