T-RackS 3 – REVIEW
IK Multimedia’s T-RackS Brings Quality to the Game!
Personally, I was blown away with T-RackS 3. It was my first step into high quality, third-party plugins.
T-RackS taught me a lot about mixing, and mastering, and the process involved. If you are brand-new, getting the Classic Version of T-RackS, using the standalone version, and playing around with the tools they’ve given you, this is a great way to practice, push your master HARD, and wreck your mix, while still getting an understanding of what everything does.
Another cool feature that T-RackS provides in it’s standalone/DAW plugin, is the ability for parallel processing.
I know in FL Studio, this is not possible without using a separate sub buss, or of the similar. T-RackS makes it simple in their plugin, if parallel is what you’re going for! (Or, it also allows for a lot of plugins onto your master track, if need be. You can load the master channel with the T-RackS plugin, and then load the singles in, then open another T-RackS plugin, load more singles in etc. — However, this is probably never needed, but hey! — The options there!).
Nice Sounds, Clean Processors, Works in FL Studio! — Alright!
When a plugin works inside FL Studio smoothly, you know the plugin is definitely half decent. To add to that, IK Multimedia is a world-wide company providing musician’s high quality tools to use!
The sound T-RackS has on my songs is great. I’m a big fan of the Brickwall Limiter, Classic Compressor, and Classic Clipper. I wasn’t too impressed with the EQ, as it does not have a digital visual of seeing your waveform. The waveform is not super important, but it is something I have grown to like within my plugins. Especially to the new mixer, a visual look, I feel, is very important to help the process go quicker!
Amazing Brickwall Limiter,
IK Multimedia’s T-RackS Brickwall Limiter’s ability to push a sound loud, without distortion, is amazing.
T-RackS Classic Compressor Glues it Nice!
I do have to give credit to T-RackS Classic Clipper, that it does its job nice. It glues your track together in a gentle, yet effective way. It keeps the track punchy, and allows you to drive your mix quite hard with clarity!
T-RackS Classic Clipper Makes it LOUD!
Now, T-RackS Classic Clipper is something special! The ability to go from HARD to SOFT clipping is special! (This is not on tons of plugins).
Also, the punch it adds to your drums is a must. I usually add about 1-2dB each master, as a limiter usually will make it quieter. The clipper adds a bit of subtle distortion, allowing for punchy drums, that hit home hard! The clipper also chops your peaks in a gentle way, allowing for a nice transparent master, yet loud and punchy. It’s really a must try!
T-RackS GUI, Interface, How it Looks — However You Want to Say it!
I REALLY like the interface of T-RackS 3. A real nice design making it all compact and super organized! If you look back to their first version of T-RackS they have definitely come a long way!
T-RackS features are super original too, acutally, very creative! The snap feature is definitely something to talk about, allowing for a perfect master.
When working on your own music, you can always go back and fix the problem. But what about when you get sent audio where the client can’t? You may feel you need different settings, at different parts of the song, for your master to shine at it’s best.
T-RackS standalone version does this with the snap feature, allowing for different settings of plugins, then quickly switching back once the play cursor scrolling along the audio passes the next snap, which you can easily drag where you’d like!
Also, I really like the A/B/C/D feature. A lot of VSTs only give you A/B, but T-RackS provides you with 4 options to hear switch between to hear the difference to your sound! This is actually a nice feature where I find myself testing out loudness in mastering using the A/B/C/D buttons!
My con towards T-RackS 3 is whole analog look to the meters. I’m a big fan of seeing visually where my peak is reduced, and how much reduction I am having.
The Classic Compressor is not too bad, because you’re only working one channel, so whatever is going on within that channel, you only have to worry about the one needle.
But now, when using their T-RackS Classic Multiband Compressor, I find this extremely hard to get a fair A/B comparrison, as all three bands are off the one needle. I get confused on how much low-end am I compressing vs the mid? — or the highs? Personally, I just find it a hard interface to work with, although I’ve been able to reap some great results with it.
Now, the Classic Clipper and Brickwall Limiter, have a digital looking meter, which is great, and easy to see how much reduction you are pushing. This is just a personal opinion, I just feel it’s hard to work with, especially on the multiband comressor.
Best Way to Purchase T-RackS
As I said in the video, getting EITHER T-RackS 3 Standard or Deluxe is the best way to go because you pretty much get 2 plugins for free just from the standard, and even more with Deluxe. Each single is $99, and T-RackS 3 Standard is $199, so that means you are getting about 2 free plugins, plus the awesome program of T-RackS 3, click here and do the math! It really is a great laid out program all condensed in an easy to read and understand interface.
Also, their meter is free, which I highly recommend!
Where Can You Hear Examples?
T-RackS 3 has definitely been a great stepping stone for me and I would highly recommend it to not just those starting up, but also the experienced. Inside T-RackS there’s definitely a lot of everyone! It’s also nice to be able to do your own mixing, and mastering, and save some money !
I am definitely a fan of T-RackS, but not overly happy with the meters they provide within the plugins. T-RackS was a huge stepping stone for me, making me understand what all goes into mastering.
Try the free trial version of the product before you buy! Take your time, learn the program, and see if it makes you learn mastering like it did for me!
Bad Experience with Mastering — Do it Yourself!
On my first CD We’ve Only Just Met, I got it professionally mastered. I worked very hard on the CD, creating the beats, recording my vocals, editing/mixing, except I did not feel skilled, or confident enough, to master my own songs, so therefore, I got it professionally mastered.
Now, when I exported my songs, I had a feature enabled in the export options within FL Studio called “Save ACIDized” without me realizing it, or even knowing what it did!
So, when the Mastering Engineer loaded my 6 songs into his DAW, which was Cubase, all my songs were all stretched. Some were slow, and some were super fast, and left us both questioning what was going on.
Because I saved them as ACIDized, I saved them as a loop set at that tempo, so when he loaded the tracks into his DAW, Cubase’s tempo was set at 140 BPM, so the songs that were at 140 BPM were fine, but others weren’t 140BPM got screwed up! So we mastered one that sounded fine. For the rest, I went home and re-exported without ACIDized, to make them proper.
NOW after reading all that lol, this is what I’m getting too. First, that was a lot of time, going back and forth to the studio, so that’s one thing. Now the song he mastered, it was great except for this one part in the song that I noticed was a little stretched, but just for one moment in the song, and the average person would not hear it, or even notice it. But, I still recognized it, and paid for it!
I went back to him telling him about it and he couldn’t notice it. We compared the mix to the master, and the actual mix was stretched in the same spot just like the master, so therefore, he didn’t remaster it cause it really wasn’t his fault. But, I paid my money, and he mastered it. And it’s true, the average person would NEVER notice it.
But what I’m trying to get across is, I PUT THAT HARD WORK INTO THE CD, now he’s just trying to do his job, but he’s got his own schedule also, and you know, time is money.
So, if you guys can learn how to master yourselves! You can make the song EXACTLY how you want it. If there is an error, YOU CAN GO BACK AND FIX IT. You won’t have to pay any extra money, all it will take is your time. But in the end, you will learn things through your mistakes, and T-RackS 3 has been an AWESOME learning curve for me.
Hope that story helps and makes you think! I really enjoyed T-RackS 3, and am grateful for the opportunity to review it!