BandLab (Mastering) Review: The Best Free Tool for Musicians?

bandlab mastering review

You may know Bandlab for social creation and collaboration for musicians. The platform released an online mastering service designed to take songs from their raw form to finished form more painless than ever.

Is their mastering worth it? The answer is yes. If you understand what you’re getting into and need something fast, it’s a reliable option.

Let’s take a look at what this entails.

Introducing: Bandlab

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Bandlab got its start as a social network. It helps musicians collaborate and share their projects through an app or a web-based service. You can make your music, share tracks, collaborate, and update your followers.

The service recently launched an intelligent mastering service designed to take tracks from their raw form to a finished state suitable for uploading to the web or sending as demos. Bandlab’s sound engineers developed the system to make mastering easier.

You can upload songs for free or work through an existing Bandlab account. If you decide to work through your existing account, you can master all the tunes you’ve got stored already. The platform is a full-service option for collaboration, and mastering brings it to a new level.

It doesn’t have the human touch of a professional sound engineer; it’s designed to get your feet wet and improve an already good recording. Using Bandlab’s other tools can help you finalize your sound more effectively.

For musicians that want an all in one suite of products with sharing and collaboration capability, Bandlab can certainly make things easier. If you’re looking for a professional touch, it may fall a little flat.

Bandlab’s features and benefits

Bandlab isn’t just an online mastering service. It offers musicians a place to upload and work on music. It has loops and samples available, along with real-time collaboration for musicians.

You can work on music with others without having to be in close proximity.

The tip jar provides a way for musicians to support their careers financially, and with mastering, the platform makes it simple to upload your best efforts. You can work on unlimited songs and albums, spanning your whole career.

bandlab for pc

Mastering options include three different settings. It enhances clarity for your overall sound and provides CD-quality settings as well as bass boost. It uses an integrated, algorithmic mastering tool to offer choices and analysis of your song.

You’ll upload your songs or choose an existing track. The algorithm analyzes the overall sound and determines the best course of action to bring out the sound features you want. You can toggle between the settings until you get the sound that you want.

You don’t have to give any production credit for mastering in your liner notes, and you retain all the rights to your music. The algorithm defines the parameters for you and gives you some final control for your sound.

How does BandLab work?

Bandlab is always free, so you’ll either upload a song or sign in to your existing account. If you choose to work only with mastering, you’re able to upload songs and can master an unlimited amount one by one. The downloads are Mp3 or WAV and comply with .1 dB headroom (iTunes standards).

If you choose to create an account, it takes minutes to set up. You can begin working on your music immediately. You can also use an existing BandLab account and master any of the tracks you’ve already written and posted.

Both options are free, and there is no limit to the number of songs you can master. The three high-quality mastering features streamline the process and help even those with no mastering experience finalize music tracks.

It takes a shorter amount of time to master this way than working with a human. You’ll be able to upload your songs as you like or download them to send elsewhere. It’s a good option for people who want to upgrade their samples or demos with easy mastering in just a few minutes.

Why choose BandLab over its competitors?

bandlab mastering platform

For musicians that want a full suite of tools to create, record, and master songs, BandLab provides a unique solution. It’s not just mastering. It can give you a place to collaborate and explore your creativity while ensuring you always have a way to finalize your tracks.

Because of its unique platform, you can explore your sound and take it from start to finish. The tools offer an end to end solution for building your tracks and launching your album. It’s a uniquely collaborative space that provides more than just mastering services.

That said, if you want the human touch that a sound engineer can provide, this won’t replace it. It has limited scope and requires you to have a quality recording in the first place. If not, mastering won’t help your final tracks.

The final product does sound a small bit flat instead of the nuanced touch a real person has, but for beginners and independent artists, the tools lower the barriers to just getting music out there. It can also help you get started with your music career affordably.

Prices and plans

Bandlab is always free. You don’t have to have an account to master your tracks, but signing up for an account opens up a lot of different features. There are several different components to your free BandLab membership:

  • BandLab: The original membership allows you to upload songs, work on music, and collaborate. It provides all the engineering tools you need to record and adjust.
  • Sounds: With a repository of royalty-free loops and sounds, you’ll enhance your work or create brand new music with no worries about infringing intellectual property.
  • Mastering: The mastering portion provides some simple solutions for ensuring that you have a professional sound for demos or uploading.
  • Cakewalk by BandLab: A production system provides a recording system based on 30 years of music experience. You can record, edit, compose, mix, master, and share all from one download.
  • BandLab also has a portal to provide music lessons for teachers and students, so there’s so much to explore from your first sign up. The most important thing is that the platform is free to use and provides an excellent suite of tools for reliable sound.

Pros and Cons

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Here’s a quick look at what you need to know about BandLab to make your decision.

Pros:

  • A full suite of music tools
  • Streamlined mastering for your existing tracks
  • Always free
  • No need for an account
  • Will work with past tracks if you already have an account

Cons:

  • Mastering tools are limited
  • Can’t batch edit or upload

Frequently asked questions

Is everything on BandLab free?

Yes. No matter what tools you need, once you sign up for an account, all their resources are free forever. Mastering is also free even if you don’t have an account.

Is BandLab iTunes approved?

The mastering quality will comply with iTunes requirements, so you’ll be able to upload your music once it’s finalized.

Why do I need mastering?

If you have a quality recording, it helps to smooth out inconsistencies and excess noise from the recording itself. The simple tools allow you to improve your music even if you don’t have experience with recording or mastering. It facilitates a quality product.

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Verdict

BandLab provides a full suite of options for you to manage your music tracks and finalize them into a form that’s worthy of professional music sites. They won’t replace a real studio or a professional sound engineer, but they do ensure that certain quality standards remain.

You’ll be able to compose and mix your tracks. Upload versions you’ve already created or use tracks in your BandLab account. With a full suite of products that take you from composition to final product, you’ll be pleased with what you can get with your free account.

If you don’t have a BandLab account, you can start by uploading an existing track to their mastering section. If you love it, we encourage you to explore the rest of what BandLab has to offer. You might find that your collaboration and creativity really helps your music take off.

Going the way of an independent artist isn’t always the easiest route, but BandLab does make it easier to accomplish your goals. Consider that you won’t have as many choices if you choose online mastering, but you’ll reduce the time it takes and the cost. It’s a worthy choice to explore for yourself.

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