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Can HoRNet’s MasterTool truly add the finishing touches to your track?


A new intelligent plug-in from HoRNet is designed to be a mastering solution for tracks of any genre. MasterTool, described by the brand as a “mastering robot”, uses an algorithm to make changes in the frequency content and dynamics of a track or podcast.

The process begins with MasterTool analysing the frequency spectrum of a project and making EQ adjustments and corrections. It uses a ‘frequency unmasking algorithm’ – a term that doesn’t unveil specifics about the process itself, but HoRNet claims these algorithms offer “an easy way to fix your tracks and make them sound good”.

Next, the signal is sent to three dynamic stages which each include a clipper and two limiters. The first clipper and the first limiter cut the peaks of the signal, increasing the loudness, whilst the second limiter helps push your audio to an amplitude that you specify.

You’ll notice that the plug-in doesn’t sport an extensive number of parameters – this is because it sets internal parameters automatically after analysing the audio. LUFS target level and EQ correction amount can be set with the two main dials. Next to these are two buttons; one for Voice Over mode, presumably for podcasts and spoken word; one labelled as Learn, which is what you’ll press when you want MasterTool to analyse your audio. It will also ask you to do this upon first loading the plug-in.

HoRNet MasterTool is resizable and features a realtime display of correction and applied gain reduction. It’s available as a 64-bit plug-in for Mac and Windows in VST2, VST3 and AAX formats.

With platforms like SoundCloud making mastering a more algorithmically accessible process with Mastering on SoundCloud, will tools like this see the decline of the mastering studio? Download a demo and you can be the judge.

HoRNet MasterTool is available now for €23. You can also download a free demo. Find out more at hornetplugins.com

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