United Plugins and SounDevice Digital have announced the release of Mastermind. Equipped with multiple processing sections and EQ matching facilities, the plug-in aims to provide users with an all-in-one solution to their mastering needs.
A Match section provides a fast way to match the sound of a user’s reference material, and is equipped with buttons for analysing both the incoming audio signal, and a loaded reference track. Once Mastermind has carried out an analysis on both sources, an EQ curve is generated which can be applied via a Match knob that ranges from 0 to 100 %. The developers say that a careful approach is best, with a value of 20 to 30% often delivering the best sounding results.
More intelligent processing is offered by an Optimize section, which is equipped with just a single control, again ranging from 0 to 100 %, that applies an algorithm which the companies say makes the incoming signal “richer, bigger, and psychoacoustically better”. The algorithm has been created by SounDevice Digital though extensive development and research of a large amount of mastered material, although no details are provided on the processing being carried out behind the scenes.
In addition to the automatic equalisation functionality, the plug-in is also equipped with a more traditional EQ section. Low- and high-shelf filters are available, with the former offering 20, 30, 45, 60, 100, and 150 Hz settings, and the latter providing 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.5, 10, 12, and 16 kHz options. Both bands have a gain range of -16 to +16 dB. Some valve-style saturation is also available within the section via a Tube EQ knob, and a Trim Before Limiter parameter provides a -24 to +24 dB level control, allowing users to optimise their gain staging prior to the plug-in’s Limiter section.
The Limiter section provides the expected Gain and Threshold parameters, along with an Out Ceiling control to set the maximum allowed output level. Some further sonic enhancement is also available courtesy of Saturation control. A large set of meters to the right of the section provide a visual representation of the plug-in’s input and output levels, along with the amount of gain reduction being applied by the limiter.
Mastermind’s engine utilises internal 64-bit audio processing, and is capable of up to 16x oversampling. It also features an intelligent sleep mode which will automatically engage when no processing is taking place in order to free up CPU resources. The GUI is freely re-sizeable, with users able to make adjustments by clicking and dragging an arrow in the bottom right corner of the plug-in window.
Mastermind is supported on PCs running Windows 8, 10, or 11, and Macs running macOS 10.10 and above. AAX, AU, VST and VST3 formats are available. The plug-in is authorised via licence files, and so requires no dongle or internet access.
Pricing & Availability
Mastermind is available now, and is being offered at an introductory price of €29 until the end of November 2022, after which the price will rise to €129.