eMastered Vs Landr – Which Is The Better Online Audio Mastering Service?

Emastered Vs Landr

When it comes to online mastering, eMastered and Landr are seen as two of the best options on the market. But which one is the overall best for your money? Well in the battle of eMastered Vs Landr:

eMastered's finished master is marginally better than Landr's, and it has slightly more features. That said it's a lot more expensive when paid monthly, & we're not sure it's worth the extra cost. eMastered wins if money’s not an issue, Landr wins if it is.

Of course, mastering is a subjective topic, and what’s preferred by one person may not be preferred by another. With that in mind, check my full breakdown below for a more detailed look at where each of these mastering tools excel.

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What Is eMastered?

eMastered is an online audio mastering service that allows you to upload your track, have it mastered by an AI engine, and further tweak the parameters until you’re 100% satisfied with your master.

The mastering is done automatically and rapidly. Uploading your track will only take a minute or so, and mastering will only take about two minutes.

Overall, eMastered is convenient, fast, and easy to use. They’ve got an attractive, simple user interface.

eMastered was created by Grammy-winning engineers. They also have a VST plugin called ATOM Synth.

Check out eMastered review for more details.

Pricing

eMastered offers one plan only, but you can pay for it in three ways.

  • Yearly (billed monthly) – $24 per month
  • Yearly (billed in full) – $168
  • Monthly – $49

What Is LANDR?

LANDR is also an online audio mastering service. You can upload your track and have it mastered by AI in a matter of minutes. If you want to tweak your master further, LANDR offers several options.

Like eMastered, their interface is also attractive and simple to use. Ultimately, LANDR is convenient, fast, easy to use, and affordable.

LANDR originally launched in 2014, and has extended their reach into music distribution, plugins, samples, networks, video chat, and more.

You can see more details in our Landr Review.

Pricing

LANDR has three monthly and yearly plans for a total of six plans.

  • Basic – $6 monthly, $48 yearly
  • Advanced – $14 monthly, $108 yearly
  • Pro – $39 monthly, $299 yearly

On the Basic plan, you can master as many lo-MP3s as you want, but hi-MP3s cost $4.99, WAVs cost $8.99, and HD WAVs cost $17.99.

With the Advanced plan, you still pay for WAVs and HD WAVs, and with the Pro plan you get unlimited everything.

How The Services Compare

Online Audio Mastering Service

eMastered and LANDR both position themselves as great mastering tools.

Neither purport to be better than human engineer mastering, though we do feel they give living engineers a run for their money.

But in this review, we can't go on branding or hearsay alone. After all, this is a hands-on review.

So, let’s look at how the two services compare. We’ll be looking specifically at:

  • Ease of use
  • User interface
  • Features and functionality
  • Pricing
  • Mastering

Here’s what we uncovered.

Ease Of Use

To get started with eMastered, all you’ve got to do is drag and drop your track onto the homepage of their website. Literally.

Their engine will automatically upload and master your track, at which point you can listen to the result in full, tweak the parameters, and even remaster the track.

When you’re ready to download your track, though, you will be required to make a payment, and the smallest commitment you can make at that point is $49. This seems a little odd to us, but we’ll talk more about pricing later.

To get started with LANDR, you’ll need to create your account first. From there, the process works much the same way it does with eMastered. You can upload your track, have it mastered by AI, toggle back and forth between pre-master and post-master, and make additional tweaks.

Both mastering services are easy to use, convenient, and fast. But in terms of ease of use, eMastered wins, mostly because it’s faster and easier to get started with.

User Interface

Algorithmic audio improvement

We feel both eMastered and LANDR have got great user interfaces, and which you prefer is mostly going to come down to the individual.

eMastered features more of a classic, slick VST plugin style graphical interface. Anyone who spends all day within their DAW should feel quite at home using eMastered.

Contrast that with LANDR, which has more of a minimal, modern, “flat” interface. It's still pleasing to the eye and is highly functional. Just less flashy than eMastered.

We can’t imagine anyone would get lost on either platform. They’re both incredibly straightforward.

If you don’t know much about mastering, then tweaking the parameters (EQ intensity and so forth) isn’t going to move the needle for you. But our experience shows that the best way to use these services is with reference mastering anyway (we’ll talk more about that later).

While the two platforms show some differences, one is not clearly better than the other. So, in terms of user interface, we’ve got a tie.

Features & Functionality

We don’t have any qualms about the features and functionality offered at eMastered or LANDR.

If you trust the AI, you can go ahead and upload your track and let it take over. And you can get some good results this way.

Based on our experience, the best way to utilize both is with reference mastering. This is a new feature on LANDR, but something eMastered has clearly had for a while.

The idea here is that you can pick a song that you think sounds awesome, upload it, and have the AI reference that track as it’s working out the EQ, compression, stereo imaging, and other parameters for your track.

With eMastered, you can tweak compressor intensity, mastering strength, stereo width, volume, equalization intensity, and equalization whether you’re using a reference or not.

LANDR has similar tweakable parameters, but you can’t unlock them without upgrading to the Advanced plan. On the Basic plan, you’re only able to alter what they call “Mastering features” – Style (Warm, Balanced, Open) and Intensity (Low, Medium, High).

eMastered doesn’t limit your access to their tools, but you’ve got to pay to download any of your masters.

We feel eMastered offers just a little bit more here, but that little bit is enough for us to give them a win in the category of features and functionality.

Pricing

AI-powered music mastering

We find the eMastered plan confusing and we think other users will too.

Does it cost $14 per month? $24 per month? Or $49 per month? And the answer is… confusing.

If you want the $14 per month billing, it isn’t billed monthly at all. It’s billed annually, at $168.

If you want the $24 per month billing, you’ve got to make a one-year commitment upfront.

The only billing scheme that makes sense on its own is the $49 per month one, which allows you to cancel any time.

And I would say their greatest weakness is that they don’t have a beginner or independent musician friendly plan. An independent musician might end up having to hire a real mastering engineer for $50 to $150 per song, so sure, they are still going to save some money using the $49 per month billing.

But the whole concept of online mastering is mastering at scale. It can be done quickly and easily. And you can get great results with it even if you have no idea what you’re doing.

So, once an independent musician is done mastering their 10 to 12 tracks for their album, they’re probably not going to have another 10 to 12 tracks ready to go the next month. At some point, the investment ends up costing more than it's worth.

We can’t deny that it’s great for music producers, studio owners or independent record labels, though, especially if your production environment pumps out tons of new tracks every single month. Then again, if they’ve already got a mastering facility or all the tools to be able to master, would you even utilize an online AI mastering service?

To be competitive with LANDR, we’d love to see eMastered think more carefully about their pricing options. But to be fair, it’s about their only weakness.

LANDR has three plans. Six if you split them into monthly and yearly plans.

This is easy to understand, and most users should feel more comfortable with the typical three-tier pricing structure.

When compared alongside eMastered, LANDR has better beginner-friendly plans, starting at $6 per month.

The “catch” is that most users are going to end up paying for $8.99 per WAV, because why would you even need a mastered MP3? An MP3 is a compressed audio file, so all that precious mastering isn’t going to make that much of a difference.

If you don’t want any limitations on how many of which file you can create, then you’ve got to upgrade to the Pro plan, which costs more than eMastered’s yearly billing.

Basically, there are pros and cons on both sides. The plan or billing scheme you choose is going to depend a lot on how many tracks you master on a regular basis, as well as what types of files you need. But we can’t entirely get our heads around why you’d need anything less than a WAV and eMastered seems to know this.

So, in this regard, the two services are tied. If eMastered had a newbie friendly option, we would call it the clear winner.

Mastering

Instant online mastering

We want to be upfront with you. There is no basis for comparing the mastering of these two AI engines. And a big part of that is the fact that they basically offer the same functionality.

Want the AI to do all the work? Simply upload your track and let it do its thing.

Want to take advantage of reference mastering? Upload the track you want the AI to model, and again, let it take over from there.

Interested in tweaking parameters until you’re fully satisfied with the master? Both eMastered and LANDR let you do that too. Tweak the options and hit “remaster.”

And the finished product, on both sides, has always left us feeling fully satisfied. These online mastering services provide mastering that’s better than beginner mastering engineers, just as good as intermediates, and comparable to experienced ones.

If anything, it seems like eMastered might offer a few more options than LANDR, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re still comparable.

The rest is basically going to come down to your skills as a mixer, because let’s face it – mastering can’t fix every issue in your mix, even though it can bring out certain frequencies.

We could drill down to the granular level here, but we feel it would be mostly fruitless, because we’ve used both services, and they both delivered great masters. The rest is in the ears of the listener!

What About Other Online Mastering Services Like CloudBounce?

Automated audio enhancement

Instant audio mastering has obviously picked up some steam, and other players are starting to enter the market.

CloudBounce is the perfect example. It works much the same way eMastered and LANDR do. And if anything, they bear more resemblance to eMastered, as they allow you to drag and drop your file directly onto their homepage to get started.

CloudBounce’s pricing is also reasonable and they do have a newcomer friendly option at $9.90 per track.

We don’t think CloudBounce is going to offer the same level of polish as eMastered and LANDR. But as they say, everything is worth trying once, and we think you can still expect to get quality masters using a service like this.

Emastered Or Landr, Which Is Better? The Verdict

Until the very end, in our minds, LANDR and eMastered were basically neck and neck. On either side, there exists a pros and cons list, and the scale kept balancing itself out as we considered each criterion.

To our surprise, though, eMastered ended up coming out on top. Specifically, it showed its strengths in a couple of categories, even if it was by a small margin – ease of use, as well as features and functionality. And when it comes to mastering, features do matter.

And, while mastering is always a matter of taste, we felt that eMastered’s masters were maybe just a percentage point or two above LANDR’s. That’s a controversial statement, and you’re welcome to take it with a grain of salt, but that’s what pushed us over the edge.

We still felt eMastered’s “one plan, paid different ways” could be a little friendlier, and their ease of use and interface were basically right on par with LANDR’s. So, even though the two platforms are basically in the same league, and we wouldn’t be embarrassed using either. If we were to give the trophy to just one, though, it would be eMastered.

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