SoundBytes' David Baer has put IK's new T-RackS 5 mixing and mastering suite through its paces. Furthermore, he has also cast his expert eye on IK's room correction system, ARC 2.5, which perfectly integrates with T-RackS.
Read some of his key comments here:
"I particularly like the four VU meters that simultaneously display left, right, mid and side levels."
"Four new modules include a superb mastering EQ, an excellent compressor, and two other processors that cannot be described with a simple designation like “compressor”. Finally, there is a metering plug-in that significantly improves on its T-RackS 3 predecessor."
"[The new compressor] sounds wonderful... It makes a splendid addition to the existing T-RackS compressor family."
"I found immediate comfort when just playing around with ONE... As the user manual recommends: Just turn its knobs, experiment and hear the mojo."
"Master Match does something the others don’t. It also learns and matches dynamic levels. Furthermore, it allows one to specify the extent to which both spectral (EQ) and dynamic matching is to be individually applied."
"Enter ARC. It does not eliminate the benefits of acoustic room treatment, but it can definitely improve a less than ideal situation, sometimes to a substantial degree... Count me among the many ARC users who are firmly in the happy camper contingent (and there are more than just a few of us)."
"So, bottom line: consider using ARC, both for mixing and mastering. In fact, I would suggest that you consider it an essential part of a mastering rig in all but the most decked-out home-studio setups."
"Can T-RackS get the job done? The answer is not only a resounding “yes”, but I think T-RackS can get the job done across a wide range of quality goals."
"EQual, a part of the base T-RackS 5 package, is a great place to start for EQ and it might be all you need, but the lovely Master EQ 432 may be another great option to have at hand. Some experts will suggest that linear phase EQ is the way to go in mastering, and if you agree, you’ll need to have the T-RackS Linear Phase Equalizer at hand. Finally, for a sprinkling of vintage fairy dust, the EQP-1A Vintage Tube Program Equalizer is a great thing to have in your box of tools. The EQ-PB and EQ-81 might also be welcome additions. But for all of that, EQual by itself should get you a very long way down the EQ road."
"Stealth is one of the most transparent, musical and downright gorgeous sounding limiters I have ever heard. I would assert that it’s mandatory here and I wouldn’t bother with anything else."
"Lastly, there’s sometimes the need for adding a little warmth. ONE does have a function that accomplishes this, but there’s no control over the saturation type other than how much to add. For this, Saturator X is what’s really needed."
David's final verdict:
"T-RackS 5 is a marvellous evolution of what was already a solid piece of computer audio technology. I look forward to working with the new modules in the future, and getting to know some of the classics a little better as well... T-RackS rocks – check it out."