LANDR vs eMastered vs Cloudbounce vs BandLab vs MajorDecibel

LANDR vs eMastered vs Cloudbounce vs BandLab vs MajorDecibel Compared

With the rise and ever-developing scope of cloud computing, the mastering engineer’s work is increasingly being offered by several online services through the power of algorithms and server banks.

In this post, we will compare LANDR vs. eMastered vs. Cloudbounce vs. BandLab vs. MajorDecibel.

Each service uses a slightly different algorithmic setup which will produce a different result in the final mix. So, how effective are these new technologies at producing a compelling mix-down? Are they cost-effective? Could they replace a human engineer? What can you use them to master; a single song or a whole album? What about different mixing styles? You can pick the best service for your next production.

LANDR Review

LANDR’s cloud-computing software is based on research done at the Queen Mary University of London into automated audio mastering algorithms.

It boasts that the software is always getting better thanks to behind-the-scenes learning algorithms. So far, so high-tech, but what can an artist do with the tool? 

Well, relatively little, in all honesty. LANDR asks the artist to relinquish most of its control and trust that the AI knows best. The whole point of the software, after all, is to make the mastering process more straightforward by letting the computer do the hard work — but how much creative decision-making do you have to give up for LANDR’s ease of use? Rather a lot.

Key Features

  • Custom style options that you can configure, but the range of options is the choice of two sets of three buttons: warm, balanced, or open, and low, medium, or high intensity. Not exactly a wide range of options for the artist looking for a unique sound.
  • It’s undoubtedly an easy piece of software to use, though. Its minimalist GUI is certainly a simpler beast to operate than even something like Logic Pro X.
  • Its options for bulk-uploading files are handy, it offers an online collaboration function, and there is even a feature to allow you to master a whole album, ensuring the mastering is consistent throughout.
  • LANDR’s master itself leaves a little to be desired, and many have noted that whilst it has a nice body to the lower end of a track, the upper register feels thin, even reedy, and really out of balance with the lower end. I suspect I know why, but we’ll get there a little later…
LANDR is more than just mastering!


Price should be a major sticking point for the discerning music producer. Considering the limited customisation options and the overall lackluster result, the idea that you’d pay £49/y for the most basic plan (where you have to pay extra to download particular file-types) is… I’ll be generous and call it audacious.

The Pro plan, which will give you some of the features I mentioned, like volume matching (because, of course, they don’t come as standard), will cost you £299/y, and frankly, I just can’t see any way to justify that kind of price tag.

Related Readings:

How Loud Should a Mix Be Before Mastering?

How Can I Learn Mastering Music If I Am A Beginner?

Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins 2022 (Best Single Mastering Tools)

Top 10 Free EQ Plugins 2022 Update (For Mixing & Mastering)

Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins 2022 (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)

eMastered Review

So, what about eMastered? Well, they immediately earned my respect by putting their money where their mouth is; they have samples of the mastering results on their front page, which you are free to compare against the original mix. This was something of a double-edged sword, as it would turn out, however.

Of the three tracks on offer, the EDM track (White Flag — Remix by Collin McLoughlin) and the Hip Hop track (Beam Me Up by Prolific) both showed the mastering in a rather positive light; an expansive middle range in the Hip Hop showed how effective the mastering was at creating a sound space that could be filled with reverb and delay to give a sense of scale to the track.


In the EDM, the substantial boost on the bass gave the drum machine a suitable kick to it, and the stereo-work was sufficient to provide that characteristically EDM sense of sound coming at you from all directions. The Rock track (Young and Free by Walk with Wolves) really showed up the software’s shortcomings.

In a genre that needs its lead vocals to be foremost in the sound space, instead eMastered pushes the vocals behind a wall of piano chords, synth ostinatos, and a huge amount of reverb; the mid-range utterly dominates, and the vocalist sounds like he’s trying to shout the lyrics from the room next door.

When you listen to the original, whilst the general mix obviously needs work, you can see that the vocals were originally much better balanced with the ensembles, and it seems as if the algorithm just didn’t both lifting the vocal track’s volume to match the massive volume-boost on almost everything else.

What is frustrating about this is that, unlike LANDR, eMastered claims to offer genre-specific styles of master available for the listener, but the results say differently, with the same boomy bass and middle and the top register left high and dry.

This is perhaps more frustrating when you realize the team behind eMastered have worked with some very notable artists — Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, Seal, One Republic — and whilst they’ve claimed to inject that experience into this software, the results don’t live up to their pedigree.

But other aspects of eMastered do endear me to it more than LANDR at the least. The range of options available to you as an artist are much better for a start, with the possibilities for stereo-width, compression, and EQ all customizable by the user, not just left in the hands of the algorithm. 


The pricing is arguably a significant improvement too, with only one plan that comes out to £112/y (there is a monthly plan too, but it’s such poor value at £35/m it’s hardly worth considering unless you want a month to try before committing to a year).

CloudBounce Review

CloudBounce also has a very impressive pedigree, being an official Abbey Road Red alumni company and working with companies like CDBaby, Focusrite, and ROLI

What about the mix itself? Well, like eMastered, CloudBounce are willing to let their algorithm speak for itself. The results were the best I’d listened to throughout the course of this review, with both the EDM and Hip Hop samples given (TJH87 — Wait For Us and TMSV x Digid — Gates) providing a good mid-range boost but without sacrificing the top register like the other algorithms had, with the result being a very crisp-sounding track that wasn’t swamped in sound.

What surprised me was how well the algorithm worked on a much smaller-scale folk/rock song called I Like You by little-known (and seemingly defunct) band Little Savannah. Unlike the other algorithms so far, the vocals stayed up at the front, and the mastering instead brought out some of the little guitar licks that had been hidden in the original mix-down.

Mastering with Cloudbounce


Cloudbounce is an interesting case. Whilst like LANDR it will charge you about £7 for a 24-bit WAV master; it does so without you needing a subscription.  They do offer a subscription at £144/y, but unlike some of the other options, this will give you unlimited masterings of your tracks and lifetime cloud backups of your files.

That being said, the pay-as-you-go style option CloudBounce offer should be attractive to those looking for quick and simple masters of their tracks, and especially for the hobby music producer who might be uploading too infrequently to make a subscription worth their time.

Mastering by BandLab Review

BandLab Mastering is the only free service on this list, and considering what you get for your money (or lack thereof), the results are truly something to be impressed by.

Now, that’s not to say there aren’t issues here: there is a little lack of depth to a master put through BandLab’s cloud service, and once again, most of the artist control is ceded to the algorithm here, with only options for “CD quality” (whatever that means), “bass boost,” and “enhance clarity.”

In terms of usability, though, BandLab shared CloudBounce’s user-friendliness with a simple drag-and-drop workflow. BandLab also has the advantage of having a free online DAW tool, capable even of live collaboration, which makes it easy to collaborate on your music all within the same environment.

However, it’s worth pointing out that this DAW is rather primitive — impressive for a browser-based DAW, no doubt, but still overly simple even by the standards of other free DAWs like Audacity or GarageBand.

BandLab Mastering Review | How To Master A Song FREE!

MajorDecibel Review

MajorDecibel is similar to CloudBounce in its business model and interface, a simple drag-and-drop affair to a webpage, but has the bonus benefits of providing 2 tracks for free every month, which might be appealing to the more casual producer looking for a quick master or someone looking for a quick mock-up for sharing to others. 

For those without a subscription, you will only be given three options for mastering intensity, with the highest intensity sacrificing some dynamic range for overall track volume. For those with a subscription, there are also 5 EQ settings on a spectrum from bright to warm, which prioritizes the higher or lower frequencies of your tracks, respectively.

Landr Mastering VS MajorDecibel Free Mastering


However, the free masters are only given in MP3; if you want a more advanced lossless format like FLAC or HD WAV, you will need to go for one of the paid options available, like the other services available as a monthly or yearly subscription. One advantage of MajorDecibel is that they offer one of the most reasonable subscription plans of all the options discussed here, with a yearly subscription only costing £18 for individual artists or bands. 


These services are a testament to the increasing power of cloud computing and processing. Of the five options presented here, my choices would be CloudBounce or Mastering by BandLab, based on whether I want something to present as a decent finished product, or just want something to quickly bounce together as a demo or to use as part of a collaboration with other artists.

However, advanced as these pieces of software are, and while some of them attempt acknowledging and catering towards different mastering styles, they still lack a little individuality to their masters. It makes sense; a lot of these algorithms are making decisions based on machine learning, which requires a lot of learning input to produce something that actually sounds good.

If these systems have been trained on one style of music, therefore, they’re going to struggle when presented with something different. Plugging a recording of a wind quartet into this software produces some truly awful masters because although they don’t explicitly this, the software is designed to work best on a particular style of music: overwhelmingly pop, EDM, or hip hop.

If you are an indie music producer working in a niche style, or a classical or jazz artist, I’d steer away from software like this and leave mastering your work to a human audio engineer. That being said, these are still very potent tools, and for the right producer, they offer some quick, powerful functionality for creating a professional-sounding final mix.

Readings that you may like: 

DAW Related:

Best DAWs For Musicians Available (With FREE DAWs)

How To Develop DAW Software?

What’s The Most CPU Efficient DAW? – 5 DAWs Compared

How To Make Music Without Using A DAW?

Pro Tools Guide: How To Use AutoTune & Pitch Correction?

Ableton Review: Is It Worth The Money? (Cons & Pros)

Logic Pro X Review: Is It Worth It? (Cons & Pros)

How To Use Auto-tune & Pitch Correction In Cubase?

How To Fix Ableton Crackling, Crashing & Freezing? Step By Step


Plugin Related:

What Are Audio Plugins? Different Types of Plugins Explained

What Are The Best Tools To Develop VST Plugins & How Are They Made?

Cost of Developing Audio VST Plugin: Several Factors (With Table)

VST, VST, AU and AAX – What’s The Difference? Plugin Formats Explained

Complete Guide To Noise Gate – What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It?

How To Clip My Drums? Here Is How & Audio Teasers (Before/After)


Complete Guide To Limiter: How To Use It (+ Best Plugins & Analog Limiters)

Mixing With Reverb: How To Add Life To Your Mixes

Linear Phase vs Minimum Phase EQ – Full Guide

Difference Between LUFS, RMS & True Peak Loudness Meters

How And When To Use Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb In Your Mix?

Difference Between Active EQ, Passive EQ and Dynamic EQ


Headphones & Studio Monitors:

Do headphones get worse with age?

Monitors vs Studio Headphones For Mixing & Mastering

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 

Does Heat Damage Headphones?

Are Noise-Canceling Headphones Good For Music Production?

Can Headphones Break in Cold Weather?

Why do headphones & cables get sticky?


Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss?

How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown?

Side Effects Of Sleeping With Your Headphones On

Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?

Do Headphones or Earphones Damage Your Brain?

Can Headphones or Earphones cause Deafness or Toothache?

FarField, MidField & NearField Monitors – Their Uses, Pros & Cons


MIDI & Synths:

Should I Buy A MIDI Keyboard Or Synth? (Are Synths Worth It Anymore?)

Why Is Audio Gear So Expensive? (Especially Synths)

Top 12 Synth Brands – Analog, Digital & Modular Synth Manufacturers

11 Tips How To Choose MIDI Keyboard 

Should I Buy MIDI Controller Or Keyboard? Cons, Pros & Tips


Guitar/Amp Focused:

Can I Put Nylon Strings on a Steel-string Guitar?

Do Electric Guitars Sound Good Unplugged?

Buying Your First Guitar: 2 Things To Know

Are Tube Amps Worth It? (Tube vs Solid-State Amps)

How Often Does A Guitar Need a Setup?

Can I Play Classical Guitar On A Steel-String Guitar?


How often guitar necks need reset?

Can You Play Two Guitars Through One Amp?

Can a 6 String Bass Be Tuned Like A Guitar?

Can I leave My Guitar Tuned Down a Step? Yes, But Is It Safe?

Should I Learn 4, 5 Or 6 String Bass Guitar & Why?

How To Know If your Guitar Amp Is Broken?

How To Fix Distorted Bass Guitar Sound?


Do Fender Guitars Appreciate In Value?

Should You Put Stickers On A Bass Guitar?

How Acoustic And Electric Guitars Are Made?

Is Electric Guitar Too Loud for an Apartment?

Does a Preamp Improve Sound Quality?

If I Learn Acoustic Guitar Can I Play Electric Guitar?

How Many Hours A Day Should You Practice Bass Guitar?

Do I need an AMP/DAC To Run Bookshelf Speakers?

How to Record Electric Guitar Into Logic Pro X?

Do headphones get worse with age?


Recommended Gear:

Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget

Top 10 Midfield Studio Monitors For Home Recording

Best Biggest Studio Monitors (FarField Monitors)

Top 10 Guitar Pickups for Low Tunings 

Top 10 Analog Compressors For Mixing & Mastering (On Any Budget)

Top 12 USB Audio Interfaces Under 150$, 200$, 300$ 400$ (Any Budget)


Top 12 Hardware Equalizers (Analog EQs For Mixing & Mastering)

Top 6 Analog Hardware Limiters 

Top 6 Solid State Bass Amps (On Any Budget)

Top 6 Ribbon Mics On Any Budget (For Vocals, Drums & Guitars)

Top 6 Cheap Dynamic Mics For Vocals Under 50$, 100$, 200$ & 300$


Top 6 Chorus Guitar Pedals (On Any Budget)

6 Best 61-Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

9 Best 49-Key MIDI Keyboards Under 100$ & 200$

Top 5 Best 25 Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

Top 12 Acoustic Drums (Best Kits/Sets On Any Budget)


Plugin Roundups:

Genre Focused:

Top 10 EDM Plugins  (And 10 Best FREE Plugins For EDM)

Top 10 Plugins For TRAP Beats (And 5 Best FREE Trap Plugins)

20 Best Plugins For Rock Musicians (+ 6 FREE Plugins)

Top 14 Trance Plugins (Uplifting, Tech, Progressive, Vocal, Dream, Hard)

Top 10 GOA & PsyTrance Plugins (Best Psychedelic Trance Tools)

Top 7 Plugins For Dubstep (With 10 Best FREE Effects & Synths)


Top 20 Synthwave Plugins (+ 11 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 15 Plugins For Techno, House, Electro, Tech House, UK Garage

Top 6 Plugins For Latin Music  (And 4 FREE Tools)

Top 12 Plugins For Hip-Hop (+ Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 7 Plugins For Game & Film Scoring  (+ 6 Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 10 R&B And Pop Music Plugins & KONTAKT Libraries 

30 Best Free Plugins For DnB, EDM, IDM & Experimental Music 


EQ Plugins

Top 12 Free EQ Plugins For Precise Mixing & Mastering

Top 9 Mid/Side EQ Plugins  For Mixing & Mastering (+ 2 Free Tools)

Top 7 Graphic EQ Plugins  (With 3 Best Free EQs)

Top 7 EQ Plugins For Mastering In | And Best FREE Mastering EQs

Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins (Klevgrand, SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)

Top 11 Plugins For Making Metal (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)



Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)

Top 6 Spectrum Analyzer Plugins  – Spectral Analysis Tools

Top 6 Oscilloscope Plugins To See The Waveforms

Top 5 Key Detection Plugins & Software  (+ Best FREE App)


Kontakt Libraries

20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT (And 4 Freebies)

Top 7 Trap Music Kontakt Libraries (And Best Lo-Fi Kontakt Library)

Top 7 Metal & Rock Kontakt Libraries (Best Guitars & Drums)

Top 10 Guitar Libraries For Kontakt (Acoustic, Electric, Bass & Freebies)


Top 7 Trailer Scoring Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

20 Best Free KONTAKT Libraries For Various Instruments

Top 9 Piano Kontakt Sample Libraries  (And 5 Best Free Pianos)

Top 10 Percussion KONTAKT Libraries  (And 3 Freebies)

Top 7 Kontakt Libraries For Horror & Thriller Scoring (No VSTs)


Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:

Top 6 Noise Reduction Plugins (And 3 Best Free Tools)

6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software 

Top 7 Phase Alignment Plugins To Fix Your Bass & Drums

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 


Instrument Plugins: 

Top 6 Vocoder Plugins (Effects & Synths + FREE Vocoder)

11 Best Rhodes VST Plugins (AND 5 Free Rhodes Plugins)

Top 12 Randomizer Plugins Including FREE Plugins

Top 6 Kick Drum Plugins (Best Kick Designer Tools)

Top 12 Woodwind Plugins (And KONTAKT Libraries)

Top 10 Double Bass Plugins (Best Upright Basses)

Top 5 Strings VST Plugins (AND 4 Best Free Instruments)


Top 6 Sampler Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Classical Guitar Plugins & Kontakt Libraries (And FREE Guitars)

Top 7 Wavetable Synth Plugins 

Top 12 Sub Plugins (Best 808 & Bass Tools For Massive Low End)

Top 10 Plugins On PluginBoutique (And 7 Best Free Plugins)

Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance 

Top 7 Acoustic Guitar Plugins (And 4 Best Kontakt Libraries)


9 Best Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies)

Top 6 Electric Guitar Plugins (Best PAID & FREE Picks)

Top 10 Arpeggiator VST Plugins (Best Synths, MIDI Effects & Tools)

Top 10 Modular Synth Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Choir Plugins & Sample Libraries (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins (And FREE Plugins)


Top 8 Piano Plugins (Best Sounding Pianos & 5 FREE Piano Plugins)

Top 6 Organ Plugins Ever Made  (And 3 Best Free Organs)

Top 14 VST Plugins For Beginners (And 9 FREE Plugins)

Top 9 Drum Machine Plugins (And Groovebox Plugins)

4 Best Banjo Plugins (Best Banjo Instruments)


The 5 Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

Top 13 Synth Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Synths Plugins)

Top 13 Sequencer Plugins  (Synth, MIDI & Step Sequencers)

The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians (Synths, Mixing & Mastering)



Processing & Sound Design:

8 Best Lo-Fi Plugins (PAID & FREE)

Top 11 Plugins For Mixing Vocals  (For Home Studio)

Top 12 Saturation Plugins (Best Mixing & Mastering Tools)

Top 6 Pitch Shifter Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Pitch Shifters)

Top 6 Chorus VST Plugins For Musicians (And 3 FREE Plugins)


Top 6 Limiter Plugins For Precise Mastering & Mixing

The 8 Best Filter Plugins For Precise Cuts & Boosts (+ 5 Free Filters)

6 Best Autotune Plugins To Improve & Enhance Your Vocals

Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 7 Enhancer Plugins (For Bass, Drums, Vocals & Harmonics)


Top 6 Flanger Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Flanger Emulators)

Top 7 Phaser Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Phasers)

Top 10 Plugins For Mixing Drums (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 7 Bitcrusher Plugins (And 4 Best FREE Bitcrushers + 3 Bonuses)

Top 6 Plugins For Voice-Over & Dialogue Cleaning (Post Production)

Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins (Best Old & Modern Picks)


Top 5 Multiband Limiter Plugins 

Top 7 De-Esser Plugins For Better Vocals (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives)

Top 6 Chord Generator Plugins That Inspire Melodies (+ FREE Tools)

7 Best Exciter Plugins For Mixing & Mastering

Top 7 Channel Strip Plugins (And 2 Best Free Plugins)


Top 11 Distortion Plugins (And 4 Top Free Plugins)

Top 5 Comb Filter & Resonator Plugins | Melda, Kilohearts, Tritik

The 7 Best Vibrato VST Plugins | Audec, Audiority, Melda

The 7 Best Tremolo Plugins | Eventide, Melda, SoundToys, Kuassa…

The 7 Best Harmonizer Plugins | Eventide, Melda, Aegean Music

7 Best Sidechain Plugins (VST, AU, AAX) | Xfer, Cableguys..


Top 10 Noise Gate Plugins (And 6 FREE Free Gate Tools)

The 6 Best Ring Modulator VST Plugins | KiloHearts, Melda

7 Best Autopan VST Plugins | CableGuys, Melda, Waves, Soundtoys

The 6 Best Frequency Shifter VST Plugins

Top 11 Granulizer Plugins For Future Sound Design

29 Best Sound Design VST Plugins


Compressor Plugins

Top 11 Free Compressor Plugins (VCA, Vari-Mu, FET, Digital)

Top 7 Multiband Compressor Plugins (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 5 Diode-Bridge Compressor Plugins 

Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins: Complete VST Solutions 

Top 10 FET Compressor Plugins 

The 7 Best VCA Compressor Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 11 Mastering Compressor Plugins (And 2 FREE Plugins)

Top 10 Opto Compressor Plugins For Transparent Sound

The 7 Best Vari-Mu Compressor Plugins (And 2 Best FREE Tools)


Reverb & Delay Plugins:

Top 12 Reverb Plugins (And 5 FREE Reverb Plugins)

The 6 Best Spring Reverb VST Plugins | AudioThing, GSi, u-he, Eventide

Top 12 Delay Plugins For Music Production In (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 10 FREE Delay Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

The 10 Best Convolution Reverb Plugins 


Amps & Preamps:

Top 10 Guitar Amp Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Simulators)

Top 10 Bass Amp Plugins (And 5 Best Free Simulators)

Top 9 Preamp Plugins (For Vocals, Guitars & More!) + Free Preamps

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