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IK Multimedia T-RackS Mastering Plug-In (Macintosh and Windows)

Stop sending your tracks off to a mastering studio on the other side of the country. Get these four classic processors and shape your own sounds at home. (47) Read 6 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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IK Multimedia T-RackS Deluxe Mastering Plug-In Suite (Macintosh and Windows)

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Product Description

The new T-RackS 3 raises the bar again in high-end DAW mastering and mixing, with a suite of 4 digital Dynamics/EQ processors, an audio quality that is unmatched in software, and scores of new and unique features.

Modular High-End Mastering/Mixing Suite of Dynamics and EQ processors, including:

4 classic T-RackS processors.

New configurable mastering/mixing chain - run up to 12 parallel/series processors

New complete built-in metering section with Peak, Perceived Loudness, Phase, and RMS meters, plus a Spectrum analyzer with Peak, RMS and Averaging indicators

New standalone and plug-in versions available in the same package for use in all the most popular native DAWs

New high-fidelity oversampling with crystal clear transparency, for high quality audio processing throughout the entire signal path

New SCC(tm) technology coupled with IK's unique DSM(tm) technology provides the most realistic software emulation of vintage gear to date

Extremely easy to use, with style-based presets, full chain visualization, one-click single module or chain bypass, "compare" function, multiple audio processing in standalone mode and much more

T-RackS 3 has all the tools you need to create superb, tube-toned or digital-tuned, mixes and masters. Its rich, warm sound combines new tube-modeled and state-of-the-art digital processors on top of its classic top-notch analog classics. A new modular chain gives you full control and easy navigation/compare features. A new complete metering section keeps all the most important variables of your sound under control. A truly superior mastering and mixing system that will put a polish on your tracks you may have never thought possible. All this, while adding the beautiful warmth and space of the tube devices it emulates. No other plug-in offers this kind of dedicated environment for such an important task, and nothing sounds like T-RackS 3.

4 T-RackS classic processors

Classic T-RackS Compressor
Classic tube stereo compressor/leveler designed for mastering.

Classic T-RackS Multi-band Limiter
Multiband master stereo limiter.

Classic T-RackS Clipper
Soft-clipping stage to create warm, saturated mastering effects.

Classic T-RackS Equalizer
State-of-the-art six band parametric equalizer, modeled on classic top quality analog gear. Classic T-RackS Equalizer can now be used in Stereo or MS modes.

These are all of the original T-RackS modules that achieved cult status. They maintain their great original sonic character, and have only been improved upon to line them up with the absolute "no compromise" in sound quality of the T-RackS 3 signal path.

Classic T-RackS Equalizer can now be used in Stereo or MS modes.

Modular mastering/mixing solution with 12 processing slots
New, selectable 12-processor slot audio chain, arranged in two rows of 4 slots for parallel processing plus 4 serial final slots.

Modules can be easily switched on/off with a single click, individually or all at once, at any time for quick a/b on the monitored audio, without having to navigate or scroll around.

Single module or global chain visualization options

A "compare" function with volume matching allows comparison between the sound of the processed version and the original, so that you can really judge the sound changes, and not be mislead by a volume increase.

Accurate, complete and truly useful Metering
T-RackS 3 includes a new high quality, high precision, complete metering section. This includes:

- A precision three-scale Peak meter with accurate sample indicators and real digital "Over" indication.
- Real Perceived Loudness meter. This is an amazingly useful meter that is not included on most software processors. It shows the REAL loudness that will be perceived on your masters. Compare your preferred records with your works on this meter, and you'll immediately see where to go with loudness management.
- Phase scope, with options to match the style and indication you're used to
- Phase correlation
- Spectrum analyzer with Peak, RMS and Averaging indicators.
- RMS meter.
- Loudness and RMS metering "optimal" zones' indication, selectable by genre and style.

All-platform plug-ins and standalone versions in the same packages
- Plug-ins fully integrate with all of today's popular DAWs
- Standalone mode allows for loading multiple audio files, previews them with all-independent settings and processes all of them with a single click
- Standalone mode includes extremely high quality sampling rate conversion to write 44.1 kHz CD files, starting from any sampling rate
- Built-in dithering with various options
- Automation made easy: you can take snapshots within each song and automate processing parameter changes during the song, for example, when passing from verses to choruses, etc, all with a single click
- Non-destructive basic audio editing

High transparency, extremely high quality audio processing throughout the whole signal path
You may think digital processors are transparent in general, and of a quality high enough for audio mastering. That's not always true. Very simple processing like a filter or a dynamic gain change can literally ruin your sound without any possibility of rescue if it's not performed at the highest possible quality.

T-RackS 3 delivers incredible purity, transparency and fidelity that is far superior to the vast majority of plug-ins you could compare it with. If you are familiar with the sound of top quality analog and digital hardware equalizers that are used daily in top mastering houses, you'll immediately recognize the quality and purity typical of those units here, and if you're not, you'll experience what high quality equalization means.

Oversampling perfected. Many digital processors use oversampling to achieve better sound. Unfortunately, many of them, under critical listening sessions, can be found to achieve no significantly better (or even slightly worse) results than the regular sampling rate option. This is because the upsampling and downsampling processes are not done at an adequate level of quality, in other words: typically what is improved by running a processor at double sampling frequency is partially compromised by the loss of quality in the upsampling and downsampling process. There are only a few pieces of gear, mainly extremely expensive hardware that really realize oversampling the way it should be done. T-RackS 3 is one of them. We wanted to offer the same quality of the highest caliber mastering tools, and the result is a process that has no side effect at all on the sound: total transparency. So what you hear is exactly the same sound of the processor running at double sampling rate, with no side effects.

NEW SCC technology
With over 10 years of experience in analog-modeled software, IK has pioneered this technology and accumulated more experience than any other plug-in manufacturer in the field. This has resulted in several improvements like our unique DSM (Dynamic Saturation Modeling) and now the new SCC (Sonic Character Cloning). SCC has been developed to "clone" the true behavior of an analog vintage processor down to its finest level of sonic detail for a faithful reproduction of all its tonal characteristics. This new emulation technology produces results that are indistinguishable from the originals, even for the professionally trained ear.

Many pieces of vintage gear tend to have original and interesting circuit topology, due to the creative solutions that engineers were sometimes forced to put into place in order to overcome the limitations of components' technology. Vintage components' technology (many of which can't be found anymore because their technology became obsolete and un-economical) as well as their aging (some of the best sounding devices are 40-50 years old) played fundamental roles in giving these devices a unique musicality that is what the purist would define to be "the unmatched" by even the most advanced processors today. And finally, many of the unique sonic characteristics of these magnificent vintage units sometimes depended on erratic and unpredictable behavior of their electronics that would be considered unorthodox and unusable by today's science and standards.

SCC technology has the ability, through a new analysis method developed by IK, to integrate all of the above and turn it into a mathematical algorithm that, for the first time, is able to take into consideration all of these complex variables and get an exact "clone" of the original. This is software emulation evolved to a sound quality never heard before. Sounds so close to the real thing that you won't be able to tell the difference.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of IK Multimedia products.
System Requirements
Power PC based Macintosh
Minimal: 866 MHz G4 processor, 512 MB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Suggested: dual 1.25 GHz G4 or G5 processor, 1 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Supported Plug-in formats: AU, VST, RTAS.

Intel based Macintosh
Minimal: 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor, 512 MB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later.

Suggested: 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 1 GB of RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later.

Supported Plug-in formats: AU, VST, RTAS.

Windows
Minimal: Pentium 1GHz / Athlon XP 1.33 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, Windows XP / Vista or later.

Suggested: Pentium 2.4 GHz / Athlon XP 2.4 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, Windows XP / Vista or later.

Supported Plug-in formats: VST, RTAS.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 954-846-9101
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (47 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. "This is a good software bundle. If you know how to use it, it can be a great addition to your setup."
Sound: I'd just like to say that for a software based processor, this unit is actually pretty good at sound shaping. I use Pro Tools LE, Waves Gold Bundle, UAD 2 with a variety of UA plugs, tons of virtual instruments, and I've got a lot of studio staple mics (not cheap MXL / Samson mics.) I've read some of the negative reviews on here, and there are wayyyy too many variables to consider when judging a product on "how good it sounds"... Sample rates, DAW preferences, mix - headphones vs. monitors, other plug-ins inserted (which may muddy or clutter the mix), etc. My experience has been favorable with T-Racks 3, both as an insert on a final mix, and also as individual plug-ins. I work within Pro Tools using a modified 002 Rack, so I'm tracking & mixing at a high-quality 96k sampling rate with a good set of monitors & a variety of headphones. For 96k, I think the quality is good. It's the subtle things that make this software a good buy. Is it magic? Maybe not, but it does shape the mix in a positive way. Feature: The features are useful. I like being able to mix up the chain, having alternate plugs for chains to mix & match. I'm running a hefty Mac Pro, so although it may be a CPU hog, I haven't had any problems thus far. Ease of Use: Pretty darn easy to get started as an insert on a master track. I think if you want to work with T-Racks 3, you can learn to get the most out of it. Presets are useful and good to get started. Quality: I would give this a "10", but I don't get in high end studios very often and get to compare with high-end compressors or EQ's. I will say that I have heard a big difference while inserting the EQ as an individual on a signal chain. It's almost like there's a certain level of an "aural exciter" or "sonic maximizer" happening. That may sound strange, but when I use other EQ's, they don't cause the track to stand out like the T-Racks 3 EQ. It's like a boost in stereo image. Maybe others have experienced that also? Not sure. I'm just going by what my ears tell me. Thank goodness IK increased the size of the view window over their last version if T-Racks. Must nicer on the eyes. Value: I think this product is a good value. If you purchase and register IK products, you actually get refundable $$$, which I've used to save on select IK products. I'm interested to hear what the T-Racks 3 Deluxe plugs sound like (Fairchild, Pultec) since I'm using the UAD versions of these plug-ins, so I'd like to compare. Manufacturer Support: Not hip on the registration process, but I have all of the Amplitube products, along with all of IK's other VI's, so I'm used to the registration ordeal. Once you do it a time or two, it gets easier, but the first time is a slight headache. Haven't really needed support. Wish there were a better way to register for those who don't have internet access. The Wow Factor: As I stated earlier, I'm very glad they changed the size and look of the view. The earlier versions were smaller, difficult to see, and scrolling for the presets was a pain in the butt on the earlier versions. It's all about sound, and I personally like how T-Racks helps me to shape my sound. Overall: I was using the demo version and was curious to see what it would do for my mix with 2 CD projects I'm producing. After getting a rough mix done one one rock song, and inserting T-Racks 3 on the master, I was really, really impressed with what it did for the mix. I've heard in the past that IK T-Racks excels in the 'rock' genre, and it's true. Next, I tried using it as a master insert on a high energy gospel mix, and I had really good results there, also. As with any plug-in or hardware unit, you have to "learn" how to use it. Just as an example, one company's Pultec emulation may sound a lot different from another.
Style of Music: All styles except electronic
15 of 17 people (88.24%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Don't let these earlier posts of the older T-Racks versions fool you."
Sound: In response to my last post, I'm pretty sure two of the older posts by others are the pre-T-Racks 3 versions, and are NOT the latest versions (look at the dates of their posts), which I have also used in the past the older versions of T-Racks. T-R-3 is heads & shoulders above the older version, so don't let these older posts throw you.
Style of Music: All Styles
12 of 14 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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