21 Best Mastering Plugins On The Market

Most people consider Mastering as some sorcery reserved for audio engineers (or students from Hogwarts).
Still, the secret is that it’s done via excellent plugins and tools.

Although experts believe that the skills are more important than the gear, it is because engineers all maintain a library of excellent Mastering Plugins to use.

Nevertheless, We’ll break down the best plugins for Mastering and divide them into four main categories: 

  • Mastering Compressors and Limiters
  • Mastering Equalizers
  • Saturators For Mastering
  • Mastering Suites & Utilities

‣ BEST Mastering Compressors and Limiters

Fabfilter Pro L 2


FabFilter Pro-L 2 is a feature-packed true-peak mixing and mastering limiter plug-in and introduces a wealth of new features and improvements.

Even more, This Plugin has a true peak limiting, Extensive loudness metering, Surround support including Dolby Atmos 7.0.2 and 7.1.2 formats with flexible surround channel linking.

Additionally, it has an optional DC offset filter, External side-chain triggering for stem mastering, Unity Gain option to easily listen to the effect of the current limiting at unity gain level, and Audition Limiting option to listen to the difference between the input and output signal

Price: $199
Availability: Mac and PC

Weiss De-Ess

With the highly coveted sonics of the industry gold-standard, Weiss DS1-MK3 is the go-to digital hardware
de-essing unit used in top mastering studios across the world – and a completely new and focused design approach.

Indeed, the best-sounding de-esser on the market, featuring algorithms code-ported from the industry-standard DS1-MK3, and two bands of de-essing.

Certainly, this is the only de-esser you’ll ever need, with stunning and intuitive visualizations and a clean tweak-and-go faceplate with incredibly detailed controls concealed in the side menu and overall an ultra-professional tool, but without the daunting, complex look.

Price: $199
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST/VST3/AU/AAX

Weiss Maximizer

Next, The latest Softube MM-1 plug-in is derived from the Weiss DS1-MK3, a highly popular digital dynamics unit that can be seen in many mastering studios around the globe

Even more, Softube says that the MM-1 plug-in is a “scaled-down” version of the original DS1-MK3 hardware that uses the same algorithms as the original hardware.

The MM-1‘s Features includes a simple interface handling sophisticated mastering processes, five ‘flavours’ of limiting and contains the exact same technology as the famous hardware mastering processor, the Weiss MM-1.

Price: Intro price $179 (regular $199)
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST/VST3/AU/AAX

PSP Xenon

PSP has created a really unique limiter with Xenon. Though most limiters only have one level of limiting, Xenon has two. 
Additionally, the Mastering Limiter The first enables the initial transients to get through without being decreased.
The second step of limiting focuses on the transients.

So, this is a fantastic method to obtain better dynamic control without experiencing any pumping.
In short, It’s great for obtaining a piece of music that’s loud without compromising quality.

Price: $199
Availability: Mac and PC

FG Grey

The FG-Grey is an adaption of what they call a certain 4000 series’ console compressor.
It is comparable to the compressor in the FG-X suite; extremely transparent compression that tends to blend things together beautifully.

This device is extremely flexible in that it can be fairly mild with the auto release button enabled or you can put it in full out aggressive smash mode.

So, one of the strongest points about this compressor is that you don’t appear to lose the frequency content. this is due to a change they made in the plugin virtual circuitry.
They inserted a version of the renowned console’s discrete transformer into the signal line to strengthen the low end and mids that tend to be lost while compressing.

Price: $15 a month with the Slate All Access Pass or $149 annually
Availability: Mac and PC

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor

The Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plug-in is an extremely realistic replica of the highly acclaimed hardware processor, featuring flexible 2-stage compression and switchable transformers.

That being said, the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plugin is amazing.
Not only is it a fraction of the cost of the hardware, but it sounds on-par as well. Developed by Brainworx, the UAD Shadow Hills operates on specialized DSP in Universal Audio world.

Finally, This plugin is a beast Despite the hardware being out of reach for many of us, the plugin is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

Price: $149
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST2/VST3/AAX DSP/AAX Native/AU/AAX AudioSuit

JST Clip

JST Clip is Joey Sturgis‘s version of a clipper that is designed with the mixing and mastering engineer in mind.

Therefore, this strong peak clipper is intended to be an essential element of your dynamic control while retaining your transients and creating harmonic saturation

Also, it prevents digital overs with appealing sonics, and enhance the aggressiveness of your source with ease.

Price: $49
Availability: Mac and PC
Format: VST2/VST3/AU/AAX

‣ BEST Mastering Equalizers

FabFilter Pro Q3

FabFilter Pro Q3 contains all the elements of FabFilter Pro Q2 and introduces a substantial boost in the feature sets and capabilities.

You can apply dynamic EQ on any band and have an adjacent band operate as a conventional EQ without phase or crossover distortion produced by overlapping band processing. 

Additionally, all three EQ processing modes are available: Zero Latency, Natural Phase and Linear Phase.

Price: $179
Availability: Mac and PC
Format: VST/VST3/AU/AAX/AudioSuite formats.

Slate Infinity EQ

Following is INFINITY EQ is Slate Digital’s most sophisticated modern equalizer.
Featuring zero-latency analogue matched curves, lightning-fast intuitive workflow, unique filters, M/S capabilities, and presets created by professionals like Mike Dean and Oak Felder.

Also, this plugin will help you implement your creative ideas with ease.

To conclude, INFINITY EQ allows you to process your songs with the least number of mouse movements, clicks, and modifier keys.

Price: $149
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST/AU/AAX

UAD Pultec

Pultec-Pro blends the Pultec MEQ-5 Midrange Equalizer and the Pultec EQP-1A Program Equalizer, two coveted hardware EQs, into one plug-in.

The Pultec MEQ-5 Midrange Equalizer has been out of development for some time and is the ideal complement to the Pultec EQP-1A

Also, Either EQ part can be enabled or disabled individually, conserving DSP power on your UAD.

Price: $299
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST/VST3/AU/AAX (UAD Hardware is required)

Eiosis Air EQ

AirEQ was developed with the goal of attaining musical, technical and audio perfection.
Easy, convenient to use, AirEQ is a musical equalizer plugin at its best.

The Water and Fire curves, as the Character and Strength parameters were tuned by ear, so mixing professionals may concentrate on one thing – making music sound terrific.

AIREQ is a premium EQ that gives you full control over your mix and enables hands-on rich sound shaping.
Using its own character feature

you should custom craft your sound to be biting or smooth and transparent.

Price: $179
Availability: Mac and PC

Kush Clariphonic

Clariphonic is a stereo hardware device delivering treble-focused EQ, with two parallel processors per channel, and the original Clariphonic DSP attempted to replicate its essence in software.

So, the most apparent changes in the plugin are that it offers 3 channel modes: stereo, dual mono, and mid/side.
Other ‘surface’ changes include LEDs indicating what position each switch is in, and integrated preset access.

The most important enhancements, however, have been done beneath the hood, with brand new filters very closely mimicking the dynamic nature of the hardware, and freshly tailored oversampling and filtering algorithms.

Theoretically, it all contributes to produce a more open sound than that of the original plugin.

Price: $199
Availability: Mac and PC
Format: VST/AU/AAX

‣ BEST Saturators For Mastering

Slate VTM

Slate Digital Virtual Tape Machines is a plug-in for mixing and mastering that works very well to rapidly alter the texture of your sound using different kinds of Studer tape emulations.

In fact, The main factors for this plug-in are the character of the sound, simplicity of usage, and GUI.

Price: $149
Availability: Mac and PC

FabFilter Saturn 2

FabFilter Saturn 2 uses distortion and saturation to assist you in all aspects of your music production.

Regardless, whether you want tape saturation, a warm/clean tube sound or guitar amp effects in the widest multiband imaginable FabFilter Saturn 2 is for you.

Also, the upgrades to Saturn 2 offer you a ton of additional capabilities, including a completely new interface that allows you to see the modulation.

Furthermore, while mastering, you may use the linear phase processing and new saturation and distortion to allow your creativity to run wild.

Price: $154
Availability: Mac and PC
Format: VST/VST3/AU/AAX/AudioSuite formats.

Plugin Alliance Blackbox

The BlackBox Analog Design HG-2 is a stereo tube saturation processor.

It’s a box with multiple tube circuits inside it that add wonderful harmonic distortion to the music flowing through, giving it that special punch that engineers constantly try to express with words; Color, glitter, gloss, rich, heat, punch, larger, and so on and so on. 

So, what it contributes is partly described by those terms. It essentially sounds better also the HG-2 is a buffet of various tube tastes.

In fact, There are 4 distinct vacuum tube stages coupled in series and parallel to allow a wide variety of colours to contribute to the sound.
The Four distinct tubes have been accurately recreated as near as feasible using software to mimic the original.

Price: $39.99
Availability: Mac and PC
Format: VST2/VST3/AU/AAX

Softube Tape

Next, Softube Tape an excellent plug-in for simply adding a bit of analogue tape emulation to a final mix, but more impressively, it’s terrific for adding character to voices and guitars. It offers quick glue for harsh or excessively transient sounds in a mix.

Yet, it’s a lot more subtle than VTM and may be excellent for obtaining a little tape flavour without altering your master too much.

Price: $49
Availability: Mac and PC
Format: VST2/VST3/AU/AAX

‣ BEST Mastering Suites and Utilities

Ozone 9 Advanced

Ozone 9 Advanced is by far the most feature-packed, all-in-one mastering suite on the market. 
It’s an essential tool for professional mixers and mastering engineers.
In fact, Ozone 9 Advanced can produce high-quality masters fast and creatively with many fine-tuning options.

Additionally, It contains a set of EQ, compression, saturation, and limiter modules designed to be used in a mastering chain – putting the last touches on your audio before it enters streaming services or physical media.
With integrated machine learning in the Master Assistant and a variety of different modules and presets to select from, Ozone 9 is a wonderful tool to have at your disposal.

Price: $499
Availability: Mac and PC
Format: VST2/VST3/AU/AAX

NUGEN Audio MasterCheck

MasterCheck‘ by NUGEN Audio is the complete optimisation solution for today’s delivery services, a plug-in providing the tools to make sure your music reaches the listener as intended.

Streaming apps, download stores and podcasts all use data compression, loudness normalisation or both.

Consequently, these processes can affect your track in undesirable ways: your loud, punchy mix could end up quiet and flat, or suffer clipping and distortion.

Price: $199
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST/VST3/AU/AAX

Slate VMR

The Slate Digital VMR is a set of 4+1 analogue-modelled plug-ins used in a 500 series modular type virtual mix rack.
The +1 refers to Revival, one of several free modules in VMR.

Indeed, When it comes to analogue modelling, the poster child for algorithm design is Fabrice Gabriel, the man behind the algorithm designs of all modules in VMR.

Fabrice additionally created algorithms for the widely used VCC, VBC, and VTM all offered by Slate Digital.

Furthermore, he has expertise in developing virtual emulations of analog hardware thus it’s no surprise that his initials are on all the VMR modules.

Price: $149
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST2/VST3/AU/AAX

Acon Mastering Suite

Acon Digital Mastering Suite consists of five plug-ins for audio mastering designed for the ultimate signal transparency:
First, Dynamics: a combined compressor, expander, or gate
Then, Multiband Dynamics, the multiband extension of Dynamics which allows dynamic processing in up to four separate bands.

Next, Limit: a transparent limiter with intelligent look-ahead in the range 0 to 30 milliseconds that reduces distortion to a minimum.
Then, Equalize: a parametric equalizer, and unlike other equalizers, you can freely adjust not only center frequency, gain and bandwidths, but also the filter slope for each band.
And finally, Dither: a dithering plug-in with flexible perceptual noise shaping.

Price: $129
Availability: Mac and PC
Format : VST/VST3/AAX

FabFilter: Mastering Bundle Plug-in Collection

The FabFilter Mastering Bundle gives you FabFilter’s essential plug-ins for mastering: FabFilter’s professional limiter, EQ, multiband dynamics, and compressor plug-ins.

Multiband compression and expansion are powerful tools, but notoriously difficult to set up and control. Enter FabFilter Pro-MB: making multiband dynamics processing intuitive yet powerful at the same time.

FabFilter Pro-MB introduces a unique Dynamic Phase processing mode. It has virtually the same frequency response as traditional multiband processing, but doesn’t introduce latency or pre-ringing, and only introduces minor phase changes when the gain actually changes. Of course, we have also included an excellent Linear Phase mode and a traditional Minimum Phase mode.

The powerful combination of high-quality processing, optimized workflow using the interactive multiband display, and all the expert features you need, make Pro-MB both a lifesaver and timesaver!

Price: $499
Availability: Mac and PC

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– 10 Best VST Reverb Plugins You should Use in 2021
– VST Plugins used by Top Producers & Professionals

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