The 21st century’s taken us into the next generation of production technology. Between ProTools, Ableton Live, the Moog: Voyager series, and handheld integration, electronic music now flows from the pipe dreams of yesterday's innovators. MixGenius, based out of Montreal, Quebec, brings us Landr, an exciting new tool that masters everything for you. It’s free, it’s incredible, and it’s right here waiting for you. The sorcery behind Landr’s miracle-working has yet to be confirmed, but thanks to an exclusive interview courtesy of MixGenius VP Justin Evans, here’s a peek into the brains, brawn, and heart of the future standard for post-production software, Landr.
Landr's difficult to explain to anyone without a doctorate in audio engineering, so here are three major things that make it tick: profiling, analysis, and production. Once your song’s been uploaded, an advanced filter analyses each track based on a (rapidly growing) number of criteria: tempo, dynamic range, levels, even the general feel of the song is taken into account. Landr then masters your track based on the “type” of track it is (works with ALL audio, even live or voice recordings!). It’s then saved to a database to be used for future reference. The program learns through its highly advanced and carefully maintained Artificial Intelligence system. The technicians at MixGenius have put countless hours into the AI’s development to make sure it produces the perfect mix without interfering with the artist’s original ideas… and doesn’t go HAL9000 on us. Some are worried that the AI will dehumanize the post-production process and studio engineers will be out of their jobs, but after digging a little deeper, it’s clear the opposite is true.
With technological advances come inevitable dents in the job market, but where some doors are closed, many more are opened. The conveyor belt, for example, guided the turn of the 19th century to a new standard of manufacturing. At the time, the job market suffered, but in retrospect, where would we be without it?
"People freaked out when auto-focus came out... 'oh thats not real photography,' now theres a whole school of art for that."
- Justin Evans, VP/MixGenius
If you can find a camera now without autofocus, kudos to you. Landr does almost the exact same thing, it takes a finished “snapshot” or track and sharpens it, making it more appealing to the senses. Landr isn’t a wrecking-ball coming to destroy the humanity of music, it’s a tool that takes a process most artists are doing themselves anyway and making it easier, effortless even, and lets the artist focus on the production itself instead of the fine-tuning thereafter. There will always be a place for studio-quality mastering, but in a time where the penniless musician doesn’t have the same options as the daddy-bought-me-this-studio musician, Landr promises to level the playing field. Landr, like the conveyor, will be seen as the standard of tomorrow as it continues to learn, teach, and redefine what it means to master a track.
To some, Landr might be a conflict of morality, to others, it’s an end to the high barrier-of-entry to professional-quality audio production.
"Mastering is an art, but art shifts, it’s not lost. Arts become technologies, and new arts emerge. In respect to the great mastering engineers, its never going to do the same job, but it will open doors into new forms of engineering,"
- Justin Evans, VP/MixGenius
Art and morality have been at eachothers throats for centuries, it is up to us, as the old adage insists, to be the change you want to see in the world. Embrace, share, inquire, and support MixGenius’ beautiful addition to the family of free and easy-access post-production tools.