Back in the 90s, I was in a modern rock band. Yeah, I know, who wasn’t? Anyway, one of the thing we did, as most rock bands do, was to create our own demo tapes and recorded music. We used a variety of hardware to get our music onto tape, and then when I got my first Mac, I started using it to record multitrack demos right in my living room.
The thing about home recordings is that they sound like they’ve been recorded in your home. We wanted a more highly polished, stuiod sound. That’s when we found out about T-rackS, a Mac application that worked like a mini mastering studio, letting us apply various audio processing sets to our mixed down songs, without having to pay someone a lot of money to do the same thing. It made our music sound a LOT more professional.
I lost track of T-rackS software, and I assumed that it had gone the way of System 8, honestly. Then IK Multimedia came up with a revamped T-RackS, ready to purchase and use right now, and I knew I had to try it out.
T-RackS looks just like it did in the 90s, like a yellow face-plated rack-space module you might purchase at a music store these days. It comes in several flavors, which is kind of the beauty of it all. You can purchase the T-RackS CS Classic for $80, which comes with an EQ module, a compressor module, a Limiter, and a Clipper. It has several preset settings, making things easy for a guy like me, who doesn’t want to tweak and mess with each and every knob available, though of course you can do that too, and save your own presets.
There’s a free version with one module, a Deluxe version ($199) with nine included processing modules, and a Grand version ($399) that comes with 16 included modules. Each version comes with a shop that lets you download any of the other modules on offer from iK Multimedia, so if you have a custom set of needs, you can enrich whatever version you purchase.
I reviewed the Classic version, which was provided by IK Multimedia for this purpose, and for my needs, it works really well. I play in a disco band here in town, and we record our live gigs in order to listen back and fix mistakes and such as we go, much like athletes watch video of their own performance. These live recordings can be a bit muddy, since the bars we play in aren’t really made with acoustics in mind.
T-RackS was a great way to clean up these recordings, letting me bring out the different musical parts. Loading an MP3 file into the app is super easy, and within seconds I was listening to the recording and able to change the settings in T-RackS in real time to hear the difference between preset mastering settings. I messed about a bit with the preset module combinations, and was able to make a quiet, muddy recording into something I wouldn’t mind sharing with a promoter to give them and idea of how our band sounds. It’s a dramatic difference.
Ultimately, if you’re a musician or someone who needs to master sound recordings for film, podcast, or album, T-RackS is a great place to start. For a relatively low price, you’ll be able to make your recordings sound quite a bit more professional and aurally pleasant with very little effort, using this software from IK Multimedia.