As you may remember, I recently interviewed the CCO of the online mastering service known as LANDR. Following that, he was kind enough to hook me up with one of their power users in Sweden, Tim Peterson. In an attempt to learn a bit more about the service, I sat down with Tim to chat about his experience with LANDR.
Hi Tim. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. What's your background in music?
Music has been a part of my life since my teenage years, but I've been releasing material and working alongside labels for the past for 5 years. I started out with an early version of Fruity Loops, and things moved on from there.
My understanding is that you're a bedroom producer. Do you have any experience in working in studios though?
Yes, to an extent. I have a friend in Stockholm who produces for some well-known Swedish acts, and he has a really nice setup in his basement. I go there every once in a while, but honestly, I prefer to work at home.
What does your studio setup at home look like?
I have a pair of Event 20/20BAS monitors, as well as a small MIDI keyboard. Music production today doesn't require much more.
Got it. So what's been the hardest part of being a bedroom producer?
Musical creativity isn't the problem. The issues that I face come into play during mixing and mastering. As somone who just wanted his productions to sound great once the music had been sequenced and played out, I found it uninspiring to have to sit for hours with EQ and compression plugins. That's where LANDR came in. It creates a certain kind of loudness and upfrontness that I can't achieve on my own with plugins. It does this by mostly working on the mid-range and high-frequency content.
When did you discover LANDR?
A friend of mine read an online review and told me about it. It was what I'd been waiting for. I immediately created my account and tried it out. 200 songs later, I'm still enjoying it, haha.
I've heard that different users have found unconventional ways of using LANDR, that deviate from just having it as a standard mastering service. What's been your primary use for it?
I use it to test my mixes. I'll upload a preliminary mix to the website, and based on how the LANDR'd version sounds, I can go back to FL Studio and make adjustments. I use it alongside iZotope Ozone, which means I can create a bass-heavy Ozone preset in my session before uploading it to LANDR, since I find that LANDR can minimize the impact of my bass frequencies.
Have you found that LANDR affects electronic and acoustic sounds differently?
Yeah, I think so. I'd say it could benefit musicians who make acoustic music more than the electronic ones, because of of how it draws out the mid-range. As I said, it's not quite as friendly on the bass frequencies. If you were to upload an 808 kick, I think LANDR would suck the punch out of it. It's the only complaint I have against it.
If you had to choose between using a real mastering engineer or to keep using LANDR, which would you use?
I'd stick with LANDR. I've tried using a real mastering service from Monarch Audio Mastering. They have 60+ thousand followers on Souncloud, and were always commenting on people's tracks, "try mastering with us!", so I said "okay, why not?". It cost $50, and I was quite disappointed in the result. So I'll be sticking with LANDR.