In the world of automated mastering, Softube has introduced a new player: the Flow Mastering Suite. This software is not fully automated like its competitors, such as Waves or Lander. Instead, it offers a unique approach by collaborating with mastering engineer Jonathan Wyner to create starting presets with four to five one-knob macros that can adjust multiple parameters simultaneously. This approach allows for more user control while providing a solid starting point for mastering.

Flow Mastering Suite requires a monthly subscription, granting access to the Flow plugin and all Softube plugins used within Flow. The suite features a variety of presets that can be tailored to different music styles, making it versatile for various genres.

The suite’s design includes an input bracket for gain staging, which helps users ensure their song’s levels are optimal for mastering. The macros allow for simultaneous adjustments to multiple settings, providing a more hands-on mastering experience compared to fully automated solutions.

A key feature of Flow is its ability to compare different mastering settings using the A/B/C/D comparison tool. This enables users to switch between different mastering setups quickly and decide which one sounds best for their track.

In a direct comparison with iZotope’s Ozone 11, Flow Mastering Suite showed distinct differences in sound. While Ozone tends to over-process and boost certain frequencies, Flow provides a more subtle and controlled mastering approach. This comparison was demonstrated using a country rock song and an R&B track, showcasing Flow’s versatility and effectiveness across genres.

Flow’s less intrusive approach to mastering makes it an excellent tool for beat makers and singer-songwriters who need a reliable and straightforward mastering solution. However, users who prefer deep customization of their plugins might find Flow’s preset-based system limiting.

In conclusion, Flow Mastering Suite offers a refreshing alternative in the automated mastering software market. Its balance of user control and expert-designed presets provides a valuable tool for musicians looking to enhance their mixes. Future developments could include the ability to create custom flows and macros, further expanding its functionality. Watch the video for the full review.