ICMP Reviews: IK Multimedia T-RackS 5

Our resident reviewer and alumnus gives us his take on the IK Multimedia T-RackS 5...


Have you ever imagined a software capable of solving the ultimate dilemma of sorting out your ‘master’? 

This is the final touch that we all fear, mainly because most of us don't really know how to go about it…

Well, don't worry as our friends at IK Multimedia have the right tool for you. The T-rackS 5 is a mastering application that allows you to build your sounds and to match them to your favourite tracks in a few simple clicks.

The first version of this processor was created in 1999 and since then IK has regularly released updates and implemented new high spec modules. The latest version includes four new incredible features:

  • Master Match
  • Dyna Mu 
  • Equal
  • One

The Look

The layout is a great feature of this software and, like all the IK Multimedia’s products, the T-rackS 5 is easy to learn and very intuitive. All of its functions are available on one page to make the experience and navigation across the software very user-friendly.

Starting from the top left on the general tab, you can choose among many presets including Track Legacy and more recently updated versions. On the same tab, it is possible to choose the module that we want to use for our mastering chain. In this section we can get lost for hours going through the endless catalogue of plug-ins to find the one that most suits our mix.

I noticed a remarkable difference in terms of sounds when compared with competitors. Although we are dealing with a digital reproduction of outboard gear, the sounds are remarkably close to the original analog versions.

In the middle window is the mixing desk of the T-rackS. Here, we get a full view of the plug-in we will use and of the main functions to adjust it. We can also switch from chain view to wave view if we need to analyze or fade in and out of our track.

On the left hand side we have all the meters (peak, RMS, LUFS and DR) followed by the enormous catalogue of modules this comes with.

Here we can find emulations of  some of the most iconic compressors (LA1, Tube Tech CL 2A and many more), delays (Space Delay, Tape echo), reverb, EQ (SSL, EQ73 and many more).   

The big advantage when using the T-rackS is that you have access to plenty of plugins that would be very expensive to collect on a DAW. This is probably what justifies the slightly higher price of this application.

Master Match

This review couldn’t go ahead without mentioning the Master Match.

This brilliant plugin lives at the end of the mastering chain in the main panel. I only discovered it after having spent some time fixing the tracks that I wanted to work on - I wish I had found it earlier!! It would have saved me a lot of time trying to match my master to the tracks I was using as reference.

As the name implies, the Master Match is the cherry on the top of this product that everyone should be using! 

This module allows you to upload up to three reference tracks, while the processor learns their waves (sound). It will match it with yours to make the sound as close as possible to the original. 

You can decide a specific section of the song you're referencing from and use it on a specific section of yours. It is essentially the dream plug in!!!

Dyna Mu

“Heavenly analog compression” - that’s how IK Multimedia describes this beast of a compressor. Designed to spec as most of the American tube compressors (tube tech, UA LA2A, SPL Iron Black) this module will add the right warmth and definition to your mix, gluing it to the mixing chain. It also features a saturation in case you wanted to add some grit to your track. 


This is a 10 band digital equalizer, recognizable for its clarity and transparent sound. It offers the perfect balance of both worlds, processing your tracks with an ultra high end cleanness while also adding the right amount of analog character.

If you have used the fab filters EQ, before you would get your head around this plugin in a blink of an eye, as the two have very similar layouts. The Equal focuses on processing the wave in the best way possible without impacting the sound too much.


This is an all in one plugin, ideal for last minute touch ups on your mastering. It comes with an EQ, a compressor, harmonic exciter, a low end enhancer and a limiter. If you are looking for a quick fix, this is a must! The knobs have very unique names: the Air which controls the boost and cut of the high frequencies, the Focus focuses on the mids and the body operates on the lows. 

Overall, this processor is an incredible solution for both professionals and beginner mixing and mastering engineers. It is worth the extra penny and it will improve your workflow in zero time. 

Go for it!

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BA Creative Music Production
by PJ Ciarla
August 23, 2021
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