Introducing master_me, a mastering plugin for live broadcasting

master_me is a new free/libre plugin and standalone application to automatically adjust the loudness of the audio in your live streams.

It has been designed to be stupid easy when you need one button to do it right. If you use something like Ardour as a mixing desk, all you have to do is set up input levels and routing (e.g. from Ardour to OBS), then drop the master_me plugin into the processor box of the master bus, click a preset — and you are pretty much ready to go.

The plugin/program comes with presets for YouTube, Apple Podcasts, EBU R128, and general speech and music. If you need more, you can switch to the expert mode and get full access to all the tools that build up the “one click” experience under the hood: a leveler, two types of a compressor, a limiter, an EQ, and more.

There’s no built-in possibility to make your own presets, but if you use it as a plugin in a digital audio workstation, you can just save your own preset within the DAW.

Like many free and open-source applications, master_me was born out of necessity. When COVID-19 lockdowns moved concerts, conferences, and other events to streaming platforms, a lot of people had to learn new ways to reach their audience, and not everyone was on with first-name terms with technology. Klaus Scheuermann felt like his 20 years of experience in audio mastering could make a difference there.

The first experimental version of the program was used mere weeks after the start of the development for ‘Quarantine Sessions’ — a weekly distributed electro-acoustic improvised concert, hosted at Stanford’s CCRMA Institute.

In 2022 it was funded by the Prototype Fund, an open source software funding initiative by the German Ministry of Education and Research.

More people contributed to the effort: Jakob Dübel, Bart Brouns, Robin Gareus (Ardour, Mixbus), Filipe Coelho (Carla, DPF, Cardinal).

The latest version of master_me was released just yesterday and comes with bugfixes and initial CLAP plugin API support. The program is also availabe for a whole bunch of operating systems and architectures.

Update: Filipe Coelho published his own post about the plugin.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at