Originally Posted by chazmar
Hi all. I'll keep this short: I'm looking to build a basic analog mastering chain to master mainly hard rock music. My path would start with EQ then compression then brick wall limiting. Could you give me your opinion on what might be the best 3 processor setup based on the following tools I've been researching?
(I definitely want some color.)
Manley Massive Passive MV
Tube Tech SMC 2BM
Manley Vari-Mu MV
By hard rock I mean earlier Scorpoins, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, etc. I really like anything touched by the great George Marino at Sterling Sound.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
If I could only have 3 units off your list, I would pick:
1) Manley Massive Passive MV (an eq with colour)
You will also need a transparent eq, like the Maselec MEA-2, but you could use a good plug-in for this if you can't afford a transparent outboard eq. My choice would be the Massenberg Design Works eq but I'm sure there are other good ones.
2) Manley Vari-Mu MV (definitely get the Hi-Pass option and, if you can afford it, the T-Bar mod)
3) one of the Tube Tech SMC 2BM or Maselec MLA-3, probably the latter, judging by reviews of the mastering engineers on this site and others.
BTW, I have all the above gear (in my list) except for the Maselec MLA-3 and once day, will get around to trying it. I use my TC 6000 or Tube Tech SMC 2BM for multi-banding, when needed, which is not too often.
I master just about every style under the sun with relatively the same mastering gear (obviously not all in use for every track) so I am not really a believer that certain gear suits certain styles. I do agree, however, that not every unit in one's arsenal suits every mix!
Of course, if you don't have good DA/AD converters, you have to get them first!