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Trying Out a Mutec MC-3+ : Do I Need One? DAW Software
Old 10th September 2016
  #1
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Hamburg58's Avatar
 

Trying Out a Mutec MC-3+ : Do I Need One?

So I have a pair of Lynx Aurora's I've always run with Pro Tools HD and have clocked with the internal Lynx clocks. Apparently they're great clocks. I'm trying this clock per recommendation of a friend of mine. They're relatively inexpensive and do a great job according to reviews so I figured it'd be worth a try.

What's the best way to shoot out clocks? I've always thought the clock rabbit hole was BS and people would spend WAY TOO MUCH $$$ to "have a clock" even though most likely the internal clocks of their converters were the way to go....

I've heard tales from a particular engineer who is well know on this board who has a thread in the Q&A about clocks...

- he told me he was doing a demo with the Antelope guys. They were having a blind listen test. I think he maybe was playing the tracks back or was sitting beside the person playing it back... The first playback was internal clocking of a converter... The 2nd playback was clocked with the Antelope.... However it actually ended up being the first track played twice... One of the guys from Antelope saying "listen to how much clearer and better things sound" and other people were saying the same thing about the 2nd playback. So to me the big clock conundrum is a waste of money. I've never had a mix returned to me that the client was concerned about the jitter.... The mixes with the Auroras have always sounded great...

Anyway! Would love any one elses experience with these Mutec's. If I can't shoot them out and hear something different, then why buy? I don't care if it looks better on a damn oscilloscope !
Old 10th September 2016
  #2
Gear Head
 
Steph Wellenbad's Avatar
 

Hi,

I recently switched to a Mutec MC3+ to sync my digital setup (RME Digiface and 3xLucid 88192).

I can really recommend this unit. The sound improved significantly in these areas: imaging, better transients, better and more controlled bass, sharper mids and highs.

There is a review on their site, that describes the effect very well:
http://www.mutec-net.com/downloads/m..._2013-11_D.pdf

I suggest to order one and try it out. If it doesn't have an effect on your setup, just return it...

Best,

Stephan

Last edited by Steph Wellenbad; 10th September 2016 at 05:42 PM..
Old 11th September 2016
  #3
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Hamburg58's Avatar
 

So I did a quick mix test with the clocks. I did my Lynx in Synchro-lock and I did a mix with the Mutec running EXT. I gotta say I'm very on with hearing converters, preamps etc in shootouts but I cannot tell a damn difference in this Mutec and my Lynx clock. The Mutec may sound tighter at times but that's about it, and tighter to me means less information as in less low end.

I took this picture of the left side of each wav file. This is a totally ITB mix so it should be basically the same if I run 2 off.

The top is the Aurora the bottom is the Mutec. To me you can see more straight lines coming from the Mutec whereas the Aurora seems to have more smooth lines and less straight lines. I don't know what this means but they aren't the same.

You can really see it about in the middle where the lowest valley is in both photos, the yellow (Mutec) is almost a perfect straight line and the Aurora has some ripple and movement to it.
Attached Thumbnails
Trying Out a Mutec MC-3+ : Do I Need One?-screen-shot-2016-09-11-12.01.04-am.jpg  

Last edited by Hamburg58; 11th September 2016 at 08:06 AM.. Reason: added
Old 11th September 2016
  #4
Gear Nut
 

I also have the mutec - I had it in a shootout when I wanted to see if changing my multitrack converter from SSL to UA Apollo would be an upgrade and just got it additionally for that to see what alternative clocking to my Forssells Mada-2's - which I use as master converter (and master clock back then) could do - this shootout went by digitalizing mixes from tape which is much more revealing than anything you just do in the digital realm - result from the shootout was:

tape ad > forssell - forssell clock > da switching A/B on console = clear difference (but not too bad)
tape ad > forssell - mutec clock > da A/B = difference between analog and digital hard to tell, actually no difference - was surprised - had the Forssell once for a mastering session with that 8000.- Euro Antelope (?) Atom clock which was even better - I actually liked the digital signal even slightly better than the analog! - but that diffrence to the mutec iclock was not necessarily big enough to justify 10 x or 12x the price....

and the multitrack converters? well all sort of rubish... but for the SSL the mutec was an improvement while the UA didn't take it well - so I guess clocking is up to your individual set-up - can be an improvement or not

(tape ad > ssl alpha link or UA Apollo - signal difference was so big that switching A/B caused a phasing sound - shioum (same in previous shootout with RME btw.) - so I gave up on cheap converters (also measured some sinus from my 5088s oscilator A/D to D/A with my RTW and while the Forssell showed a linear response (as I heard it), frequ. response of the UA and SSL was going up and down +/- 0,7 dB - way worse than my Telefunken ; ) - both the SSL and UA did bad to the signal but the UA even tried to add a "sound" to it and sounded pretty muffled...)

So the for me surprising result of this session was in the end I kept the mutec clock and sent back the UA Apollo
Old 12th September 2016
  #5
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Hamburg58's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by weltraumalltag View Post
I also have the mutec - I had it in a shootout when I wanted to see if changing my multitrack converter from SSL to UA Apollo would be an upgrade and just got it additionally for that to see what alternative clocking to my Forssells Mada-2's - which I use as master converter (and master clock back then) could do - this shootout went by digitalizing mixes from tape which is much more revealing than anything you just do in the digital realm - result from the shootout was:

tape ad > forssell - forssell clock > da switching A/B on console = clear difference (but not too bad)
tape ad > forssell - mutec clock > da A/B = difference between analog and digital hard to tell, actually no difference - was surprised - had the Forssell once for a mastering session with that 8000.- Euro Antelope (?) Atom clock which was even better - I actually liked the digital signal even slightly better than the analog! - but that diffrence to the mutec iclock was not necessarily big enough to justify 10 x or 12x the price....

and the multitrack converters? well all sort of rubish... but for the SSL the mutec was an improvement while the UA didn't take it well - so I guess clocking is up to your individual set-up - can be an improvement or not

(tape ad > ssl alpha link or UA Apollo - signal difference was so big that switching A/B caused a phasing sound - shioum (same in previous shootout with RME btw.) - so I gave up on cheap converters (also measured some sinus from my 5088s oscilator A/D to D/A with my RTW and while the Forssell showed a linear response (as I heard it), frequ. response of the UA and SSL was going up and down +/- 0,7 dB - way worse than my Telefunken ; ) - both the SSL and UA did bad to the signal but the UA even tried to add a "sound" to it and sounded pretty muffled...)

So the for me surprising result of this session was in the end I kept the mutec clock and sent back the UA Apollo
The UA Apollo isn't really in the same league as the Forssell as just a converter. The Apollo is more of a consumer/home recording device that is fantastic at what it does. Using the Unison technology to record your tracks through 1073 and API emulations, I say it's the best home/hobby recording interface in existence but I would never use it in a commercial studio situation, it's just a different type of thing. Really can't compare it to high end converters like Burl or Forssell or Lynx. You could compare it to an Apogee duet or symphony or another comparable interface, but not high end converters. I can see why you sent it back.
Old 17th September 2016
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weltraumalltag View Post
So the for me surprising result of this session was in the end I kept the mutec clock and sent back the UA Apollo
So you preferred the ssl with the mutec over the apollo? I've had a alphalink ax and madi extreme card for 5-6 years, and I'm ready to upgrade converters. Just trying to figure out my best options. I'm considering the apollo 16, but that would require a computer upgrade as well and I'm not sure the converters are much better. The other option I'm leaning to is HDi/o with a Hd native card. That would allow me to keep my existing 12core tower, which is still a monster computer and the HD I/O is well regarded with everybody I know who has them. I've considered the symphony mkII as well, but that would also require a computer upgrade for thunderbolt.
Old 17th September 2016
  #7
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamburg58 View Post
So I did a quick mix test with the clocks. I did my Lynx in Synchro-lock and I did a mix with the Mutec running EXT.
For external clocking the Aurora I get better results with switching off the Synchro-Lock. Try it. And I also prefer the external sync of the Lynx via AES instead of WC.
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