The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Does the Finalizer really suck that bad?
Old 19th August 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Matt Grondin's Avatar
 

Does the Finalizer really suck that bad?

I was just curious because the Finalizer seems to get ragged on a bunch... it's like the Liquid Channel of mastering gear. I'm well aware of how great good mastering engineers are, but many times clients just can't afford, or won't pay, to have the job done right by a professional. I guess I could use some plug-ins to make it sound "mastered" for them, but what are thoughts on the Finalizer? Is it a complete piece of **** or what? Thanks.

p.s. I tried several different guys in Atlanta for mastering my record... they were all good, but it just didn't sound the way I hoped it would. I called Masterdisk thinking they'd tell me to **** off and that unsigned, independent bands are losers, but I got this very cool guy who mastered my record and it sounds great. His name is Andy VanDette and he's cool as hell, plus, he didn't charge me all that much. Check out masterdisk.com if you're curious. Later.
Old 19th August 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 

not in the TC6000..........pretty good, in at.

chap
Old 19th August 2005
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobby12
I was just curious because the Finalizer seems to get ragged on a bunch... it's like the Liquid Channel of mastering gear. I'm well aware of how great good mastering engineers are, but many times clients just can't afford, or won't pay, to have the job done right by a professional. I guess I could use some plug-ins to make it sound "mastered" for them, but what are thoughts on the Finalizer? Is it a complete piece of **** or what? Thanks.

p.s. I tried several different guys in Atlanta for mastering my record... they were all good, but it just didn't sound the way I hoped it would. I called Masterdisk thinking they'd tell me to **** off and that unsigned, independent bands are losers, but I got this very cool guy who mastered my record and it sounds great. His name is Andy VanDette and he's cool as hell, plus, he didn't charge me all that much. Check out masterdisk.com if you're curious. Later.
Andy is a great and talented guy, as are many of the guys at Masterdisk. And, as you said, cool as hell and VERY reasonably priced.

As for the Finalizer, if I'm going digital, I think I might actually prefer the sound of the ultramaximizer. JMVHO
Old 19th August 2005
  #4
i use it too and it does its job pretty good. at least good enough for electronic music which i do mostly.

if you know how to use and tweak it, i mean if you don't just use its presets, then you can get nice results.

i use it only slightly in this chain: massive passive -> es-8 -> hedd -> finalizer
the gain reduction leds light up sometimes at 0.5 db and hardly at 1db. this way i get pretty loud sounding tracks.

nevertheless i want to sell it and get the md3 package for my powercore.
Old 19th August 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
elambo's Avatar
I use a Finalizer all the time. It can certainly be harsh, as most of the presets are, but if you're willing to take the time to tweak it there's no plugin I know of that can match it.
Old 19th August 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
Just courious..

How other digital 'finalizers' compare to TC, means DBX Quantum II or Drawmer.

I use Waves, but would like to know?
Old 19th August 2005
  #7
i dont own the jünger audio d02 and the spl maximizer but i had the chance to work with them for a few days.

d02 was in my eyes not very musical, but it was probably because i didn't have the time to explore it better.

the maximizer is completly easy to use and has a very good sound. a pitty that they made it only 48khz.
Old 19th August 2005
  #8
Gear Addict
 
JTransition's Avatar
I own a finalizer i have used it for about seven years,I got it when i first started cutting records so i did not know then what i know now.In my opinion it is a good tool in the right hands i do not use the presets,But in the early days i used them as a pointer ,The eq is **** ,expander is ok,deesser is good,normaliser ok,Multiband comp is very good..but to be honest i never use all three bands you shoul never need to ,And the limiter is also very good.Overall for the money it is a good box but be carefull cos it can Do unrepairable damage to your mix.I like it cos it`s quick but nowadays i use it mainly as a digi input for my system.
Old 19th August 2005
  #9
1484
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
Just courious..

How other digital 'finalizers' compare to TC, means DBX Quantum II or Drawmer.

I use Waves, but would like to know?
Waves is very good, and transparent. If you need some color during mastering, get the UAD Perc EQ. It is very nice.
Old 19th August 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 

We've sold quite a few Drawmer Masterflows and owners tell me the EQ is a big improvement, overall sound is better than a finalizer, more useful in a quality critical project. I'd say they are just "different" and a lot can be attributed to major design differences between them: gain staging between "processes" and implementation of gain overall and the converter implementation.

The Drawmer has better dynamic range and is difficult to really screw up with its built in gain management and if you have the time to spend with it, it really can sound quite nice. You can turn off individual processes with the Drawmer, which you can't with the Finalizer. The Finalizer has more cool presets-so if you have less time, the Finalizer may be a better choice.

These are both "pull up" compressors, so limiters are critical, gain staging is critical, too much output from one section feeding the next in the chain will cause a problem with these types of boxes. Th Drawmer addresses this with some auto gain functions that prevent you from screwing it up. In this kind of box, its hard once its running to tell "where" you messed up with gain. That's why I think the Finalizer got so popular, the presets solve a lot of the inherent problems with gain staging. It is amazing to speak with Finalizer owners that never go into the menu at all, they just use a few presets!

The biggest complaint I hear is mostly "that tiny screen" and the intensive menu. This is true of both boxes. However once you save your presets, or find a preset that works, not sure that's such a big deal in long term use.

The biggest complaint from educated users/real mastering houses about these kinds of boxes is that people have a strong tendency to overuse them (both Drawmer and TC), use so much of it that it sounds like crap.

I've heard from amny Mastering houses that love these boxes, it sends them a lot of work undoing all the crap that people did with their finalizer type boxes to their music.

That being said, there are some mastering houses that use finalizers and masterflows (the drawmer) for if you are gentle, they can be quite useful on smaller or lower cost projects.

Brad
Old 19th August 2005
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Lunde
You can turn off individual processes with the Drawmer, which you can't with the Finalizer
i'd say you're wrong. you can bypass every block (like eq, expander, etc.). or have i misunderstood you?
Old 19th August 2005
  #12
Gear Addict
 

is this a mastering engineer round table here?
Old 19th August 2005
  #13
its the EQ section that is the most evil.. IMHO

Metallic or 'tinty' sounding

Skip that and avoid using every little 'exta' limiter - and it can be OK IMHO..

Old 19th August 2005
  #14
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 

The eq's in the 6000 are great. Not at all tinny sounding and a valuable mastering tool.
It ain't the whole thing but it has it's place in a mastering environment.
I don't know how close the Finalizer comes but they sound pretty stinky to me.
chap
Old 20th August 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 

here is a post i did a few years ago on r.a.p. comparing the finalizer to the masterflow. maybe you'll find something useful.
since then i did get rid of the finalizer but i remember it being a little easier to use and the gain management wasn't as complex.



i just recently picked up a masterflow (thanks brad!) and can honestly say
that it is a better sounding unit then the finalizer. i've used a finalizer
plus for about a year in my project studio on my own band and a few small
outside projects. i've been careful not to overuse it because it can sound
****ty pretty easily, and it always seemed to have a kind of flat, thin,
slightly crunchy quality to it. using an apogee rosetta helps a little but i
always had to run it pretty conservatively and not use the eq. i mostly used
it to get hotter cds and small in house quicky mastering for friends, local
theatre sound design, radio spots etc. i record to a fostex D160 and mix
thru a soundtracs solo using assorted R.A.P recommended outboard gear, great
river, cranesong,etc.( i could easily do an essay on rap recommended gear
and how it improved my recordings.)
*when i ran a mix thru the drawmer i immediately noticed a better, tighter
low end and plenty of top end detail without the artificial quality of the
finalizer. the mix didn't sound as flat and crunchy, it was cleaner and had
more depth to it.
* the presets (on the drawmer)are over the top but a good one for me to start with is #3
"subtle master". the unit is a little more complex to use at first but once
you get into it it is easy to find your way. some of the parameters are
lacking (the limiter only has a release control) and there is no sample rate
conversion. there are more dithering options and the multi band tube
saturation and stereo imaging is cool. the eq is very nice and usable and
there are a couple of comps that im still figuring out how they interact.
the multi band comp is decent and there is a selectable full band/filter
dynamic eq/comp, but the gain management comp shows up in a couple of places
and i cant tell if this is the same comp at each stage or a different one
for each stage. if it is the same general comp it would be nice to have a
seperate meter for it to see when it kicks in w/o having to go to the
patched effect. it does not have optical i/o which means i have to get a
converter but that is a small trade off for the overall sound quality.
*all in all it is quite a noticeable improvement and i am extremely happy
with it. im not sure if i'll get rid of the finalizer yet cause it is handy
for fixing tracks and does have a distinct sound but i doubt if i'll put a
mix thru it soon unless i want that crunchy quality which im sure has a
place somewhere, just not here for now. m.c.
Old 11th April 2006
  #16
Gear Head
 
maxcherry's Avatar
 

ive been using a masterflow for a few months and i think it has a smooth yet full sound to it,the presets are a good pointer but you get a better result from diving into the menu and experimenting, I would agree less is more with this (and know doubt other units).
Can anyone help me set up the editor for logic..ive downloaded the iso. and loaded it up but get no response from the unit when twiddling,i'm knew to editors as ive found nothing but ag with apps like soundiver..thanks
Old 11th April 2006
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

TC + L2

I use the Finalizer, with Apogee PSX100SE here from 3 years now, with more than good results. I use just a bit of EQ (bumping lows and highs, cuting 1K sort of things....), also the Radiance generator on a foft setting(max.3), multiband comp, and I bypass the limiter and go digital into my L2 hardware. I always felt like the limiter in the Finalizer sounds bad- for me, having the final limiting done by the L2 works much better.
Old 11th April 2006
  #18
had a unit for a few months 5-6 years ago , didn't find it usefull for anything , even 5 years ago the Waves pluggins sounded better to my ears , i don't like this unit at all and i wouldn't pass precious mixes through this box
Old 11th April 2006
  #19
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

It's important to know that "bypass" really isn't and can make things sound really edgy if you feed it into a 16 bit device.
Old 11th April 2006
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Yes, but I noticed that if I turn on the limiter section, the sounds goes muffled (just a tinny bit) a there's less air to the music - so I keep the limiter section "off", just because it's.. better than "on" . I keep the Finalizer dithering to 24 bit, and make the final 16bit dither on the L2 .
Anyway - "glass" is Finalizer's thing, I guess..
Old 11th April 2006
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
dirren's Avatar
 

All I know abt the DBX Quantum is it's said to have a good EQ. I've used the Finalizer some and it's quite ok, better than most plugs in fact. As usual the presets are only there to give you guidance to what can be done. They have to be tweaked as on most boxes. Finalizer has some nice tools that give you a reading on all effects in the chain so you can tweak individually and also see what the signal is like going in and out of the different stages. I did not like the stereo enhancer at all but both the limiter and compressor work for most stuff and I imagine the Finalizer to be quite useful if plugz is your only other option.

/D
Old 11th April 2006
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
Just courious..

How other digital 'finalizers' compare to TC, means DBX Quantum II or Drawmer.

I use Waves, but would like to know?
I used to work with the Drawmer. It´s got a more clean and polished sound, not as harsh as TCs Finalizer. You hear the process if you want to get really loud, but still it´s a nice sound. That said I wouldn´t really want to use it for cd-mastering since it´s not transparent enough, but it´s awesome to polish a tv commercial in order to impress agency clients. From my experience they LOVE this sound.

Regards,
Bill
Old 11th April 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billster
That said I wouldn´t really want to use it for cd-mastering since it´s not transparent enough, but it´s awesome to polish a tv commercial in order to impress agency clients. From my experience they LOVE this sound.

Regards,
Bill
Wow, that's interesting. Are you using presets, or do you actually dial it in each time?

I tried the Finalizer out a few years ago, used it for a week or so. There was just something about the sound I didn't like, something that was always in there, no matter what I did.

Whatever it was, it became much worse when the Digital Radiator thing was turned on.

But unit I tried was before the 96K version was out, which may be a lot better.
Old 12th April 2006
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killahurts
Wow, that's interesting. Are you using presets, or do you actually dial it in each time?

I tried the Finalizer out a few years ago, used it for a week or so. There was just something about the sound I didn't like, something that was always in there, no matter what I did.

Whatever it was, it became much worse when the Digital Radiator thing was turned on.

But unit I tried was before the 96K version was out, which may be a lot better.
Sorry if my post was a little misleading. I was refering to the Drawmer Masterflow, which has a smooth and clean sound. I´m not a fan of the Finalizer as it sounds too harsh for me.

Regards,
Bill
Old 12th April 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billster
Sorry if my post was a little misleading. I was refering to the Drawmer Masterflow, which has a smooth and clean sound. I´m not a fan of the Finalizer as it sounds too harsh for me.

Regards,
Bill
Nah, your post wasn't misleading, it was my bad.
Old 22nd March 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
mixerguy's Avatar
bump to an old thread....
Old 22nd March 2008
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Please consider the intangible.

It doesn't suck so much as it pumps (badaboom!)

Well, here's the thing, I've owned the Finalizer (a long long time ago) and found that the way it tried to analize and master songs was not subtle and in manual mode, well, there are individual plugs that do all those tasks better.

But the more importnat point is, the unit itself is tring to take place of a resource that can't be put in a box... a true ME.

Now, I know you asked as an inexpensive alternative, but I think that may do more harm than good.

I find that going to mastering does SO MANY hings, not the least of which is a trained objective pair of fresh ears dedicated to that task alone.

The Finalizer simply focuses on making it louder and broad EQ.

I don't know, I think it appeals to the DIY instant gratification crowd, but if I gave my most honest answer, it's a bit of a scam and does more harm than good.

FWIW

-andrews
Old 22nd March 2008
  #28
Gear Addict
 
lefthando's Avatar
 

The finalizer can be a great box in the right hands. The problem is that one needs to take the time to get to know it, and many mistakes will likely be made throughout that learning process.
Old 22nd March 2008
  #29
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
I use a Finalizer all the time. It can certainly be harsh, as most of the presets are, but if you're willing to take the time to tweak it there's no plugin I know of that can match it.
Yeah..

For me it's about the rag on the user with the one button quick fix solution that makes it suck so much.
You have to use your ears more then the box to make it sound good.
Old 22nd March 2008
  #30
Lives for gear
 
elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Yeah..

For me it's about the rag on the user with the one button quick fix solution that makes it suck so much.
You have to use your ears more then the box to make it sound good.
Completely agree!

Although... it's been a couple years since I wrote that and I've been using MD3 from the TC6000 for about a year and it's a pretty big step up from the Finalizer. I still believe that the Finalizer can sound great when used tastefully and with subtlety and occasionally it even beats out MD3 for certain types of music. Not too often, but it happens.

The thing about the Finalizer is that the threshold that divides what's tasty and what's harsh is narrow. It's very easy to push it past the point where it's helping you and you simply have to use your ears to decide what's helping and what's hurting. Some have said that it undermines mastering by putting it all in one box - not true at all. What's the difference if you have all these mastering tools strung together in an outboard box or strung together on the Master fader? Another person said that it's the multi-band limiter that's best and I agree. I typically bypass most modules and play primarily with the multi-band.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump