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Vinyl Mastering question for Massive Passive Saturation Plugins
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Vinyl Mastering question for Massive Passive

Hello there,

Just wondering if anyone out there who has mastered for vinyl has used the Massive Passive's LPFs for that purpose.

I know that frequencies above 16KHz are best toned down.

The mastering edition has a 15KHz filter.
The regular has a 18KHz filter.

Can either or be used for this purpose; or are they too low/high respectively in that a little more frequency range can be squeezed out using a different 16-17KHz filter.

I appreciate all filters have different slopes; and the Manley's are quite broad (?)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
I’m thinking this is the wrong forum to ask this question. Also, the answer would depend entirely on the context/material you’re working with. Either could work, or not.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
Hello there,

Just wondering if anyone out there who has mastered for vinyl has used the Massive Passive's LPFs for that purpose.
Yes,but not on their own.

I know that frequencies above 16KHz are best toned down.
True ,but only the person who is cutting the record can establish by how much.

The mastering edition has a 15KHz filter.
The regular has a 18KHz filter.
True

Can either or be used for this purpose; or are they too low/high respectively in that a little more frequency range can be squeezed out using a different 16-17KHz filter.
Depends on the tracks.

I appreciate all filters have different slopes; and the Manley's are quite broad (?)
Assuming you are sending these files off to be cut at the factory,It is worth pointing out that all pro disc cutting systems have High frequencies limiters that can take care of most hf problems,extra filtering can be added by the engineer if needed,Anything that you do prior to this is guess work.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
Hello there,

Just wondering if anyone out there who has mastered for vinyl has used the Massive Passive's LPFs for that purpose.

I know that frequencies above 16KHz are best toned down.

The mastering edition has a 15KHz filter.
The regular has a 18KHz filter.

Can either or be used for this purpose; or are they too low/high respectively in that a little more frequency range can be squeezed out using a different 16-17KHz filter.

I appreciate all filters have different slopes; and the Manley's are quite broad (?)
There are already a lot of "mastering for vinyl" threads on here with lots of good info in them. I wish a mod would sticky one of them!

In short: unless you're the one cutting the disc, don't do anything you wouldn't do for the digital release formats. Let the cutting engineer handle it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTransition View Post
Assuming you are sending these files off to be cut at the factory,It is worth pointing out that all pro disc cutting systems have High frequencies limiters that can take care of most hf problems,extra filtering can be added by the engineer if needed,Anything that you do prior to this is guess work.
Thanks for your reply.

I should have been more specific in my original post. The reason I’m asking this question is actually not because I want to master for vinyl. I actually just want to emulate the vinyl recordings which have a dulled top end. A lot of electronic music — all I guess — in the nineties has versions with this kind of shape due to the requirements of cutting to vinyl. So I simply want to try to emulate that zeitgeist, purely for aesthetic reasons, and I’m curious which version of the MP could get closest to that. I appreciate that actual vinyl mastering requires far more knowhow and expertise, and is a functional rather than cosmetic process.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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SASMastering's Avatar
Massive Passive here, wonderful eq but the HPF/LPF filters remain off here, never use them, not related to vinyl specifically, I am just not that keen on them.

As far as emulating vinyl, well there is modern vinyl and old skool vinyl.. with the old skool you have a lot more going on
that defines "The sound of a time." which could possibly be involved in the overal desired aesthetic, than just the vinyl itself. Like an actual live room recording, possibly tape and a big analogue desk of some kind for starters (Not saying that never happens now but you know). Although of course worn vinyl has probably got a some crosstalk and other distortions going on that add to the overall sound.

I don't think a bit of HPF/LPF is going to miraculously "vinyl something up". It's a start I suppose.

I always feel it is that L/R - Je ne sais quoi (lo-fi image ?) ..and scratchyness in the mids that is the stand out character of worn or retro vinyl for me and of course the gentle crackling.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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djwaudio's Avatar
 

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Big Massive Passive fan, but the LP filters sound a little stark to my ear.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SASMastering View Post
Massive Passive here, wonderful eq but the HPF/LPF filters remain off here, never use them, not related to vinyl specifically, I am just not that keen on them.

As far as emulating vinyl, well there is modern vinyl and old skool vinyl.. with the old skool you have a lot more going on
that defines "The sound of a time." which could possibly be involved in the overal desired aesthetic, than just the vinyl itself. Like an actual live room recording, possibly tape and a big analogue desk of some kind for starters (Not saying that never happens now but you know). Although of course worn vinyl has probably got a some crosstalk and other distortions going on that add to the overall sound.

I don't think a bit of HPF/LPF is going to miraculously "vinyl something up". It's a start I suppose.

I always feel it is that L/R - Je ne sais quoi (lo-fi image ?) ..and scratchyness in the mids that is the stand out character of worn or retro vinyl for me and of course the gentle crackling.
This was exactly the kind of response I was looking for; fascinating reply that made me think. Thank you.

May I ask what you use the unit for mainly? Just out of curiosity.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewbarnhart View Post
There are already a lot of "mastering for vinyl" threads on here with lots of good info in them. I wish a mod would sticky one of them!

In short: unless you're the one cutting the disc, don't do anything you wouldn't do for the digital release formats. Let the cutting engineer handle it.
Maybe theres a difference between the US and Europe how we can look at the role of cutting engineer then? Of course there a still those being a mastering and a cutting engineer. But imho that has changed abit, at leasthere in europe. A lot of lathes are in thehand of pure cutting engineers or are simply owned by the pressing plants itself these days. Dont get me wrong, they might still be very good cutting engineers, but very often they do not have the expoeriences regarding mastering work nor a monitoring setup to judge.
A mastering engineer should make sure their work translates to the media vinyl in conclusion with musical, creative decisions, while the cutting engineer more relies on a pure technical viewpoint. His job/ his main focus mostly is protect the lathe/cutting head (e.g. with the highfreq limiter).
Cutting a compromised master could be quite easy if you are lazy: just drop the volume, cut the lows and highs and give it a go. I bet we all know a pressing plant exactly working like that (with the expecting results). But I strongly doubt its what most artists expect from their music on vinyl these days.

Personally I think youre right saying a good master will translate. But that "good" might differ very much in the opinion of ppl. Im doing a fair amount of dubplates cutted from other ppls masters and I can clearly say even experienced ppl are often shooting in the dark when it comesdown to prepare vinyl pre masters.

I regularly get jobs from a local andvery experienced pressing plant/cutting house because they receive masters that arent simply cuttable.
So, no: the tip to just let the cutting engineer handle "it", mightbenotth right onefor a lot of ppl.
But if you choose a great cutting engineer doingits job he will at least leeds you into the right steps (and when this steps mean to book a proper mastering).

So, for me the most important tip is: 1. choose your cutting engineer wisely. Do not just trust the pressing plant or, even more worst, the decision of a broker.
And 2. : if youhave no deeper practical experiences with preparing (or even much better: cutting) vinyl (pre) masters do not second guess and leave it alone.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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eternalsound's Avatar
Low pass filters are not intended for vinyl emulations. They are just ...low pass filters. The sound of digital cannot be erased or covered because it comes from the base of the technology itself. Your vinyl emulations will still sound like ...very clean and clear emulations ..again defeating exactly what is trying to be achieved.

Why don't you try recording empty vinyl then blending it with your audio? I can't see things being better than that. Maybe you can muddy up the vinyl on the analog end while you record too. ??
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

All very thoughtful and rewarding replies; thank you. Will respond later tonight.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 

might look into 'Elliptical Filters'.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
Thanks for your reply.

I should have been more specific in my original post. The reason I’m asking this question is actually not because I want to master for vinyl. I actually just want to emulate the vinyl recordings which have a dulled top end. A lot of electronic music — all I guess — in the nineties has versions with this kind of shape due to the requirements of cutting to vinyl. So I simply want to try to emulate that zeitgeist, purely for aesthetic reasons, and I’m curious which version of the MP could get closest to that. I appreciate that actual vinyl mastering requires far more knowhow and expertise, and is a functional rather than cosmetic process.
Oversaw this post.
Emulating vinyl recordings with filters is indeed bull****. No way to get that work.
If you want the sound of vinyl (btw theres not that one aound as every lathe sounds different, every plant sounds different and every cutting engineer sounds different. But simply dulling the high end us definitly not a part of vinyl per se), let someone cut you a dubplate, rerecord it and you might have what you are looking for if done carefully (I have done that in the past as many others too I bet). It might be cheaper as you thnk.
The MP has nothing to do with the sound of vinyl, nor any other EQ or filter out there, thatsfor sure.

PS: a well done dubplate played back on a well setup system is nearly free from crackle, noise etc. So aiming for those artefarcts might help help the listener to get the illusion to listen to a vinyl record, but still is far away from the original. Please do not confuse the sound of vinyl with artefacts from bad pressings played back on bad turntables.

PPS: I have clients that regularly send me rare EDM vinyl records for converting to digital. They even do not own a turntable nor did they want any noises or vinyl related artefacts in this recordings. If done carefully this needs, beside a well done record, nearly no additional processing, likenoise reduction, decrackling, equing etc. as its clean and pristine with more than enoughhigh freq content as it is.
To my ears vinyl can add a certain punch and grip to the music, which is mostly the result of a very specific distortion behaviour which should be very hard to simulate in digital.
In no way this can be emulated with some cuts here and there...

Last edited by JP__; 4 weeks ago at 11:26 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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the fxs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
If you want the sound of vinyl ... ... ... , let someone cut you a dubplate, rerecord it and you might have what you are looking for if done carefully ... ... ...

PS: a well done dubplate played back on a well setup system is nearly free from crackle, noise etc. So aiming for those artefarcts might help help the listener to get the illusion to listen to a vinyl record, but still is far away from the original.
exactly my thoughts as well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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SASMastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
This was exactly the kind of response I was looking for; fascinating reply that made me think. Thank you.

May I ask what you use the unit for mainly? Just out of curiosity.
Glad you felt that way. The magic is the touches in the 400Hz - 6 kHz area of the Massive Passive, it is incredible. Little 0.5db/1dB touches (maybe a rare 2dB in the lower mids when it needs it). The top end can be totally sublime as well to my ear parametric or shelf...it is as smooth as it gets because when you are "adding" top you are actually cutting everything else, top end does not get smoother than what is there from the outset. (Unless it needs a re-shape, and then I am more inclined to do the surgical cuts etc. with a good plug in)

The bottom end fairs a little less well. It is broad and tweaky and could be termed warm/flab for the punchy side of bass music. So on sci-fi future modern dance sounds it is not choice No. 1 - But it can surprise you as well, sometimes it is a good fit for acoustic warmth injection in the 30Hz - 250Hz bass zone.

Also great "pass through unit", smooths things, adds a titchy bit of air and width. Super subtle.

Mechanically this is the best piece of audio equipment I have ever used in 20 + years of sound engineering. It is 100pct precision built and second to none in build quality, weighs a tonne, knobs are quality, switches are quality the entire unit is class in a box. No RS off the shelf DIY looking knobs, not that they affects the sound of course, but it does suggest "No compromise."

It is space shuttle cockpit grade equipment IMO. (as in the quality of the facia components would not be out of place on some NASA space craft)

I look at every day and that purple box never gets old.

Last edited by SASMastering; 4 weeks ago at 01:47 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Oversaw this post.
Emulating vinyl recordings with filters is indeed bull****. No way to get that work.
If you want the sound of vinyl (btw theres not that one aound as every lathe sounds different, every plant sounds different and every cutting engineer sounds different. But simply dulling the high end us definitly not a part of vinyl per se), let someone cut you a dubplate, rerecord it and you might have what you are looking for if done carefully (I have done that in the past as many others too I bet). It might be cheaper as you thnk.
The MP has nothing to do with the sound of vinyl, nor any other EQ or filter out there, thatsfor sure.

PS: a well done dubplate played back on a well setup system is nearly free from crackle, noise etc. So aiming for those artefarcts might help help the listener to get the illusion to listen to a vinyl record, but still is far away from the original. Please do not confuse the sound of vinyl with artefacts from bad pressings played back on bad turntables.

PPS: I have clients that regularly send me rare EDM vinyl records for converting to digital. They even do not own a turntable nor did they want any noises or vinyl related artefacts in this recordings. If done carefully this needs, beside a well done record, nearly no additional processing, likenoise reduction, decrackling, equing etc. as its clean and pristine with more than enoughhigh freq content as it is.
To my ears vinyl can add a certain punch and grip to the music, which is mostly the result of a very specific distortion behaviour which should be very hard to simulate in digital.
In no way this can be emulated with some cuts here and there...
Thanks for your thoughts.

To be honest I’m not trying to emulate it like for like. I’m aware there is far more going on than just a low cut. I’m just trying to get something sounding in the spirit of the records I’m fond of from a particular era. I actually was satisfied with the results I was getting from the Mastering Edition with the 15KHz cut (although a shade too dull). To me it gave the master that oldskool flavor I was after. I basically A/B some of my masters with these older electronic music records and use them as guides for the shape I want, and try to get it as close as possible. I know that a lot of people want the highest resolution stuff, but I actually quite like that limitation brought on by the older formats. I wonder if the 18KHz filter on the regular Massive Passive would be even better for that.

I am now realizing that the vinyl mastering process is way deeper than I initially thought!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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SASMastering's Avatar
Vinyl of course has a sound, clearly.

I think people can forget that the magic of vinyl can be the magic of the pinnacle of sound engineering at every stage, technical and human.

World class musicians, world class recording engineer, producer and mix engineer, world class rooms. At least on the mega productions of the 70's and 80's where much music was consumed on that format.

What hit vinyl then was the realm of top level everything.... musical performance, acoustic engineering, analogue desk/tape engineering and the recording, mix and mastering engineers. Just so happens much of that was released on vinyl !

Plus you heard pretty much unrestricted dynamics, which less face it just sounds better all round. We all talk about transparent limiting on here but all said and done that is pure BS. 1dB and you can hear it shaping things "away".
Though of course it is arguable that some modern styles suffer less from restricted dynamics, heck maybe some loudness processing sounds good (or just less bad), but as an end user people don't tend to be able to compare a mastered mix (minus all the loudness processing) and a mastered mix that has all the loudness processing.

Caveat being : sometimes the loudness processing itself requires revised eq / and other adjustments to shift some spectral energies about to mask side effects. Every adjustment is interdependent.

Seems many got used to it that way and want it puree'd into their ears.

It is no wonder people like the sound of vinyl.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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Get a dub cut, record it in = hey presto (no pun intended, nerds)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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Groove is in the heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
Thanks for your reply.

I should have been more specific in my original post. The reason I’m asking this question is actually not because I want to master for vinyl. I actually just want to emulate the vinyl recordings which have a dulled top end. A lot of electronic music — all I guess — in the nineties has versions with this kind of shape due to the requirements of cutting to vinyl. So I simply want to try to emulate that zeitgeist, purely for aesthetic reasons, and I’m curious which version of the MP could get closest to that. I appreciate that actual vinyl mastering requires far more knowhow and expertise, and is a functional rather than cosmetic process.
As others have suggested getting a Dub plate cut would give you everything that you need to know,You would then be able to compare the before and after.
Points to consider are;
  • I would ideally opt for a 12"acetate (not pvc) although if the track is short a 10" may work.
  • I would cut the same track on both sides but at 33 + 45 (for comparison)
  • You should ask the engineer to cut the disc with no eq just the hf limiter.
  • I would also ask his/her to use their judgment regarding what RDL(level) to cut the tracks at in order to avoid groove distortion.

Good Luck
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
So, for me the most important tip is: 1. choose your cutting engineer wisely. Do not just trust the pressing plant or, even more worst, the decision of a broker.
And 2. : if youhave no deeper practical experiences with preparing (or even much better: cutting) vinyl (pre) masters do not second guess and leave it alone.
The cutting guys on this thread have it covered. Just adding a +1.

There is no one "vinyl sound" any more than there is one microphone sound or one speaker sound. The variability is endless.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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eternalsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
I am now realizing that the vinyl mastering process is way deeper than I initially thought!
There was no such thing as 'vinyl mastering process' - it's was called "Mastering" ...real .."Mastering". What's done these these days by "MEs" (???? ..so called), is called pre-mastering. Very few people still ... "Master".

Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTransition View Post
[*]I would ideally opt for a 12"acetate (not pvc) although if the track is short a 10" may work.
Did you ever compare a acetate cut vs pvc on the same lathe (or anyone else here)? If yes, whats to you the main diff soundwise?
We only compared some of my pvc cuts from a jazz recording with those done on acetate with a SX74 on a VMS70. The diffs were as expected, but surprisely not really big; the Neumann with a bit more prestine high end (that Neumann sound), but the pvc cuts with lower noise.
In the end it was mostly a matter of taste for the client (and he has chosen the pvc cut in this case).

Even cutting a master on pvc should be possible, but this needs a bit different plating process in the plant (and no commercial plant is willing to ever change anything here for just one order).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
Hello there,

Just wondering if anyone out there who has mastered for vinyl has used the Massive Passive's LPFs for that purpose.

I know that frequencies above 16KHz are best toned down.

The mastering edition has a 15KHz filter.
The regular has a 18KHz filter.
I've had my MP since they first came out (serial # 0006). It's an incredible unit, but the filters rarely get used.

If I were using LPFs to emulate vinyl sound then I'd want more frequency choices, as in a sweepable filter with variable slope.

But are you emulating a 7" 45? A 12" 45? A 12" 33? Each format combined with side length and program content will cause the cutting engineer to make different decisions so "vinyl sound" is a moving target.

And as already stated, there's much more to vinyl sound than just HF filtering anyway. I'd look for some of the plug-ins that are dedicated to just this task. vinyl emulation plugin - Google Search

Best of luck!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
I've had my MP since they first came out (serial # 0006). It's an incredible unit, but the filters rarely get used.

If I were using LPFs to emulate vinyl sound then I'd want more frequency choices, as in a sweepable filter with variable slope.

But are you emulating a 7" 45? A 12" 45? A 12" 33? Each format combined with side length and program content will cause the cutting engineer to make different decisions so "vinyl sound" is a moving target.

And as already stated, there's much more to vinyl sound than just HF filtering anyway. I'd look for some of the plug-ins that are dedicated to just this task. vinyl emulation plugin - Google Search

Best of luck!
Wow that's a while! What year was that? You're a pioneer in a way. May I ask how many times you've changed the tubes, how long the tubes lasted, how much ventilation (if any) above and below, and how much use it gets?

I'm mainly emulating 12" 45 of drum & bass; a lot was mastered by Stuart Hawkes.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
Wow that's a while! What year was that? You're a pioneer in a way. May I ask how many times you've changed the tubes, how long the tubes lasted, how much ventilation (if any) above and below, and how much use it gets?

I'm mainly emulating 12" 45 of drum & bass; a lot was mastered by Stuart Hawkes.
A year so far back that I can't remember.

Not a pioneer, but I do have the distinction of having named it. Check page 8 (Credits): Credits - Manley Massive Passive Stereo Tube Equalizer Owner's Manual [Page 8]

I think it's all original tubes. I think...

It's had 1RU ventilation above it and no gear below it for it's entire life.

It's had regular use but not every day.

Sounds like new.

I prefer the 1/4" outputs over the XLRs BTW.

Cheers,
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
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SASMastering's Avatar
For D&B, (along with many dance styles) when it was produced will be quite important as much as vinyl itself. The production styles vary a lot from Jungle, through tech step to today. Think Mackie desks, 16 bit DAT machines, vintage AKAI samplers, Emu's etc. You might want to download a demo of TAL sampler as it has a few vintage DAC emulations. Load the entire track into it and trigger it via MIDI if it will load up long tracks) And you can switch the DAC emulations, it might be worth a listen as it might send you in the right sonic direction.

Or there is this:

TAL-DAC

TAL Software

TAL Sampler:

TAL Software

I think if much music that was released on vinyl historically had the audio literally before the lathe put on CD much of what people like would be right there. (Notwithstanding the $10,000,000.00 studios and engineering crews of the mega productions)

Never discount the potent effect of nostalgia and sentimental feelings. I am a sucker for aged and technically incompetent cassette tape recordings. They warm the cockles of your heart.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Did you ever compare a acetate cut vs pvc on the same lathe (or anyone else here)? If yes, whats to you the main diff soundwise?
We only compared some of my pvc cuts from a jazz recording with those done on acetate with a SX74 on a VMS70. The diffs were as expected, but surprisely not really big; the Neumann with a bit more prestine high end (that Neumann sound), but the pvc cuts with lower noise.
In the end it was mostly a matter of taste for the client (and he has chosen the pvc cut in this case).

Even cutting a master on pvc should be possible, but this needs a bit different plating process in the plant (and no commercial plant is willing to ever change anything here for just one order).
Every so often we will do a comparison of pvc vs lacquer (same track),So far Lacquer has won every time.
Old 4 days ago
  #28
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SonicLegacy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Octopus View Post
Thanks for your reply.

I should have been more specific in my original post. The reason I’m asking this question is actually not because I want to master for vinyl. I actually just want to emulate the vinyl recordings which have a dulled top end. A lot of electronic music — all I guess — in the nineties has versions with this kind of shape due to the requirements of cutting to vinyl. So I simply want to try to emulate that zeitgeist, purely for aesthetic reasons, and I’m curious which version of the MP could get closest to that. I appreciate that actual vinyl mastering requires far more knowhow and expertise, and is a functional rather than cosmetic process.
Yeah your post was confusing. If you are just looking to smooth out the high frequencies with some saturation, you don't need a MP and there are lots of inexpensive ITB software options out there that can do the job (as Justin has mentioned). In particular, I would check out either of these two:

Kramer Master Tape by Waves. ($50)
Tape Plugin | Kramer Master Tape | Waves

IVGI 2 by Klanghelm. (Free) IVGI
Old 4 days ago
  #29
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SonicLegacy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
A year so far back that I can't remember.

Not a pioneer, but I do have the distinction of having named it. Check page 8 (Credits): Credits - Manley Massive Passive Stereo Tube Equalizer Owner's Manual [Page 8]

I think it's all original tubes. I think...

It's had 1RU ventilation above it and no gear below it for it's entire life.

It's had regular use but not every day.

Sounds like new.

I prefer the 1/4" outputs over the XLRs BTW.

Cheers,
Wow!! had no idea you named the MP Justin. That's pretty cool. Manley needs to be paying you some royalties. Lol.

Last edited by SonicLegacy; 4 days ago at 09:00 PM.. Reason: typo
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