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maselec MPL-2 or MDS-2?
Old 31st March 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

maselec MPL-2 or MDS-2?

hello, I'm thinking about a great deesser, I really enjoy the maselec MDS-2.

But I don't really understand, I see the maselec MPL-2 wich is at the same price than the MDS-2 but it includes a limiter...

What's the deal? wich is the best deesser of those?
They look like to be sames but with a limiter in the MPL... for the same price...

I probably miss something... but what?

thanks
Old 31st March 2011
  #2
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 

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The de esser is the same in both. The MDS is dual mono and the MPL is stereo only.
Old 31st March 2011
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gold View Post
The de esser is the same in both. The MDS is dual mono and the MPL is stereo only.
ok, so I would go for the MPL, mastering applications.
I don't really see the need of a dual mono deessing, an M/S application yes but a dual mono...

If I could go for a good limiter too, it's all good.

EDIT: but I would use the deesser in first of the chain... not at the end (I'm not a big fan of deessing at the last) I'm not sure that this limiter included is a good thing or may be really usuable in first...
Old 31st March 2011
  #4
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William Bowden's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by achaiss View Post
ok, so I would go for the MPL, mastering applications.
I don't really see the need of a dual mono deessing, an M/S application yes but a dual mono...

If I could go for a good limiter too, it's all good.

EDIT: but I would use the deesser in first of the chain... not at the end (I'm not a big fan of deessing at the last) I'm not sure that this limiter included is a good thing or may be really usuable in first...
I went for the MPL because the limiter is quite useable at times. I too wondered about MS de-essing, but if I really need to do it then I have a TC 6000. I find the MPL is a great tool and often use it instead of the TC. It does tend to flatten the sound slightly (so does the TC), but I've found this to be a characteristic of the Maselec gear I've tried so far. I use mine first in the chain as well.

The King
Old 31st March 2011
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
I went for the MPL because the limiter is quite useable at times. I too wondered about MS de-essing, but if I really need to do it then I have a TC 6000. I find the MPL is a great tool and often use it instead of the TC. It does tend to flatten the sound slightly (so does the TC), but I've found this to be a characteristic of the Maselec gear I've tried so far. I use mine first in the chain as well.

The King
Thanks , now I have to ask me if i prefer having a peak control first in my chain with a deesser or just a deesser with much more control... (I don't have a TC, just a brainworx digital V2 for deessing in M/S, wich is not the same game)
Old 1st April 2011
  #6
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Kayo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
I find the MPL is a great tool and often use it instead of the TC. It does tend to flatten the sound slightly (so does the TC), but I've found this to be a characteristic of the Maselec gear I've tried so far. I use mine first in the chain as well.

The King
The exact reason, why i adore the Maselec sound. The flattening!!!

KAyo
Old 19th April 2011
  #7
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Nescafe's Avatar
@achaiss
I have the same dilema like You, so please keep posted Your progress, I can't try most of the equipment before buy (live in Indonesia), Your finding will be helpful.

And are both of MPL & MDS use rotary switch or pot or detent pot for all the knobs?

Cheers
Old 19th April 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nescafe View Post
@achaiss
I have the same dilema like You, so please keep posted Your progress, I can't try most of the equipment before buy (live in Indonesia), Your finding will be helpful.

And are both of MPL & MDS use rotary switch or pot or detent pot for all the knobs?

Cheers

hello, I don't know but I think both use non steped rotary switchs.

I'll probably go for a MPL-2 because of the limiter inside.
I'll use M/S deessing with another "plugin" method if I need.
Old 20th April 2011
  #9
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polybonk's Avatar
The HF side chain on the MLA-3 made the MDS-2 redundant when I demoed it.
Old 20th April 2011
  #10
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Bonati's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by polybonk View Post
The HF side chain on the MLA-3 made the MDS-2 redundant when I demoed it.
Not in cutting though. I have used the MPL-2 and MLA-3 in tandem when cutting excessively bright records where the treble needs to be scraped off with a shovel. Saved my ass.
Old 20th April 2011
  #11
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William Bowden's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by achaiss View Post
hello, I don't know but I think both use non steped rotary switchs.

I'll probably go for a MPL-2 because of the limiter inside.
I'll use M/S deessing with another "plugin" method if I need.
Rotary encoders, they are reasonably firm and due to the fact that they are well marked and the stereo tracking seems excellent, I've never had a problem with recall.

FWIW I found the top band of the MLA-3 to be quite different to the MPL as I had the same idea about maybe not needing the MPL. I ended up keeping the MPL and passing on the MLA3...

The King
Old 20th April 2011
  #12
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streaky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
Rotary encoders, they are reasonably firm and due to the fact that they are well marked and the stereo tracking seems excellent, I've never had a problem with recall.

FWIW I found the top band of the MLA-3 to be quite different to the MPL as I had the same idea about maybe not needing the MPL. I ended up keeping the MPL and passing on the MLA3...

The King

Oooch...passing on the MLA3...did you not check out the bass control you can get with it?
Old 20th April 2011
  #13
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William Bowden's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by streaky View Post
Oooch...passing on the MLA3...did you not check out the bass control you can get with it?
I certainly did, there were many things I liked about it sure, but somehow for me the overall tone of the unit was a bit underwhelming and I always seemed to feel that the control I gained was at some expense of depth of sound. I was able to have it for a number of weeks and I just kept going back to 'bypass'.

I also didn't like the action of the compression as much as my old Tubetech multiband either, especially in the bass area the Tubetech has more 'bounce' - if that had sounded better overall I would have kept it too...

Horses for courses mind you, I wouldn't kick an MLA3 out of bed and it does work nicely as an eq of sorts too. I really wanted to like it, and on paper it ticked all the boxes but somehow that tone... Maybe when the next one comes out I'll give it a spin, I know a few guys chatting to Leif about the sound/topology of his output stages so who knows what the future holds!

The King
Old 21st April 2011
  #14
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Nescafe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Bowden View Post
Rotary encoders, they are reasonably firm and due to the fact that they are well marked and the stereo tracking seems excellent, I've never had a problem with recall.

The King
Thank You for the info Mr. The King, really appreciate that.
Old 5th August 2012
  #15
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J_Flux's Avatar
Does anyone else have experience using the MPL-2 with the MLA-3? They are both capable of de-essing so if you're not desperate for the MPL limiting, does the MLA-3 make it redundant?
Old 5th August 2012
  #16
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Flux View Post
Does anyone else have experience using the MPL-2 with the MLA-3? They are both capable of de-essing so if you're not desperate for the MPL limiting, does the MLA-3 make it redundant?
I have the MDS2 and MLA3. The MDS2 has one knob and works better as a deesser than the MLA3 with five knobs. My MDS2 doubles as a high frequency limiter for lacquer cutting. The MLA3 wouldn't work for that. The MLA3 is better at percussive material because you can set the time constants very fast. The MDS2 has an adaptive sidechain. It behaves differently depending on frequency and amplitude.
Old 5th August 2012
  #17
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Cellotron's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by achaiss View Post
ok, so I would go for the MPL, mastering applications.
I don't really see the need of a dual mono deessing, an M/S application yes but a dual mono...
I agree - but it's super easy to utilize an external M/S matrix with a dual mono de-esser. This is how I have my Empirical Labs DerrEssers in my chain - in one of the inserts in my Manley Backbone that can be changed from L/R to M/S at the push of a button.

Anyhoo - the DerrEssers offer a more affordable and to me, a just as effective but more flexible, option to the Maselec de-essers - DERRESSER

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 6th August 2012
  #18
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I'm a mastering engineer based in L.A. but I also work part time with PMPI, the U.S. distributor for Maselec . I use all of the Maselec gear for mastering on a daily basis. Through my work with the distributor I get to shoot out the various products regularly with competitors products and also discuss working methods with actual users.

First to the differences between the MDS-2 and MPL-2 - As Paul pointed out above the MDS-2 is dual mono where the MPL-2 is fixed stereo. There is one other difference in the De-esser section and that is the addition of the "fast" release mode on the MDS-2 which can sometimes be useful.

In theory the dual mono functionality allows MS de-essing when using an outboard MS matrix but in practice I've found it rarely to be necessary. The MDS is so transparent to my ear in typical use that it does little harm to the entire signal which was my main reason for MS de-essing on the past. So with that in mind I can happily work with either the MPL-2 or MDS-2, others may find the MS possibilities essential.

In my daily work I use the MDS-2 on almost every mix not just for de-essing but for high frequency limiting, it allows me to control the HF action before I eq and results in a far sweeter top end.

As to the differences between the MDS/MPL and the MLA-3 there are a few ways to look at it. I see the MDS/MPL as incredibly easy to use problem solvers, with basically one control they can control excessive or wild HF. This one knob simplicity is engineered in through adaptive attack and release in the circuit. The top band of the MLA-3 on the other hand allows much more manual control with attack, release, ratio, threshold and gain. These controls allow the user to shape the top end in any way and I''ll often use this in combination with the MDS-2.

With that said the MLA-3 can make a very effective de-esser.

I have to respectfully disagree with Steve above that the DerrEssers match the MDS-2. I won't go into the differences I heard here. Of course the only way for a user to decide is to try both, demo units of our gear are always available through dealers and directly and I'm sure there are demo DerrEssers out there too.

I hope this helps.
Old 6th August 2012
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruairi View Post

I have to respectfully disagree with Steve above that the DerrEssers match the MDS-2. I won't go into the differences I heard here. Of course the only way for a user to decide is to try both, demo units of our gear are always available through dealers and directly and I'm sure there are demo DerrEssers out there too.
To be clear I did not state that the DerrEssers "matched" the sound of the MDS-2 - rather I meant that the DerrEssers were an effective means of reducing sibilance and other high frequency nastiness that still kept the integrity of the audio even when processing a stereo mix. I'd personally say it would depend on the material being processed and the subjective preferences of the end user as to whether they may be more or less effective than the MDS-2.

If someone wants to post some sibilant material I'd be glad to run it through my DerrEssers so people could do a comparison with the same run through the Maselec boxes. If we do this it'd be good to have tones at the start of the sample so that people could verify the different results were level matched.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 6th August 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
To be clear I did not state that the DerrEssers "matched" the sound of the MDS-2 - rather I meant that the DerrEssers were an effective means of reducing sibilance and other high frequency nastiness that still kept the integrity of the audio even when processing a stereo mix. I'd personally say it would depend on the material being processed and the subjective preferences of the end user as to whether they may be more or less effective than the MDS-2.
Hi Steve,

I understand what you meant but I disagree based on my own experience. Obviously I'm speaking as an engineer and not on behalf of Maselec.

Quote:
If someone wants to post some sibilant material I'd be glad to run it through my DerrEssers so people could do a comparison with the same run through the Maselec boxes. If we do this it'd be good to have tones at the start of the sample so that people could verify the different results were level matched.
I'm absolutely opposed to online sound samples and the whole culture of belief surrounding them. Samples tell me nothing about how a piece of gear feels, how it reacts to different input levels, how it plays with my chain, how it reacts on a variety of material etc etc.

I'll happily arrange for a demo unit for anyone who is serious about checking out the MDS-2 or MPL-2 and I'm positive that Empirical Labs and their dealers can do the same for the DerrEsser, that's the only way to compare these pieces of gear (or any pieces IMO).

Cheers,
Ruairi
Old 6th August 2012
  #21
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J_Flux's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruairi View Post

I hope this helps.
Thanks for chiming in Ruairi, this is exactly the info I needed.

I think its time to demo an MPL-2!

Anyone else using an MPL-2/MDS-2 with an MLA-3?
Old 10th October 2012
  #22
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ed littman's Avatar
 

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FS: mds-2 priced to move

Maselec mds-2 De-esser
Old 10th May 2019
  #23
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JohnyJoe's Avatar
 

Retaking this post.
I have the opportunity to buy a second hand MDS-2 or a MPL-2..
Which would you take for mastering? Is the MPL-2 limiter usable?
At first or last in the chain.

Greetings
Old 10th May 2019
  #24
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

I went with the MDS-2. Very. happy.

Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of limiting in the analog domain because then you are basically locked into that whereas saving the liming for the digital domain after the capture from analog, that opens up a lot of flexibility for tweaks and other formats etc.
Old 10th May 2019
  #25
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JohnyJoe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin P. View Post
I went with the MDS-2. Very. happy.

Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of limiting in the analog domain because then you are basically locked into that whereas saving the liming for the digital domain after the capture from analog, that opens up a lot of flexibility for tweaks and other formats etc.
Great!
MDS-2 it's your first in the analog chain?
Old 10th May 2019
  #26
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnyJoe View Post
Great!
MDS-2 it's your first in the analog chain?
I actually have it 2nd to last in my analog chain, just before my API 2500 which is sometimes inserted in parallel before going back to digital.

If I had it first, it wouldn't be too much different than using a plugin for de-essing before the analog chain which I also do often.

I added this unit so I could put it at the end of the analog chain incase any analog EQ/compression or other processing I'm doing is emphasizing sibilance that needs to be addressed before capturing back to digital.

Also, you'll find that with the way it's natively calibrated, it would be hard to get any HF reduction were it at the start of your chain, but it does have internal jumpers if you need to calibrate it more for mixing/tracking levels, or first in your analog chain where levels are typically not as hot, at least that's how mine is set up.

Last edited by Justin P.; 11th May 2019 at 12:52 AM..
Old 10th May 2019
  #27
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JohnyJoe's Avatar
 

Thanks Justin,
it sounds absolutely logical.
Old 13th May 2019
  #28
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loji's Avatar
Curious on this ...

I thought it was adaptive to level?

What calibration are you using for you AD justin?

+18dBu = 0DBFS?
Old 13th May 2019
  #29
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Paul Gold's Avatar
 

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There is an internal switch that moves the Threshold from "low" to "high". On earlier models this was on the front panel. On later models it was replaced by the "fast" switch.

Calibrating the threshold is fairly complicated according to Leif. When I replaced my older model with newer models I wanted to match the new units threshold to the old units threshold to make recalls easier. There is a resistor that can be changed that offsets the threshold without having to touch the trimmers. It took a little trial and error to find the resistor values. It was a while ago but as I remember neither of the new units matched the old unit 100% after changing the resistor values but were close. I also think I used a slightly different value resistor in each of the new units.
Old 13th May 2019
  #30
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loji View Post
Curious on this ...

I thought it was adaptive to level?

What calibration are you using for you AD justin?

+18dBu = 0DBFS?
I don't believe the threshold is adaptive to level, but the manual says this about the attack time:

The attack time is both programme dependent and non-linear relative to the amount of limiting taking place. It is long for small amounts of HF limiting (>20msec) and becomes progressively faster for more limiting (<1msec). This acts as a barrier for HF limiting near or just above the threshold and increases selectivity.

Either way, when I had it at the front of my analog chain, having the threshold as low as possible didn't trigger much HF Reduction.

I calibrated my HEDD Q to match my Lyra which I think is +18.

This is from the MDS-2 Manual:

In recording and mixing the levels can be too low for the MDS-2 to fully change high frequencies. A switch located inside the unit adds +14dB gain in the side chains for increased sensitivity.

When I first connected the MDS-2 just to try it, I had it early in the chain and indeed, even with the threshold all the way down it didn't catch many things.

Then when I wired it in my desk proper I put it near the end of my chain where I intended for it to go and the default threshold behavior is more optimal.

I can see for recording and mixing why you'd want to use the =14dB gain switch, or if maybe you are using it first in your analog mastering chain.
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