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Keys to a mastering suite.... gear, ears
Old 7th May 2006
Gear Nut

Keys to a mastering suite.... gear, ears

For awhile now I have been contemplating building a small mastering suite. Obviously the first thing that is important is the ears behind the operation as well as the room and monitors. If you had to build a two buss chain and FX rack, what would it look like? I know what I would do, but I am here to get some ideas. Thanks!heh
Old 7th May 2006
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
I'd start with Weiss processing for work in the digital domain and Weiss converters for work in the analog domain... after which [if budget wasn't a factor] I'd probably go for a GML 9500 Equalizer and 2030 "Dynamic Range Controller"... along with a couple of 'character' units like an IBIS or a Massive Passive and a Dual Atomic Squeezebox or a Fearn VT-7... and if the money was really there in a big way, the SPL "mastering desk"... all with Weiss D/A and A/D converters.

If it was to be a "5.1" rig... then probably 3 of the the big SPL EQ's because they're linkable along with half a dozen Crane Song LTD. "Trakkers"... but I don't do a lot of 5-1 work so I probably shouldn't spew too much opinion.

Best of luck with your search!!
Old 7th May 2006
Gear Nut

Thanks with the input Fletch. I was looking at the Weiss stuff quite a bit recently. I am not doing any surround work so that should keep the cost down... to a point. Interesting perspective on the SPL desk though. You opened up my eyes with that comment. Any more?
Old 7th May 2006
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

I agree with Fletcher that you really need to be able to do "transparent" in a first class manner before even thinking about character gear.
Old 7th May 2006
Gear Nut

Thats really an intersting way of viewing it. I was actually looking at character first, thinking pre for some reason. Keep it coming!
Old 7th May 2006
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

When used on an entire mix, "character" gear reduces the contrast between elements. Sometimes that's called for but other times there may not be enough contrast resulting in the "character" piece just mucking things up unless you have control over the separate elements of your mix. For this reason stuff that's absolutely the greatest 2 buss processing for mixing often really sucks for mastering.

You can think of this a lot like color filters. When shooting, a filter over the lens combined with different ones over each light can create a wonderful effect. When printing, the same filter over the enlarger lens would be useless because you don't have control of the filters over the lights.
Old 8th May 2006
Lives for gear
GearHunter's Avatar

I second Fletcher about the Weiss stuff. I have been evaluating it for the past couple weeks and it's astonishing. Both sound-quality and ergonomics are the best I've worked with. If there is character in the recording already, the Weiss Gambit converters and processors with only bring that character forth even more.
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