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#434215 03/21/00 02:05 AM
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I realize that mastering is indeed a true art form and requires much more than tweeking a few knobs on a Finalizer.

Having said that I was wondering just what sort of results one could expect to get from such a device, after one has learnt how to use it that is. Are there other good hardware purchases out there worth recommending and also what about software?

Thanks for any input you may have.

#434216 03/26/00 01:11 AM
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It's clear to most of us that the Finalizer has gotten it's bad rap due in large part to it's vile and garish overuse of a great number of records.

Depends on just how *good* of a mastering job you wish to do. Were you to want to really stretch out, you would want to look at each *technical* facet of mastering: precision (and often, dynamic) leveling, equalization and filtering, and broad & multi-band automatic level control. And you would want the best in each area. And you would want to learn what to expect out of each device, not to mention how to use them.

Finally, once you have all of these devices under your control, you'll want to have an 'ear' for what to go for, not to mention the patience to keep that sound in your mind's ear for a whole project.

Nothing like trying your hand at it, and comparing the results to a pro, given the opportunity.

By the way, I know how to use all of the gear, high and low end, and am pretty good at paying attention to where I'm going...and I *still* prefer to go to a really good mastering engineer for a bit of objectivity. The guy I use most often is Doug Sax. I like to eat with him as well, and this is easily combined with a mastering day.

George

P.S. I'm not sure that the finalizer, to begin with, does so-called 'normalization' (basically, gain adjustment) using 48-bit arithmetic, so it may be kinda out right at the git-go for bleeding-edge, precision mastering. On the other hand, if you know what you're going for (and not just fishing), I'm sure it's possible to make an o.k. CD all by yourself.


George Massenburg

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#434217 03/26/00 09:16 PM
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Thanks George,

Yeah, I have a lot of respect for Doug Sax have been listening to his work sine the 70s-

As far as the finalizer goes I understand it's just a box and therefore has a lot of limitations, I suppose I just want something to put a bit of extra sparkle to my CDs for sending out demos- If the time came to me releasing a CD I would send it to Doug-

#434218 03/27/00 07:28 AM
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You know, there's alot you *can* do with a Finalizer. If you use *just* enough of it, it's the ticket.

Most important is trying things on it, and comparing what you get to CD's you like. It's not hard to use a Finalizer. As all of us repeat endlessly, just turn the knobs till it sounds right.

George


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#434219 03/27/00 10:15 AM
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I like to use the Finalizer, if at all, for the stereo buss compressor, EQ, limiter, gate.

Being just a desktop mastering guy, I find it's MUCH better using individual plug-in's (like the ones by Waves, Steinburg, Sonic Foundry, and T.C., to name a few) to do the precision mastering.

I find it much easier, and much better sounding that way. And you don't have to worry about "twisting the knobs" (really, pushing the buttons, thought the MANY menus) to get all the parameters EXACTLY right at once, in real time.

Plus, you can undo, and add specific processing to just certain parts of your file that way, as well.

My Finalizer sort of just collects dust around here.



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Bob.


Bob Buontempo.

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Also Hanging at: http://recpit.prosoundweb.com
#434220 03/27/00 11:05 PM
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Hey George,
Is it the SMC-2A by Tube Tech that Schmitt told me about?? A tube multi-band compressor. Having difficulty finding info. Thanks.
Benjy King


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#434221 03/28/00 12:44 AM
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I read with interest your reply, Bob.
I have all those plug ins you mentioned, in fact a lot more-

If I have a huge asenal of plug ins do I not need the Finalizer for mastering my demos?

#434222 03/28/00 10:29 AM
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Well, I don't want to tell you what you should do as far as equipment purchases.

I'll just tell you what I would do, if I had the choice again.

Have a Finalizer (or dbx, drawmwer, berhinnger, whatever equivilant) available in the multitrack studio for mixdown.

Then, for good "rough" mixes, use it to do a little shit across the stereo buss, to give it the effect of having being "Mastered", at least to a degree.

If your REALLY wanted to try and Master as you mix, then you can be very critical in setting the parameters. If you just stick to the compression and slight limiting, you could use it as your stereo buss compressor for your Final mix. I don't know about the EQ across the Stereo buss, though. Unless you're using it like a BBE/Aphex/Exciter/Harmonic distortion generator kind of thing, and then set all your mix EQs accordingly.

The other Digital enhancement stuff they have?

Same thing. If you want to use it across the mix buss, it's there fo life. Up to you.

The gates? Set them right and they're pretty painless.

But, when I want to MASTER the product to a CD-R, for release, whether I used the Finalizer to mix or not, I think seperate processors should be used.

If it was an Analogue system, you'd dedicate your buss limiter, EQ, Compression, etc.

In Digital, since you've got so many plug-ins, (so do I), then I would approach your PC/Mac JUST like it was Sonic Solutions or SADIE, or whatever.

Then, since it is Digital, you can process and undo, just de'ess the guitar solo to bring his volume down a little; only eliminate the hiss and hum on the electric guitar track that starts the song by itself;
add reverb to that stop you just made in the arrangement, so it decays in time with the tune, not just stops to silence; Re-Fade the end so it goes out in time with the track and lyrics. Compress the track with a hundred different compressors, until you find the one that works for it, etc.

You get the idea.

PLUS, you can edit, sequence, and time your tracks.

So, if you think about what you're trying to accomplish, the choice of whether or not to use a "Mastering Processor" depends on what you want it to do for you, in my opinion, anyway.



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Bob.


Bob Buontempo.

AKA: - THE MIX FIX

Also Hanging at: http://recpit.prosoundweb.com

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