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Could the Universal Audio 6176 be used to master ??

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by HMNP, Sep 11, 2004.

  1. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Im on my way to purchase two unit for my studio as channel strips, I was wondering if they could be used as effective mastering tools ?? If not what product within that price range could I purchase to master songs. Anything from Manley ?? Thanks alot in advanced!

  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    That's a pretty open-ended question... For the most part, I can't see using the 6176 for much in most mastering applications...

    Not that I haven't broken a few rules along the way myself... :?

    Essentially, anything that isn't absolutely neccessary for the sound (like mic preamps or 1176's, unless you're looking for that sound) shouldn't be in the chain.

    What exactly are you looking for?
  3. grega60438

    grega60438 Guest

    Assuming all other tools are present, as a final for compression limiting, is anyone using the MANLEY VARIABLE MU® LIMITER COMPRESSOR ? I have heard this is one of the best and I have heard this is much better than running to tape. I wanted to hear from the experts. If there is something better, I am all ears...
    Greg Alcorn
    Alcorn Studios
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    A mastering edition Manley Vari-Mu is my main compression beast.

    If it's "better than tape" is somewhat subjective... It certainly has the ability to "warm things up" a bit.

    I don't believe I've used my layback deck since I've had the VM, if that makes a difference...
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests


    Everything Ive seen for mastering was $$$$$$$ way up there! Like $12,000 range just for one stereo unit.
    I had to have my 1st CD mastered and it was $45.00 an hour. Way, way cheaper than thinking about the money it cost to master.
    You are not the first person to try to do it with something other than the real deal.
    I do not own one (and never used one), but have you looked at the T.C. electronic Fanalizer. They are around $2000
    This may or may not be what you are looking for or trying to do? :oops:
  6. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    I don't think you can compare two different technologies just like that.
    But the VariMu is a good compressor if you need to "cook" things up a bit.
    I use the danish designed Gyraf G10 VariMu compresser, witch to my ears is closer to the Fairchild 670 but more transparrant.
  7. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    Re: mastering

    I will be the first (in a long line) to suggest NOT trying this out.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    tc electronic

    Do the TC finalizer 's work worth a $*^t for anything? I see they are up there in price. :shock:
  9. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    The Finalizer is one of the biggest pieces of $*^t ever thought up.

    Peace and Love (except for the Finalizer)


    I feel much better.

  10. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I would argue that IN THE RIGHT HANDS, a Finalizer (or nearly anything) can be useful at times.

    THe Finalizer has to go down as the most abused piece of audio gear out there. That's caused a little animosity with many mastering engineers.

    I used to have a Finalizer... There are worse things that you could do to a mix. If it was the only thing in the shop, I could make it work.

    But, it's not in the shop anymore. It's somewhere at the bottom of Lake Michigan after the cable holding it to my boat snapped.

    Wait, that was a different piece of gear... I sold the Finalizer. Cheap.

    For doing quick "mastering" (many call it "half-asstering") it does a fair job. I certainly woudn't suggest running anything through it that's going to a dedicated mastering service - I get into more arguments with engineers over that thing...
  11. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    I feel that the Manley has a "sound". It is very useful as part of your toolbox, but I would not use it on everything as my only compressor. But as with all equipment, including the much hated Finalizer, it depends on how You apply it, with what settings, etc.

    Any piece of gear can be used in such a way that it does a disservice to the music. Many pieces of gear can be used in a non-extreme way that is useful in some cases.

    Don't over do it.
  12. digitmstr

    digitmstr Guest

    the MANLEY variable MU is a GREAT mastering/mixdown tool. Everyone agrees. It adds warmth and punch (when properly setup and used) to the mix without robbing it of its original percieved dynamics.

    Another GREAT Manley tool would the MASSIVE PASSIVE EQ.

    First of all you need the room and playback system though...and that's another story.
  13. grega60438

    grega60438 Guest

    I just wanted to thank everyone for the help and the continuing education. In an attempt to stay in the digital domain completely, I had purchased the MD3 for mastering. I have had it for about 6 months now and have been really impressed. I have mainly used the MD3 for quick masters for clients right after they have recorded, mainly so they can hear what it MAY sound like. The MD3 default settings have been good. I am still learning. So much to learn. I have professionals master for the final CD. The first professional CD from 'Alcorn Studios' is now out. The album is called 'Suburbio', by Jonathan Mantel, and mastered at 'Colossal Mastering' in Chicago. Jonathan Mantel is working on getting his webpage up with samples of the CD. I think it turned out well. Will let you know when his site is up.
    I am working on a second CD for Tammy Hoffman. Keeps me really busy in my spare time. Still have the day job and still married. Eventually, hopefully soon, the studio will be full time.

    Greg Alcorn
    Alcorn Studios
  14. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke Guest

    I bought the Finalizer from Massive and now it is buried in a secret mountain lair east of Evergreen, Colorado......

    Manley VariMu-Yes
    Massive Passive-Yes
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Re: mastering

    $45 and hour! I'd say you were quite lucky. That's $5 less than I charge and I'm merely a newbie at mastering at best.

    I wouldn't base everything on cost either. The Weiss or Z-Sys EQs can be had for $3K to $5K. Most Manley gear is at or below that price point too. As is Crane Song and many other venerable companies' products.

    The finalizer ain't necessarily a bad box, but it's one of those paradoxes.

    Those who buy it, don't know how to use it correctly and therefore destroy their mixes.

    Those who know how to use it, won't buy it because they probably prefer something they already own or don't like the idea of an "All-in-one" box. (The same reason TVs with Built-in DVD players are frowned upon.)

    Just some thoughts.


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