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Hello all,

This is my first time here and I would very much apreciate a little feed back regarding the 96K Finalizer.

Firstly, let me say I am a Composer and own my own private studio that is operated just for myself.

I have never Mastered before, however my goel is to take all the 2,4 track cassete masters, 1/4 inch and 1/2 8 track masters for Finalizing to DAT.

What I would like to know is can I do a Professional job with this device?

Here is my set up, some of this is brand new (my credit cards are still throbing!) so, I will give you my list. by the way did I mention I had to use sad excuses for stores such as Sam's Ass, Guitar Center and American Music Supply to get these very expensive (to me anyway) pieces of gear.

Tascam 388 1/4 inch 8 track mixer (my baby!)
Tascam TSR8 1/2 inch 8 track (Great machine)
Mackie SR-32 VLZ Pro (I had to get something)
Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro (This thing has a lot of uses)
Universal 2-610 duel mono Preamp (WOW! The Best!)
Manley Duel mono 60db Preamp
Manley MU
Manley Massive Passive (on its way.)
Empirical Labs Distressor (2)
T.C. M3000 reverb
T.C. 96K Finalizer
Mackie HR824 monitors
Jim Demeter Real Reverb - Spring - (2)
Dennon - DN600F (CD playe
Tascam 302 Tape deck
Tascam DA 40 (2)
Monster Cables thru out the Studio.

How am I doing? I put this together myself with no help from sales people friends or wife!

I would really love to here your opinions.

Peace to all!

Mad John
Zythum Studios :w: :w:


Mad John Mon, 11/26/2001 - 06:40

Thank you for your responce , but I was really hopeing to hear what people think of the Finalizer.

I am sorry to hear your comment about the Mackies,
as I just purchased them a few months ago.

When you said they were not good, were you referring to them as Mastering monitors or do you think they are bad all around speakers?

Mad John
Zythum Studios :confused:

Mad John Mon, 11/26/2001 - 06:43

Thank you for your responce , but I was really hopeing to hear what people think of the Finalizer.

I am sorry to hear your comment about the Mackies,
as I just purchased them a few months ago.

When you said they were not good, were you referring to them as Mastering monitors or do you think they are bad all around speakers?

Mad John
Zythum Studios :confused:

anonymous Mon, 11/26/2001 - 18:24

I have the Finalizer 96k but rarely use it; somehow, no matter how I've tried to use it, it always seems to suck the life out of things. Odd, as the M3000 I have is terrific.

As for the Mackie monitors, I could not disagree more with the fellow who didn't like them. If you are really interested, try a search on RAP or Pro Rec and I think you'll a lot of folks who love 'em.


Greg Malcangi Tue, 11/27/2001 - 03:46


Depends on what you consider a "professional job" to be. If you are talking about creating masters to the same standard as a commercial mastering house then you will be greatly disappointed. The Finalizer is just a mastering tool and like any tool, the final results depend on the skill of the person using the tool rather than the tool itself. Mastering tools are just like composition tools, you can have the best composition tools on the market but you're only going to get a professional quality composition from a professional quality composer.

My personal opinion is that the Finalizer is basically a box that you can stick on the end of your recording chain if you don't have the budget for professional mastering. For the forseeable future you cannot buy a single box and expect to get results comparable to a professional mastering engineer in a professional mastering environment.


anonymous Tue, 11/27/2001 - 05:24

"Are you recording from a digital source?"

I used the finalizer digitally via protools.

"Where there any possitive results that ither of you had , or do you feel the Finalizer is just not good for anything?"

I would imagine if used in moderation you should be OK. Obviously, with over 25000 sold per TC someone has figured it out. Just not me!!!

Bob Olhsson Tue, 11/27/2001 - 08:16

First of all, it sounds to me like there is some confused jargon. (Almost ALL gear advertising is very confusing lately...) The only kind of DAT that is ever used as a real CD pre-master is a timecode DAT made to the same specs as a Sony 1630 master. It sounds to me like you want to do is mix your music and create what we call "original masters" or "final mixes."

I would add one more piece of gear which is an Alesis Masterlink to mix to. Your music deserves the highest quality mix medium you can afford and the A to D converters in the TC unit feeding a Masterlink at 24x96 is light years better than any 16 bit DAT. I've also seen many more dropout problems with recent blank DAT tapes than were common five years ago and have stopped recommending DAT to my clients as a result of this. (I thought I had a machine problem until I discovered it worked perfectly with most ten year old tapes.)

If you need to stick with mixing to DAT, make sure the TC unit is set for 16 bit dither and that the type is set for stereo Uncorrelated Dither. If you do get a Masterlink, set the dither to 24 bit stereo uncorrelated. Make sure the dither is never bypassed or your playback will have the icy results you've been hearing about.

I would bypass everything else at least in the beginning so that you aren't trying to undo the digital processing with your analog processing. I would especially avoid any of the multiband limiting and compression. While they can "save" a bad mix, you have the ability to do that without introducing the ringing of the crossover filters which rob you of both transparency and peak power.

Monitor-wise your best bet is listening to the analog out of the TC. I'd try to get some kind of Hi-Fi preamp between that and your monitors. (Comparing that to running through a mackie mixer can be a rude awakening.)

I think you can probably achieve really good results if you use creative combinations of your gear. The main thing to avoid is trashing the audio with the signal processing in the finalizer.

Hopefully this makes at least a little sense, I've got to get back to work now.

Mad John Tue, 11/27/2001 - 10:28

Bob , thank you for your most useful comments on the Finalizer process and how to use it so it does't harsh out the final mix!

I am trying to grasp all of this rather quikly.
It is important for those of us who own the Finalizer to understand how not to use it incorrectly! That in itself is a big step towards going in the right direction.

Lastly , what are you saying about Dats? Should I stay clear of them if I (and I am!) was going to use the Masterlink?

Would it be fine to have Masterlink media tranfered to Dat? The reason I ask this is I have alot of strange stock sorces that if a Masterlink finished Master could be placed to dat with out a quality loss , I could have uses for the dat in this area.


Mad John
Zythum Studios

AudioGaff Fri, 11/30/2001 - 12:06

If your thinking about the Finalizer and already have an idea of it's sound and capability, I urge to step up to the TC DBmax. Not as harsh to me, more flexable, more control, and the broadcast filters/features give you a good clue as what your material will sound like durring broadcast on radio or TV. Just the ability to choose between 1-band and 5-band with two selectable slopes beats the Finalizer which is fixed at 3-band only. All the other features are just icing on the cake...

- Bruce McIntyre -
Audio Wave Productions

anonymous Sun, 12/09/2001 - 11:24

I would definitely take advantage of those good units you have in your studio. Haven't worked with Massive Passive, but it can't be anything else but great? And Vari-Mu works very well in a mastering chain after that MP. So you wouldn't have to use Finalizer to do that harsh, life killing compression as mentioned earlier. Just to make a moderate limit and AD. After that to Masterlink or DAT.
I'd go like this when doing a final mix, if further processing(in a mastering facility) isn't applied.
This is also a matter of taste and I'm not that familiar with massive passive's capabilities as a "mastering eq", but to me it could do a nice pair with vari-mu in this situation.

Good Luck!
(apologise my english..)


Mad John Sun, 12/09/2001 - 11:50

Hello Jukka,

Thank you. It was nice for you to respond.

I have yet to truly figure what the Finalizer's strong points are and at this time I am a little concerned as to how to utilize this device properly!

I certainly apreciate your support Junkka though, again thanks! ;)

Can anybody out there give some helpful hints as to how to maximize this units potential?


Mad John
Zythum Studios

"The present day Composer refuses to die!"
Edgar Varese - 1921

Mad John Sun, 12/09/2001 - 13:11

Hi Brad and thanks!

Yes, that is a short commentary on specifics on the 96K.

It is good but very general.

That short manual comes with the Finalizer.

The problem I see is that there is so much to it, that it will take some time to discover what to use and what not to use.

It is a rare tool. By that I mean it is rather new to the consummer market in terms of its familiarity and I dont wish to "mess" with the pure-is-ums of the Tube gear that I will also be useing.

Thank you for your reply Brad! :cool:

Peace & Dreams,

Mad John
Zythum Studios

"The present day Composer refuses to die!"
Edgar Varese - 1921

"We are all connected!" - Bell Atlantic