Is this a good set up for mastering?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by jarjarbinks, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. jarjarbinks

    jarjarbinks Misa want to learn! Active Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    Hello respectable experts.
    I saw an ad in the paper saying they were selling a full set of mastering gear. No price, just says "call and negotiate". Its used but in perfect shape, they say.

    Can you give me some remarks? How good a set up is this?
    How much should I negotiate for?
    What about the gear from Universal Audio? How good is it?

    I know that with mastering its mostly about the room. But lets suppose I have a perfectly good room. Would I be able to do good in the business with this set up?

    Here is the list:

    • Digital to Analog Interfase* M-AUDIO - LTA66 AUDIO SYSTEM (A/D y D/A 24 bits)
    • Digital Processor - Mastering * TC ELECTRONIC FINALIZER (24 bits) OutBoard
    • Digital Processor - Multiband compressor * TC ELECTRONIC TRIPLE C (24 bits) OutBoard
    • Limiter * Precision Limiter - Universal Audio
    • EQ * Precision EQ - Universal Audio
    • EQ * EQ Pultec - Universal Audio
    • Analog Enhancer Processor /Exciters * APHEX 204 AURAL EXCITER OutBoard
    • Maximizer* Precision Maximizier - Universal Audio
    • Precision Enhancer Khz - Universal Audio
    • Precision Enhancer Hz - Universal Audio
    • Compressor * Precision Multiband - Universal Audio
    • Compressor * Precision Bus Compressor - Universal Audio
    • Active monitors * Tapco - MACKIE S8
    • Active monitors * M-AUDIO SP-5B STUDIOPHILE
    • Active Subwoofer * YAMAHA YST-SW005 BASS REFLEX
    • Headphones * NADY QH360 OPEN BACK STUDIO
    • Analog Mixer* MACKIE 1202-VLZ
    • Aditional system #1 - Post Mastering Monitoring * PANASONIC SURROUND 5.1
    • Aditional system #2 - Post Mastering Monitoring * PHILIPS FW-C798 500 WATT

    I appreciate your opinions!!
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    Digital Processor - Mastering * TC ELECTRONIC FINALIZER (24 bits) OutBoard
    Old and complicated to use compared to plugins, but audio and FX are rather good ( got one, too).
    Is it still supported, at all?

    • Maximizer* Precision Universal Audio
      Limiter * Precision Limit
    • EQ * Precision EQ - Universal Audio
    • EQ * EQ Pultec - Universal Audio
    • Precision Enhancer Khz - Universal Audio
    • Precision Enhancer Hz - Universal Audio
    • Compressor * Precision Multiband - Universal Audio
    • Compressor * Precision Bus Compressor - Universal Audio
    All UAD plugins ( and outboard gear) are excellent and usable. Could not do without them.
    Add their NEVE and Fairchild compressors, NEVE, Harrison & Manley Massive Passive EQs..

    The other devices I have not worked with, yet, but I have my doubts about them being used for mastering, though.
    You might want better monitors and excellent AD/DA converters and volume control ( outboard)...
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Ah, if it were JUST the gear.... but of course,it's not that simple. ;-) Those tempting toys you've listed do not nec. a good mastering engineer make. (If you have to for now, you can do good mastering entirely "in the box" depending on your setup. It's not JUST about the gear...)

    What's your market? Do you have potential clients nearby, or will it all be coming & going via Fedex? Are you near an airport or highway for easy access from clients who may like your stuff enough to fly in and sit in on sessions with you? Are you in or near a big city area, or out in the burbs?

    And most importantly: WHY is this person selling all of this stuff so completely, so suddenly, and so desperately? Unless they've had a major change in their lives (winning the lottery, spouse has to move for a better job, sudden deafness, boredom, or some such)....WHY are they dumping it all and getting out?
    It MIGHT be lack of work in their area, or he/she may be trading up. You may just want to ask them.

    As for the hardware, some of it is "old" now (the TC Electronic) some is very good (the UAD plugs) and some mid-level stuff, nothing too exotic. I have nothing against Mackies, and like the 1202, but surely that's just for temp monitoring, nothing more than that. Ditto for the monitors and sub that's listed; nice, but NOT top level stuff for mastering.

    More than anything else, you need excellent speakers (and an accurate sub, too!) a great amp, and a good room for accurate professional mastering. Everything else can be added as you can afford it, but if you start out with a bad, inaccurate foundation, the mastering "house" you build wont be turing out reliable, transportable mixes.

    I'd invest in the best speakers, amp & sub you can find, before anything else. Save your $$, IMHO.
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    And they listed that? Some decent plugs (although no mention of the hardware - PCI, laptop, UAD1, UAD2, etc.), some relatively useless hardware, cheapie speakers and a boom box...?

    Something smells really bad about that...
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Something does not sound quite right. Lots of "stuff" no good speakers or computer to run the plug-ins....unless it is super cheap I am not sure I would bite...It maybe someone's attempt a doing mastering along with his recording business and he or she found out there was no market for their services and now are trying to dump everything to get their money back. Please let us know what you decide. Best of Luck!!!
  6. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Standing right behind you!
    Could be some amateur like me who doesn't have a complete kit. Maybe he put it together piecemeal and is only 1/2-way through upgrading things. Maybe he isn't very knowledgeable, like me. Never can tell.
  7. forasong

    forasong Active Member

    May 7, 2010
    Washington State
    Sorry, IMO the only thing semi-good is the plug-ins...the outboard gear is crap.
  8. SASman

    SASman Active Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    London UK
    Home Page:
    In a nutshell IMO, no. The monitoring is no where near mastering grade. You need to ask
    if I cannot hear more detail than the client I am working for why should I charge them money for it?

    1)Sort your monitoring out

    If you can do good work and make your clients pleased then I am no one to day otherwise. However I
    would struggle with that gear list personally. And the more experienced you become the more limiting your will find that equipment list.

    SafeandSound Mastering
    online mastering

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