Small 500-series mastering chain

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
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dangayle
KVRian
995 posts since 30 Mar, 2014

Post Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:18 pm

I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I want to create a fully out-of-the-box desktop mastering/pre-mastering solution that is equivalent to what I do in Ableton. Someone suggested getting an API Lunchbox and a handful of 500 series effects, which sounds really rad to me.

What would be the absolute minimal setup I could put together? I'm thinking comp+eq+limiter?

Caveats:
- Yes, a real mastering engineer is obviously better
- Yes, real mastering hardware is obviously better
- Yes, a good sound-treated room and good monitors are a prerequisite

shmuelyosef
KVRer
11 posts since 20 Nov, 2018

Re: Small 500-series mastering chain

Post Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:21 pm

Rather than dive into the 500 series, think seriously about starting with a simple channel strip and possibly add a multieffects unit. For little more than the cost of a 500-series lunchbox (with no modules) you can get started. Also, look at in-the-box mastering software like, for example Ozone from iZotope.

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mrj1nx
KVRian
609 posts since 29 Nov, 2015

Re: Small 500-series mastering chain

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:23 am

On Mixbustv on youtube you can see an example of neve 542 tape emulators into wes audio dione compressor. Seems like a nice chain for 2bus processing. But the 542 is mono.

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pekbro
KVRAF
2694 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Re: Small 500-series mastering chain

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:11 am

It sounds pretty cool to me... Personally, I might start out with louder than liftoff,
The colour system looks interesting and versatile. Of course, their chop shop as well.
As for the classic and big name stuff, that would take a lot of consideration :D

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dangayle
KVRian
995 posts since 30 Mar, 2014

Re: Small 500-series mastering chain

Post Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:28 pm

shmuelyosef wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:21 pm
Rather than dive into the 500 series, think seriously about starting with a simple channel strip and possibly add a multieffects unit. For little more than the cost of a 500-series lunchbox (with no modules) you can get started. Also, look at in-the-box mastering software like, for example Ozone from iZotope.
I have the in the box stuff, that's what I want to get away from

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justin3am
KVRAF
10788 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Re: Small 500-series mastering chain

Post Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:27 am

I use some 500-series modules for mixing but I mostly use an API 2500 and 5500 on the 2-mix.
I have an 8-space 500 rack with 2 Lola pres (see this page for information about that build), Elysia Xpressor, X-Filter and Karacter 500. Each of these are designed for stereo operation, which is ideal for bus processing. These modules are also relatively neutral and clean (with the exception of the Karacter 500).

I'm also working on building a pair of 1073 preamp and EQ clones, as well as a pair of 1176 clones. This will make up a signal chain with of a more vintage flavor. These modules are all single channel modules (mono) but most of them use multi-position switches, rather than continuous potentiometers, so it's easy to set them to the exact same values, when used in pairs for stereo operation.

There are a lot of options available in 500-series at various price points. Radial offer a lot of utilities at super reasonable prices. Also have a look at Lindell, Louder Than Liftoff and IGS. Take your rack into careful consideration. There are affordable options but the PSU specs on some may be inadequate, if you plan to fill your rack with modules which draw a lot of current (tube pres and such). Check the current draw for each module you would like to use and make sure the racks PSU can handle it.

I have a pair of API 500-8B racks, which are good for my purposes, but they only have DB-25 connectors on the back, so it's ideal to use them with a patchbay. Other racks, have more of an assortment of XLR and 1/4" trs connectors.

There are also now modules from companies like Bettermaker and Wes Audio which provide patch recall and even a plug-in interface for controlling parameters. There is a lot of interesting stuff going on in 500 format.

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