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Author Topic: Mastering Playback Systems  (Read 2829 times)

sui-city

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Mastering Playback Systems
« on: April 24, 2004, 06:34:04 pm »

To all you mastering engineers.

I was wondering what sorts of playback systems are most commonly used in mastering studios.

Do all of you have Alsihad systems? 2-trk Tape?

And how do you like to receive the tracks that you are going to master? What format do you ask your clients to give you?
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bblackwood

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Re: Mastering Playback Systems
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2004, 06:37:43 pm »

Most mastering studios will offer 1/4" and 1/2" analog playback as well as playback of digital files. ProTools isn't very common, but the audio files use din PT are SDII or WAV, so they can be played back easily enough.
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

sui-city

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Re: Mastering Playback Systems
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2004, 07:01:30 pm »

Thanks again Brad.

What format do you receive things in? Do your clients give you 1/4" or 1/2" tapes? Or do you load it onto tape yourself?
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bblackwood

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Re: Mastering Playback Systems
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2004, 09:57:52 pm »

sui-city wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 18:01

What format do you receive things in?

Digital files, analog tape.

Quote:

Do your clients give you 1/4" or 1/2" tapes?

Yep, and it seems to be picking up a little, though still only accounts for maybe 10-15% of all projects.

Quote:

Or do you load it onto tape yourself?

No, my machine is truly a 'mastering machine' - it's one built by Studer with two repro heads for cutting vinyl (preview head and playback head) and no record functions whatsoever. If they want tape, they send it on tape...
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

mcsnare

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Re: Mastering Playback Systems
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2004, 10:15:42 am »

I had a project recently where we used the studio's ATR 102 1/2" to "warm up" some digital files. It worked great on some tunes, not as well on others.....
Dave

jfrigo

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Re: Mastering Playback Systems
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2004, 04:33:12 am »

sui-city wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 15:34


I was wondering what sorts of playback systems are most commonly used in mastering studios.
Do all of you have Alsihad systems? 2-trk Tape?
And how do you like to receive the tracks that you are going to master? What format do you ask your clients to give you?


We have a Pro Tools rig for playback and the very occasional processing should there be something in particular that a plug-in does better or easier than the rest of the gear in the studio. Some people actually lay out all the songs in order in a pro tools session that we can simply open instead of importing or dragging the audio files into another DAW. It's convenient for them and for us. We also have an Alesis ML9600 Masterlink, a Sony PCM-800 (same as DA-88 but AES and XLR I/O) for DTRS tapes or bit splits, a DAT machine, a Nakamichi cassette deck with balanced output, a Sony CD player with an AES output, and an Ampex ATR for 1/4" and 1/2" playback. We also have a few software applications on the computer that can translate most computer sound files into something we can play back. All these formats hopefully make the life of our clients easier so they can send whatever they are comfortable with. A CD-ROM with AIFF or WAV files or 1/2" analog tape would be the most common formats (in that order) and also the most preferred. The other formats are rarely used.
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Gold

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Re: Mastering Playback Systems
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2004, 12:55:21 pm »

I get more 1/4" tape than 1/2."  I have a few regular clients who use 1/4". Oddly  I get more masters on tape for CD only projects than for vinyl projects.
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Paul Gold
www.saltmastering.com

On the silk road, looking for uranium.
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