At the very heart of our analogue routing and monitoring chain lies the ‘Mastering Transfer Console’, perhaps the most essential cornerstone of the mastering process that manages the insertion of analogue processessing on the signal path while taking care of monitoring duties.
The unit is split into three sections; routing (basically an XLR patch bay), processing and monitoring after your final D/A converter. All connections are gold plated and of the highest quality.
The unit was picked over many competing units and options from SPL, Dangerous Music, Manley and Crookwood to name a few, primarily for its low noise audio path and its extensive routing options for both the mastering chain and for monitoring. The console is designed and built by the genius that is Leif Mases who has a great history in the industry for both his equipment and studio work. With production, engineering and mixing credits for various household names over the years including Black Sabbath, Jeff Beck, Europe, Led Zeppelin and Abba he has had a very solid path through the industry and consequently has an exceptional understanding of the needs and wants of a studio embedded in his equipment design.
Leif Mases’ equipment brand Maselec have made serious inroads to high end studio facilities worldwide since their inception and the introduction of the retrofit 9001 equaliser for SSL 4000 consoles. The Blue Pro Mastering line up of gear alone includes many other options from Maselec such as the now classic MEA-2 Equaliser, MLA-2 Compressor and our more recent addition, the MPL-2 De-Esser and Brickwall Limiter.
The MTC-2 supports up to six inserts with switching to M-S (sum and difference) on inserts 1 and 2. Unique features also include the stereo width adjustment, which is designed to add width to the stereo image without having any effect on the audio when in mono. The elliptical filter alongside is also a very useful tool, which puts stereo signals below 40Hz to 360Hz in the centre of the image and can cut ‘out-of-phase’ signals, also without altering the mono sound. This feature is heavily used in disk cutting but is also very helpful in mastering for digital formats to help control recordings where there is excessive activity in these lower frequencies. Another handy feature is the ability to use the output rotary switch, as a Wet/Dry control that can be handy for invisible compression or reverb returns. The monitor section allows checking the audio at any point in the chain post A/D conversion and easily allows you to perform A/B comparisons between mastered and unmastered mixes at matched level. It also allows for simpler tasks like checking in mono or switching phase.
The MTC-2 is undoubtedly the perfect centre-piece to a world class mastering facility. Workflow is improved tenfold and the console has a few top class sonic tricks that makes it unique compared to other console considerations.
Maximum Output Level = +29dBu
Noise = -95dBu
Distortion = -105dB
Dynamic range = 124dB