In the world of recording and producing music, there are many people just starting out who believe that mixing a song for their artist is the final step. Except there is one process at the very end that can seem small or unimportant to the untrained ear, but make a big difference to the everyday person listening to this brand new song: Mastering. Now mastering, to some, may take as little as throwing some plug-ins onto the master track of their Pro Tools session. To others, it may mean opening up some mastering software, throwing the .wav file into it and playing with it until it sounds good. Many would agree though, that to get a master to sound as pure as possible, you need some type of outboard gear to finalize your track perfectly. That’s where this comes in.
The Finalizer Express by TC Electronics fits just about every aspect of the mastering process on one piece of gear, and makes it very easy to get a great final sound without having to spend the money every time to ship it off somewhere else for mastering. Now I’ll admit, I know a very small amount about the technique of mastering. All mastering I have done personally has been in some sort of software, as stated before. But just looking at this piece of gear, they set it out so that just about anyone can learn to master and finalize their recording(s) for just about any output source. The input source is selectable between digital and analog, including an analog fader to adjust your input volume. Next down the line comes the meters which make it simple to view and adjust your output volume using LED lights. Next to it comes a normalizing selector, and a fader to adjust the gain. To help finalize your song, you can adjust the style and rate of your track in order to ensure that it sounds the best it can on record. To EQ the whole track, adjust your spectral balance knob to bring in or out the low’s, mid’s or high’s your track is lacking. Or dial back the ones that are overbearing. The option to fade your clip out comes next, with a proper fader. And last but not least, the analog output fader, coming equipped with selectors for sample rate, bit rate and a digital out. As you can see, that is a lot of things in just one machine you can easily fit on your outboard rack. Priced online at just over $1,000 this is definitely a goodie to own, and will give you a fresh pack of bragging rights towards all of your audio head friends. Although it may be to some, only one piece of the mastering process, it will still come very much in handy to the person who takes the mastering of his clients’ tracks very seriously, but may not consider it his entire profession. If I had the money, I’d get this beauty in a heartbeat. One day, Jimmy…one day.