The classic patch bay allows you to easily route signals between different signal sources, processors and other audio gear. All connected devices can be tapped at any point in the signal path by simply making the adequate connections in the patch bay.
This can be very practical when working in projects, since you can set up the audio path according to a specific production without having to change anything until the production is finished. That is frequently the case during mixdown.
However, in the mastering stage the needs of an engineer often go well beyond this. Even a direct A/B comparison between two processors or two different signal paths can prove unfeasible with a patch bay. Not to mention loudness compensation after processing, comfortable fine adjustment of input and output levels or an adequate level control to dynamically fade the signal.
The MasterBayS fulfills all of these requirements and goes even a couple of decisive steps forward. Its comfortable yet flexible switching and control functions make it easier to achieve the best results with the available equipment. Innovative and pragmatic functions, conceived to simplify and improve the comparison process, give you a qualitative edge in mastering applications, while saving you time.
Using the MasterBayS as analog interface for all your hardware gear reduces to the minimum the actual conversions taking place, regardless of the number of processors used. Due to its high engineering quality, the MasterBayS not only pampers the signal but it also becomes a key element in the audio production stage where it is put to use.
Four stereo inserts are provided on the MasterBay S. Insert 2 and 3 can be swapped in the sequence. Usually you insert a compressor and an EQ in insert 2 and 3. By swapping you can easily decide, if eqing or compression first is better.
The Insert Trim knobs serve to adjust the output level of the Insert Return 3. Since inserts 1, 2 and 3 are connected in series, this setting affects all inserted processors.
Use PARALLEL MIX to mix the input signal with the processed signal from inserts 1-3. To listen
only to the input (dry) signal turn the knob hard left (which would be the same as engaging
the ALL INSERTS BYPASS button). Turn it hard right (wet) to listen exclusively to the processed
signal (which would be the same as disengaging the MIX button). If set to the center position
(1:1), both input and output signals have the exact same proportion in the mix.
PARALLEL MIX is a simple yet powerful function with a sort of undo character to it: you could
adjust the effects to be clearly audible and then use only the appropriate dose with PARALLEL
Use the LOUDNESS COMPENSATION function to compensate for loudness differences that
might have resulted from the processing applied. This is of paramount importance to be able
to judge the processing solely on tonal differences. LOUDNESS COMPENSATION guarantees
that the loudness differences will not be a factor in the decision making. This function basically
levels the perceived loudness by manually changing the level of the monitoring path
One of the most interesting functions of the MasterBayS is the AUTO BYPASS — an innovation
that not only simplifies the comparison between input and output signals, but also improves
it. When activated, this function automatically toggles between input and output signals. It
is worth noting that the toggling interval is user defined (refer to BYPASS PERIOD in the next
AUTO BYPASS allows you to concentrate exclusively on tonal differences — there is no need
for manual toggling anymore. This can only mean a clear improvement when assessing your
work. Together with LOUDNESS COMPENSATION, these two functions simplify enormously
the mastering tasks with the MasterBayS, while bringing quality control to a much more
objective level, improving the whole experience.
Use the METERS FOLLOW
button to toggle between the default level display and the value due to the COMPENSATION
LEVEL reduction. In default mode,
the METERING displays the input or output level values of the MasterBayS, depending
on whether I/O COMPARE is engaged or not. If I/O COMPARE is engaged the value displayed
corresponds to the output post Master Fader. If I/O COMPARE is not engaged the value
displayed corresponds to the input.
The METERS FOLLOW function can help determine the exact value of the COMPENSATION
LEVEL reduction applied (given that the I/O COMPARE function is active): taking the value
when METERS FOLLOW is active and subtracting it from the value when METERS FOLLOW is
inactive, the difference corresponds to the reduction applied. In the same way, this difference
also implies the increase in loudness that resulted from the processing.