TC Electronic System 6000 Mainframe MK II for Mastering

  • $13,000.00
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Key Features

  • Hardware Unit with DSP for Mastering
  • 8 Channels of Digital I/O
  • Bit-Transparent Processing
  • EQ, Dynamics, Loudness & Surround Algos

In the Box

  • TC Electronic System 6000 Mainframe MK II for Mastering
  • Limited 10-Year Warranty

The TC Electronic System 6000 Mk II Mainframe repackages and updates the company’s well-known, esteemed collection of algorithms (which run off the hardware offered here), tailoring their implementation for the specific purposes of mastering engineers. Indeed, the original System 6000 found its home not just in mastering rooms, but in mixing environs, production studios, and post-production facilities, where these unites aided many renowned engineers as they pursued the cleanest, most robust tones. This version, though suitable and expandable for other purposes, is dedicated first and foremost for mastering.

With the Mastering edition of the System 6000 Mk II, you not only get original System 6000 algorithms and the ability to read all presets emanating from the original system, you also get new tools at your disposal, tailored for stereo and multi-channel mastering scenarios.

These tools include the MD4, a high-resolution multiband dynamics processor with 5 bands split by linear-phase crossovers to mitigate split and recombining distortion at the reconstruction points. You also get the 2nd generation of TC Electronic’s Brickwall Limiter, a bit-transparent true-peak limiter that builds upon the foundations of the original to offer better protection against downstream clipping, as well as clip-removal (when it detects an overload) and other processes that ensure louder masters without as many deleterious effects. Also included is the Matrix 88, a digital 8-channel mixer for achieving bit-transparent digital summing of up to eight individual sources. For a list of other included algorithms, please see the features section.

This mainframe, which requires either the TC Icon Control Surface or its software equivalent to run, offers a 25-pin D-SUB connection point to facilitate eight channels of digital I/O, in addition to a BNC input for external word clocks, should you want to slave the system to an external clock. Space is provided for optional I/O cards to connect AES-8 and ADA 24/96 cards. A LAN/Ethernet port is provided for connecting to control devices like the TC Icon, and you’ll also note the MIDI connections on the rear of the unit which will greatly assist you when it comes to recall and automation. Utilizing these MIDI connections, you can instantaneously switch between settings or ride parameters within effects chains easily.

Speaking of settings, the System 6000 Mk II allows you to store a Scene Factory preset bank with up to 50 presets, as well as a Routing Factory bank (also with 50 presets) and up to 14 Engine Factory banks, each holding 99 presets. The system is also expandable, from additional algorithms whose licenses can be purchased, to optional hardware pieces such as the ADA2496 (a 2-channel analog reference module), the PCMCIA Card (for additional scene, routing and user-preset locations, 1500 in total), and the AES/EBU-8 card, which gets you an additional eight channels of digital I/O. All told, a fully outfitted System 6000 Mk II will supply 16 channels of physical I/O running digital (AES/EBU), analog, or a mix between the two. The hardware and its relevant software processes can run at sample rates up to 96 kHz.

Note:
Please note, the System 6000 Mk II requires either the TC Electronic Icon Control Surface or the System 6000 Integrator Software to run.
  

Included Processors at a Glance

Dynamics-Taming Algorithms

MD5.1: The MD5.1 algorithm gives you three bands of dynamic processing for five main channels plus wideband dynamics for the LFE. In essence, it offers a compressor, an expander and a limiter for multichannel signals in one algorithm. The primary uses include limiting, level optimization, and spectral balancing. Extensive linking and priority parameters enable you to control the processing to suit any type of signal for film and music with precision. Furthermore, you can cascade several MD5.1 algorithms to process 6.1, 7.1 or 10.2 signals, and if needed, you can use a 7th steering input to influence the processing of one or more of the main channels.

 

MDX 5.1: With the MDX5.1 you get a high-resolution dynamics processor for multichannel signals. It presents a sophisticated angle to dynamic-range control, and is an alternative to traditional compression and limiting techniques. MDX5.1 lets you bring up low-level details, rather than boosting everything, which makes it necessary for you to limit the transient peaks afterwards. The transfer function offered is ideal for level translation purposes; for instance, for broadcast station ingest, or for converting between theatrical and domestic listening conditions. You can even apply low-level lift to specific channels individually in one-, two-, or three-frequency bands.

MD3: The MD3 algorithm is a refinement of the MD2 dynamics algorithm. It uses a multiband, 48-bit resolution structure and provides you with a 3-band compressor, expander, 4-band parametric equalizer, and limiter in a single algorithm. The multiband section gives you the advantage of adjustable look-ahead delay for gentle processing of transients, while the limiter lets you use an overshoot-proof micro-delay to prevent output samples above the defined threshold. You can configure MD3 for either stereo or dual mono processing, and you can use it on single sources as well as composite stereo mixes. Alternatively, you can process stereo material in the MS-domain, or the MD3 can take in MS signals and convert them to stereo, with processing taking place in either the LR or MS domain.

MD4: Taking its cues from the MD3, the MD4 gives you no less than five individual bands with phase linear reconstruction. You can operate MD4 in several different ways, including within the DXP mode. This allows you to lift up low-level detail individually in each band. MD4 is well-suited for traditional mastering, but you can also use it for converting film to domestic dynamic range, or to process single sources such as vocal, dialogue, or acoustic instruments. All processing is done at 48-bit resolution and can be configured to operate in stereo as well as dual mono. Also, it can be applied surgically to the M and S part of a stereo signal. For example, equalization and compression can target the center or L/R components of a mix to bring out certain elements, or to adjust the width.

Brickwall Limiter 2: Built on the foundation of the original Brickwall Limiter, this version offers better protection of the downstream signal-path without sacrificing overall loudness. The Brickwall Limiter 2 algorithm is bit-transparent below the threshold of limiting, which means that you can use it on an already dithered master. In other words, let the Brickwall Limiter 2 have the final word, and you will definitely get cleaner and more predictable results on CDs and DVDs, as well as lossy deliveries such as MP3, AAC, Dolby Digital or DTS.

Equalization

EQ 5.1: With this EQ, you get six mono channels of 4-band fully parametric EQ using 48-bit processing. This is a general-purpose algorithm that you can use in conjunction with other algorithms, or as a standalone instance. You can link the channels or use them separately. The algorithm is reminiscent of analog, though with high-precision filter models. As a bonus, you can select Softclip independently on each output.

 

MDW HiRes EQ: There can be absolutely no doubt that George Massenburg has a great sense of audio, and the MDW HiRes EQ has been developed strictly to his personal specifications. As the MDW design complements the TC Electronic EQ alternatives, you can choose between several desirable EQ flavors, each with their own specific advantages. 2 and six-channel configurations with flexible linking and absolute/relative real-time adjustment properties are offered. The six-channel version is equally suited to 5.1 and 6.0 signals. Up-sampling is also employed: If your sample rate is 44.1 or 48 kHz, the signal will be up-sampled to double rate, processed and then down-sampled to the original rate. Obviously, the EQ can also be operated at 88.2 or 96 kHz, and, in this case, up/down sampling is bypassed, providing a bit-transparent signal path at unity gain. The EQs feature 5 parametric bands per channel, and you can configure outer bands as shelving or 2nd order filters (Butterworth). Furthermore, you can switch Band 1 filters between 2nd and 4th order, and all five bands cover the complete frequency range. Finally, each parametric or shelving band is capable of cutting/boosting over a ±25 dB range.

Loudness, Surround, and More

LM6: Rather than just measuring peak levels, LM6 allows you to use a much more audio-friendly method when delivering audio for CD, MP3, AAC, AC3, broadcast or cinema. Also, it is fully compatible with 'dialnorm' in Dolby AC3, which makes the codec perform much better and more predictably than with any measurement based on just peak or dialog levels. With the LM6 algorithm, you get an extremely transparent signal path regardless of audio format, from mono to 5.1 surround sound. The detailed radar meter is a suitable tool for measuring and monitoring your audio during production, mixing and mastering, and it ensures absolute compliance with broadcast, post or cinema delivery specifications. LM6 is part of the universal, standardized loudness control concept (compliant with ITU BS.1770-3, EBU R128, ATSC A/85, TR-B32, etc.), whereby audio can be easily measured and controlled at any given stage of production or distribution. Further, LM6 is compatible with any other piece of equipment that meets the same universal standard.

 

UnWrap HD: The UnWrap HD algorithm is a respected up-converter for film and mastering professionals, allowing you to go between stereo and surround convincingly.

VariPitch8: As a result of intelligent splicing, this algorithm allows you to carry out extremely demanding applications such as real-time pitch change of entire 5.1/7.1 stems when converting frame rates between video and film (25 to 24 fps and vice versa). You can lock the channels in various ways to preserve phase relationship while applying pitch change. This feature is in high demand for telecine, film, and post processing, and, until now, it has not been available for 5.1/7.1 configurations. The up and down pitch range is +/-200 cents.

Matrix88: This algorithm turns your System 6000 into an 8-channel mixer. Due to the 48-bit structure, Matrix88 upgrades 24-bit signals for internal processing to preserve maximum resolution during mixing. You get a 48-bit output limiter that only kicks in where appropriate. Define the limiter threshold as needed, but no matter how you configure it, you can be sure that it limits with extreme transparency. One way to utilize the Matrix88 is to use it as a digital summing mixer. Sample-accurate delay trimming up to 300 ms at any sample rate may be performed, and you can define Send/Return loops to apply to internal or external effects. Matrix88 is bit-pattern transparent and retains absolute bit-transparency across positive and negative gain adjustments. To help keep your audio as unaltered as possible, TC Electronic has incorporated bit-transparency indicators next to the faders. Matrix 88 includes sophisticated fade-in/fade-out functions for perfect live control of on, cut, and channel A/B/C switching.


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