The Finalizer Plus/96K is a multi-band mastering device. It optimizes the level and punch of program material by increasing the average perceived level. Inserted between the stereo output of a mixer or workstation and the master recording media, the Finalizer 96K dramatically rounds the program material, creating a "radio ready" sound - previously unattainable outside a professional mastering house.
The signal coming into the Finalizer Plus/96K is split into three frequency bands, using three stereo-linked crossover bands combining linear phase digital filters. Once the original signal is separated into its separate components, each band can be processed independently. In this case three stereo compressors and three stereo limiters are used, one for each band. After the dynamics processing, the three bands are joined again. All this is done digitally with no loss in sound quality or resolution. Multi-band compression avoids the major drawback of broadband compression, where certain frequencies, notably the bass, can unnaturally skew the compressor. This can cause problems for the higher frequency material, often producing pumping effects, or the "sucking in" of vocals.
However, the unit is capable of far more than multi-band processing. It can function as a sample rate converter, provide asynchronous conversion and format conversion between AES/EBU, S/PDIF and Toslink. The "Wizard" function will automatically set up the Finalizer Plus/96K with optimal settings for a particular style of music. Various tools allow the user to check the integrity of their audio stereo image, enhance the stereo image in a specific frequency range, or monitor headroom throughout the entire signal path. A 5-band stereo digital equalizer can help to adjust the spectral content and simultaneously preserve or enhance the transparency and energy of a mix. An Insert block gives the user the ability to insert external devices, using either the analog inputs, or digitally via AES/EBU, S/PDIF or Toslink.