Overstayer M-A-S Harmonics Processor
The Overstayer M-A-S Harmonics Processor is designed for stereo buss applications. The Switched Edition M-A-S provides accurate matching and recall of both channels, to ensure balance. Now you can get that analog 'more' sound you love, and make sure that it is spread evenly on your stereo buss' - be it drums, total mix, etc.
The Overstayer M-A-S was designed to be an analog 'more' control. More color, more harmonics, more tone. It gives you the harmonic character and peak rounding of classic recording and mixing chains in a simple, highly controllable rack-mount unit.
The limiting nature of the M-A-S stages rounds and bends peaks resulting in increased apparent volume, without the timing artifacts associated with compression. Its integrated pushbutton High and Low EQ presets, High Pass Filter and Emphasis circuits help further shape the harmonic content of source material. Rotary switch controls for Mix and Output make settings easy to recall. Use it on the individual tracks for cumulative (console to tape like) benefits. The M-A-S can add consistency as peaks and harsh transients get smoothed and absorbed into the performance, making balancing tracks in the mix easier, and lessening the need for bus limiting down the line. Used on a full mix, the added harmonic content can energize, and add cohesiveness and detail. The Mix control allows the character to be balanced to taste.
Bring harmonics and tone to your bass, synths, drum machines and samplers with the integrated front panel high impedance input.
Overstayer M-A-S Harmonics Processor Features
- 2 Multi Analog Stage Channels in a single space 19" rack-mount chassis
- Switched Pots for accuracy and easy recall
- Highly controllable, reactive analog chain that bends transient peaks and adds low order harmonics, simply brings analog character and vibe to any source
- Increase apparent loudness without timing artifacts
- Integrated EQ, filter and emphasis curves to shape harmonic content
- Mix control to balance processed to unprocessed signal
- Continuous DRIVE control for resolution with switched MIX and OUTPUT controls for stereo matching and easy recall
- High impedance input to bring the analog goodness and inspired performances to bass, synth, and drum machines
- Power supply included with rugged 5 pin XLR connector and IEC cable
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Another magic machine. It has a way of fattening the bottom and smoothing the top and making a track sound like velvet while slightly raising RMS. It can make a kick go from a just a sound to actually hitting you in the chest. It does it in a way that's different than other saturators it compliments other saturators well, actually.
If a track like strings has a lot of high violins, they can sometimes get brittle or a little harsh. Sending them through the M-A-S instead smooths out the harsh top that the strings might have. Same with guitar - if the guitars are sounding a bit harsh or spitty, this fixes it in an instant. I've also used it on snare with great sounding results. It's amazing on drum bus and master bus and I'm addicted to using it on both. On drum bus it can tame harsh overheads, bring up the low boom of the kick, and even out the RMS and make the drum track sound phenomenal.
On master, I put it last and it just eats the tops of everything slightly and just smoothes out the mix just right. I have it set at Dual in / 2nd out / Emphasis In. It sounds so good with those settings that I haven't even bothered to experiment with other settings - I just adjust the in and out to control how hard I'm hitting the M-A-S.
On masterbus I use it set at 50% and I set it until one light flickers and then I roll it back so the light stops flickering. So I set it just at the point where one light might light but doesn't so it's barely hitting the M-A-S. - for my mixes that's a magic setting - everything just opens up in a wonderful way. At that setting (no lights lit) and at 50% mix I can still hear what the M-A-S is doing when I take it in and out of bypass. When I mix I tend to use Meterplug's Perception plug a ton so my sanity checks are always perfectly matched volume-wise and I can always hear the difference when I bypass the M-A-S, so I know it's not because of a volume jump. Even barely working, it does magic in an audible way.
The switched version, which is the one I have - the output and the mix knobs are switched but the input knob is still variable (versus all three variable on the regular version). Although I'm a fan of everything switched, this doesn't bother me too much because I assume that because it's saturation how hard you hit it makes a big difference so the input knob is variable so you can gain stage it just right. Since the output and mix knobs are switched, all I have to match is the input knob so it's pretty quick to get accurate matching and even recall wise, there are plenty of markings so I'm not feeling like I'm not recalling the one knob accurately.
Technically if that was the end of it, I'd probably give it 4 stars knocking it for not having a stepped input knob but honestly this unit goes above and beyond for functionality so it's hard to deduct a star.
It also features a DI on each channel! So feel free to run synths or a bass through it and track it with the saturation! It's always welcome to have another DI in the studio.
On top of that the M-A-S also features a duplicate set of ins and outs (called the AUX in / out on the back). There's a switch on the front that lets you choose between the main in and out or the aux ones. Why, you ask? Because it makes it perfect to leave it hardwired to your master bus, yet leave it patched in on tracks as well! You can switch between the two ins/outs with a switch and so move this unit from the master bus to a track then back to the master bus without having to re-patch a single thing!
It also adds functionality with some buttons - "Dual" enables a dual stage saturation circuit which works better with more complex sources. So for example it might sound better using a single stage on bass, but dual stage on the master bus or drum bus. There's a "2nd" button which allows it to pump up even more the 2nd harmonics in the saturation. Finally the "Emphasis" button (to my ears) adds a low cut to the unit and focuses more on the mids and highs which is why it's so easy to use this unit on busses with bottom like drum bus and master bus.
The overall character is different than tube distortion and feels more like tape saturation to me. It flattens the tops and smooths everything over and makes it sound like velvet.
What this unit does is fantastic. For the money, it's a no-brainer.