Jason: wrenches are often necessary, so it can never hurt to know where to find one!
I don't really want my home set up to become more complicated, but if I ever am working somewhere else, it would be good to not be clueless.
Okay, so I guess I'm safe in saying that "Master Bus Chain" is the group of plugins etc. on the bus where my mix comes together. And however it looks in my DAW isn't important.
So, for me, my Mix Bus (where all the pieces meet) has the Master Chain and my Main Out is just the output to my speakers where I have a variety of meters.
Perfectly legit way of working. Helpful to understand how other people get the job done and for interpreting tutorials from a variety of sources.
Now for the next question: "Master Chain" is referring to the plugins you are using to actually make your mix sound "Mastered?" Or, something else?
I'm interested in the philosophy behind what and how much anyone is trying to accomplish with "the chain." I hear a lot of different opinions.
I've tried to keep a light hand on it, but maybe I need to do more.