Archive of the Audio Interfaces (A/D, USB,…) Category

Prism Sound Launches Lyra – A New Audio Interface For The Studio Producer, Musician and DJ Market

Internationally renowned manufacturer Prism Sound is bringing its high performance audio technology to an even wider audience with the launch of Lyra, a brand new family of interfaces aimed at musicians, composers, project studio owners, DJs, re-mixers and other audio content producers such as radio and podcasting. It is also anticipated that high-end home audio enthusiasts will find the USB interface and stereo configuration with digital volume control an attractive package.

Lyra, which will make its debut at the 2012 AES Convention in San Francisco, is based on the award-winning and critically acclaimed Orpheus interface. With Lyra, music recording professionals can access the power and sophistication of the Orpheus audio path and clock circuitry, but in a smaller package and at a much improved price point.

“Lyra connects seamlessly with both Macs and PCs via a simple USB interface,” says Graham Boswell, Sales and Marketing Director for Prism Sound. “For recording professionals who don’t need eight channels of analogue I/O, Lyra is the perfect interface because it allows them to access Prism Sound quality in a convenient package and at an affordable price.”

Prism Sound, which plans to launch a number of different variants of Lyra, has started the ball rolling with Lyra 1 and Lyra 2. Both incorporate new ARM Cortex-based ‘Xcore’ processor design offering class-compliant USB interfacing, plus DSP and a low latency ‘console-quality’ digital mixer for foldback monitoring. Both products also have optical SPDIF capability and Lyra 2 also supports ADAT.

Lyra 1, which retails at £1,349 plus VAT, will be of particular interest to the musician and project studio market. This unit offers two analogue input channels – one for instrument/line and one for mic/line – plus two DA output channels and optical-only digital I/O. With Lyra 1, musicians can connect a guitar and a microphone through the input channels, plug into their software mixer via a simple USB connection and start laying down basic tracks in a matter of minutes.

Lyra 2, which retails at £1,849 plus VAT, takes the concept a little further by offering two AD input channels with switchable microphone, instrument or line input modes and four DA output channels. Both optical-only digital I/O and copper S/PDIF are available on this version of Lyra, which also offers wordclock In/Out enabling synchronization with other digital devices.

Both products are ergonomically designed to look as good as they sound. The front panel has a master volume control assignable to selected output channels, while the unit’s small size – just 11 inches wide – makes it very easy to transport for musicians, producers and DJs on the road. For studio use, Prism Sound can supply dedicated rack mounts as an extra.

“We know there is a market for Lyra because our customers have been demanding this product ever since we launched Orpheus,” Graham Boswell adds. “However, we are very protective of our reputation for delivering the highest possible audio quality so we were not going to bring any product to market until we were 100% convinced that it could live up to our exacting specifications. Lyra does just that, and we are very proud to introduce it.”

Lyra will start shipping in November 2012 and will be fully supported by Prism Sound’s acclaimed technical and after-sales service staff.

-ends-

About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The company’s product range includes the Prism ADA-8XR precision 8-channel converter unit, which is regularly used for music and film soundtrack projects by clients such as EMI Abbey Road, BBC, Sony, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney. Prism Sound also manufactures a range of audio test and measurement products, including the de facto standard DSA-1 handheld digital audio generator/analyser and the dScope Series III audio analyser system.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

RTW RELOCATES COLOGNE HEADQUARTERS

Move Supports the Company’s Continued Growth and Streamlines Operations

COLOGNE, SEPTEMBER 19, 2012 – RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters for professional broadcast, production, post production and quality control, is pleased to announce that it will be settled into its new office on September 25. The new company headquarters, still located in Cologne, will now occupy two floors of a building that was once home to the German staff of Sony Corporation. While the company’s phone numbers and email addresses will not change, its new mailing address will be:

RTW GmbH & CO. KG
Am Wassermann 25
50829 Köln – (Cologne)
Germany

“We are very happy to move into a new space that is more modern and will help us to better streamline our operations,” says Andreas Tweitmann, CEO, RTW. “This new building will offer us new amenities that will help us to further focus on developing and manufacturing innovative solutions for the broadcast market.”

RTW has recently experienced much success with it TouchMonitor line of audio meters. The TM3, an affordable, compact version of the original TM7 and TM9, is quickly becoming an industry standard. The recently announced TM3-3G is sure to follow in its successful footsteps. The latest addition to the TouchMonitor line seamlessly allows the TM3′s current hardware and software design to visualize, convert and replay 3G SDI signals in TV and video production and post-production applications, offering a feature set unrivalled in its class.

Harris Demonstrates New PR&E Studio Enhancements for Networked Audio Environments at The Radio Show

DALLAS, September 19, 2012 (The Radio Show, Hilton Anatole, Booth 604)Harris Broadcast Communications today introduces a series of user-friendly features for analog and digital studio environments at The Radio Show, giving broadcasters more tools to empower on-air, production and networking capabilities in distributed and consolidated studio architectures.

Harris introduces programmable button panels that enhance routing capabilities and protect signal destinations, as well as standard metering designs across all Harris® PR&E® studio consoles to improve ease of use. New quad-meter enhancements for its largest console line also increase confidence metering for operators monitoring several on- and off-air sources at once.

Programmable Button Panels
The new “smart,” dynamic LCD button panels give operators and producers five programmable buttons to initiate audio routes or commands to and from any location. Foremost, the panels shield the air chain and other destinations from accepting undesired audio, maximizing protection in networked studio environments. This means that an on-air operator would need to approve a “request” from another studio to introduce that audio to the program. The buttons similarly protect for remote signal contributions, allowing operators to cleanly initiate mix-minus feeds on-air.

Operators benefit further from clarity on the actual “owner” of the audio source, with rich text and unique color screens offering clear visual information about where each signal originates. This is a key differentiator from competing systems that don’t identify the origination point.

Harris now offers its new programmable button panels on PR&E® RMXdigital® consoles, the VMReact™ logic processing engine and other PR&E® VistaMax™ audio networking systems. VMReact, introduced last year at The Radio Show, is a virtual toolbox that allows studio operators and engineers to customize and automate multiple processes in networked studio environments. This includes everything from switching audio routes to creating contact closures for various events.

Uniformity and Ease of Use
Harris enhances the look and feel of its metering applications at The Radio Show, introducing a standard design for meters, clocks and timers across its RMXdigital, NetWave® and Oasis™ on-air/production consoles. Harris also introduces quad-meters for most RMXdigital consoles, allowing operators to monitor additional sources. This improves metering confidence by ensuring signal integrity for program and off-air sources, such as web streaming and network routing.

Harris is also demonstrating its recently-introduced RMXengine™, offering an on-demand mix-minus and IFB for every RMXdigital fader. The auxiliary device also enables advanced dual-console operation for sophisticated dual-anchor studio operations — bridging two consoles together in a single studio. The aforementioned new programmable button panels also bring benefits to these applications, allowing for negotiated and protected air chain control between two consoles.

About Harris Broadcast Communications
Harris Broadcast Communications offers products, systems and services that provide interoperable workflow solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite and out-of-home networks. The Harris ONE™ solution brings together highly integrated and cost-effective products that enable advanced media workflows for emerging content delivery business models. Additional information about Harris Broadcast Communications is available at www.broadcast.harris.com.

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Antelope Audio Eclipse 384 AD/DA Converter Brings Master-Quality Audio to Korn Frontman Jonathan Davis’ Road Rig

Korn shook up the rock world at the end of 2011 when the L.A.-based band released its tenth studio album, “Path of Totality,” featuring collaborations with a host of dubstep producers including multiple Grammy Award-winner Skrillex. Now, Korn frontman Jonathan Davis is doubling down on his recent statement that “North American dubstep is the new electronic heavy metal” through a side project, Killbot, and a solo project under his DJ name, J Devil, recording into a laptop on the road and in the studio, using Antelope Audio’s new Eclipse 384 converter, master clock and monitor controller.

Davis recently added the Eclipse 384 AD/DA converter in order to streamline his mobile production rig after spotting it on the Antelope Audio web site. The 384 kHz A-to-D/D-to-A converter is clocked using the same Oven Controlled Clock and 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking technology that is implemented in Antelope Audio’s renowned Trinity Master Clock. The Eclipse 384 offers additional features conducive to mobile production applications, including two dedicated headphone amplifiers and a custom USB interface, as well as two large peak meters on the front panel. In order to simplify operation, users can create up to five custom presets of favorite setups via the system’s OS X- and Windows-compatible software control panel that may then be recalled from the Eclipse 384’s front panel.

“This is all I’ve got now; I used to have racks of stuff,” says Davis, who records vocals, guitar and bass into an Apple MacBook Pro through a signal chain comprising little more than the Antelope Eclipse 384, an API Channel Strip and a Shure microphone. “It’s basically my studio all in one box. It’s the best interface I’ve used. I love that everything is right there,” he says of the Eclipse.

Davis, who has been performing DJ sets using the moniker J Devil, is a longtime aficionado of electronic dance music (EDM), and has been producing dubstep-influenced remixes for rock and electronic artists for several years. Having started creating EDM on his laptop “for fun,” Davis has now teamed up with dubstep producers and fellow metal-heads Sluggo and Tyler Blue to form Killbot, a “metalstep” collaboration that has signed to Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak dance record label and has announced plans to release a four-track EP. There is also a J Devil solo EP in the works.

Davis has jumped into EDM production with both feet, making use of every waking minute to create new music for all of his projects. “Making electronic music and learning to produce and learning my new instrument—laptop, I call it—has been an amazing thing,” he told Billboard.com recently. “After every Korn show I come offstage, take a shower and I start writing.”

By utilizing high-grade audio production equipment such as the Antelope Eclipse 384, Davis is able to produce release-ready masters right there on the tour bus or the hotel room. “The Eclipse is essential, because it gives me everything I need to work on the road and not just make a demo. The stuff I actually do on the road I keep and it sounds great—it’s not just a demo that I have to rework or re-record later,” he says.

Antelope Audio to Unveil Rubicon – World’s First Atomic AD-DA Preamp

Santa Monica, CA, April 19, 2012– Antelope Audio will introduce Rubicon, a groundbreaking 384 kHz digital audio preamplifier which integrates the world renowned 10M Rubidium atomic clock. Rubicon caters to the ever-increasing interest in high-resolution audio, addressing the specific needs of high-end consumer electronics enthusiasts for accurate audio representation and detailed soundstage of both analog and digital recordings. The new device will be presented to the public during the Munich High End Show, May 3rd – 6th.

Rubicon is the first DAC to integrate a Rubidium atomic clock, which is 100,000 times more stable than a traditional crystal oscillator. Coupled with Antelope’s 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking technology, the Rubidium achieves a breakthrough in jitter management, improving the sound quality in an unprecedented way. The same technology is implemented in the company’s flagship master clocks used for scoring blockbusters such as Avatar and available at the best recording and mastering studios around the Globe.

“I find the idea of an audio enthusiast being able to hear his/her favorite recordings clocked by the world’s most stable clock very exciting. I believe this will bring the music appreciation in the home environment to a completely new level compared only to the precision and sonic detail representation available at the finest professional listening rooms,” shared Igor Levin, CEO and founder of Antelope Audio.

Housed in a sturdy, machined-aluminum enclosure with a vintage Art Deco design, Rubicon incorporates a discrete phono preamp, ultra linear, dual stage headphone drivers and Antelope’s renowned gold-plated relay volume control.

The transformer-based, ultra-low noise, discrete JFET phono preamp is a complement that will be highly appreciated by many vinyl lovers. In addition to the 384 kHz DAC, Rubicon also includes ultra-high sample rate A/D conversion. These functionalities together with the high resolution USB recording capability provide the users with the sublime experience of digitizing their favorite tracks, still keeping the depth and the warmth of the original analog recordings.

In addition to the 384 kHz USB streaming, Rubicon offers extended flexibility and smooth user experience provided by the implemented DLNA capability. The DLNA streaming gives users the opportunity to wirelessly push audio files from their smart phone, PC or NAS (Network-attached storage) server and play the content through the high-sample rate DAC.

Rubicon inherits the D/A conversion technology from 384 kHz Zodiac Gold DAC – the 2012 winner of the Audio Excellence Award in Japan and often described by reviewers and prominent sound engineers as “future-proofed”, “clean”, “neutral” and “accurate”. The A/D circuit comes from the 2011 winner of the Audio Media Gear of the Year award, high-end professional mastering converter Eclipse 384.

Antelope Audio plans to present the Rubicon for the first time to the public and the media during the Munich High End Show, in hall 3, booth A 04, at 2 pm, on May 3rd.

Rubicon features

– 10M Rubidium Atomic Clock, providing 100,000 times more accurate reference;
– 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking jitter management technology;
– Ultra low noise phono inputs with custom audio transformers, discrete JFET preamp design;
– 384kHz A/D & D/A converters;
– Gold-plated stepped relay volume attenuator matched to 0.05dB for all volume levels;
– Ultra-linear, dual stage headphone amps;
– De-jittered audio S/PDIF output;
– Custom USB 2.0 chip streaming up to 480 Mbits/384kHz with recording option;
– DLNA streaming capabilities through an Ethernet interface

Specifiations:
Analog Inputs
1x PHONO Input on RCA
3x Inputs on RCA
1x HiZ Input on RCA
1x Combo Balanced Input on XLR/¼ TRS

Analog Outputs
1x Balanced Output on XLR
1x Unbalanced Output on RCA

Digital Inputs
2x S/PDIF
2x TOSLINK
1x AES/EBU
Word Clock Input
Ethernet port

Digital Outputs
2x S/PDIF De-jittered outputs

Antelope Audio Isochrone OCX Master Clock Helps Ensure System Clarity During Austin Music Festival

Austin, TX, March 27, 2012– Every spring, thousands of artists and tens of thousands of record industry professionals flock to Austin, TX for a jam-packed schedule of live music showcases featuring everyone from young, up-and-coming bands to seasoned veteran performers. For six days, live music can be heard at almost any time of day emerging from every conceivable venue in downtown Austin, from the city’s bars, clubs and concert halls to churches, parks and empty lots.

One such makeshift venue – an auto repair shop – this year served as the main stage at the BandPage HQ, where FOH engineer/system tech and production manager Patrick Mundy used an Antelope Audio Isochrone OCX master clock to ensure PA system clarity in the acoustically unfriendly environment. “This was my second year of working showcases at the festival and my second year bringing my Antelope clock,” says Mundy.

BandPage is a popular application developed by RootMusic of San Francisco that launched in 2010. It runs in Facebook and allows artists to create customized fan pages.

The OCX does a fantastic job of stabilizing a digital mixing console when running high channel counts, he continues. “When you build up that much information on a digital desk without having the stabilization of the clocking you can get unfavorable results. Clocking your digital console with an Antelope clock is like turbocharging your desk. The difference between clocked and non-clocked audio is extremely noticeable. I don’t like to work without it.”

Mundy was part of the crew from DBS Sound in Los Angeles who teamed up with Austin’s Miller Pro Audio to handle audio at the BandCamp HQ’s three venues, comprising Empire Automotive, Club 606 and an adjoining outdoor patio. “I mixed FOH for such artists as Porter Robinson, Thomas Wynn and the Believers, Daedelus, TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke & Lunice), Das Racist, Nico Vega, Imagine Dragons, Robert DeLong, Saint Motel, Toy, Escort, Henry Clay People and many more,” he reports. “We also had appearances from such artists as J. Cole and Chairlift, who carried their own FOH engineers.”

Jeffrey Ehrenberg at Vintage King Audio initially introduced Mundy to Antelope Audio’s master clocks in 2008. Mundy purchased an Isochrone 10M Rubidium atomic master clock and an OCX for his Pro Tools|HD3 recording rig, and in 2009 permanently racked the OCX into a two-space unit and began to use it on all of his live shows.

“The OCX is a staple on my gigs from small corporate events to large arena festivals and everything in between,” says Mundy. “I find the clock and its jitter reduction allows me to get to the core of the sound and bring a better mix to listeners. It makes my life easier and I’m able to have more fun just being a front of house engineer and bringing out the natural qualities of the music versus trying to fix artifacts.”

Antelope Audio Zodiac D-to-A converters also made an appearance in Austin this year in the 45-foot UniqueSquared Mobile Studio bus. The mobile recording studio, outfitted with Sennheiser products, featured a number of listening stations where Zodiac DACs were paired with Sennheiser’s flagship HD 800 plus HD 700 headphones.

Uncompromising Classical Audiophile Label 2L Relies on Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC to “Proof Listen” its High Resolution Masters

Oslo, Norway, February 28, 2012 — Morten Lindberg is well-known in the audiophile community as head of 2L (Lindberg Lyd), a recording label based in Oslo, Norway that has been exporting its premium classical and folk recordings from Scandinavia for over a decade. Lindberg, who insists on extremely high quality production values throughout the entire recording, manufacturing and packaging processes, uses the Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold to ‘proof’ the carefully recorded 352.8 kHz/24-bit stereo master files before they are ever duplicated or distributed to the company’s discriminating international customers.

2L has garnered no less than 12 GRAMMY Award nominations over the last six years — seven of them in categories including “Best Engineered Album” and “Best Surround Sound Album.” These releases, which feature Norwegian composers and musicians, are recorded in spacious concert halls, cathedrals and churches throughout Scandinavia. One of the greatest challenges is to ensure that performances are reproduced in the living room of the listener as accurately as possible, therefore, 2L is always exploring the best mediums, file formats and technologies available: including Antelope Audio’s Zodiac Gold DAC.

The Zodiac Gold is a D/A converter, pre-amp and headphone amp engineered to deliver pristine audio with keenly articulated pitch and a spectacular soundstage. The unique sound of Zodiac DACs is based on Antelope’s Oven Controlled Oscillator and 64-bit clocking technology used by the world’s top audio engineers.

“Working daily with the finest European AD and DA converters on venue recording, our standard is set to the extreme,” says Lindberg. “I was hardly prepared for the overwhelming moment when I found that the sonic qualities of the Zodiac Gold immediately recalled my memory of the recording sessions.” The Zodiac Gold, which is now a key component in Lindberg’s monitoring chain, is also convenient to use on-location. “With the USB, I am able to use the Zodiac Gold in true plug-and-play fashion with my MacBook Pro. This makes it perfectly suited for portable playback in workshop environments.”

“More than 50% of our total revenue as a label now comes out of Hi-Res FLAC file distribution, with international partners like Hdtracks.com, Highresaudio.com and e-ONKYO,” Lindberg continues. “The Zodiac Gold is a perfect match for domestic customers searching for the best sonic values in computer playback of these super-high resolutions.”

While still a relatively young recording label from a classical music perspective, 2L’s accomplishments are very impressive nonetheless. When 2L began its own studio operations 15 years ago, its core business was contracting recordings out to other labels such as EMI/Virgin, Naxos, Linn and Philips and others. Since 2001, there have been well over 50 recordings issued by 2L and among the highlights for 2012 will be a landmark release of TrondheimSolistene – SOUVENIR, which is being released in two parts and will appear on both vinyl and Pure Audio Blu-ray.

While nothing can replicate the exact sensory experience of listening to a recording session in-person, the Zodiac Gold DAC can help listeners come just a little bit closer: “There is no method available today to reproduce the exact perception of attending a live performance,” concludes Lindberg. “As recording engineers and producers we need to do exactly the same as any good musician; interpret the music and the composer’s intentions and adapt to the media where we perform.” For 2L, the Zodiac Gold continues to perform.

Antelope Audio’s Zodiac DACs with iPad Control Bring Extra Level of Convenience and Performance to Audiophiles and Music Lovers

Santa Monica, February 15, 2012 — Antelope Audio’s Zodiac D/A converters are now compatible with iPad, allowing music lovers to enjoy pristine audio of up to 384 kHz, played and controlled from their iPad through the Zodiac DAC.

It is easy to connect and operate. Simply plug an Apple(R) Camera Connection Kit jack into the iPad and then plug in a USB cable to the Zodiac DAC – that’s it. The devices are connected. Then swiftly tap the Music App on the iPad and play the track.

“The compatibility between Zodiac DACs and iPad makes it easier than ever to enjoy high-resolution music from just about any location,” commented Marcel James, Director of Sales and Marketing, Antelope Audio, USA. “As the market evolves and adapts to smaller multifunctional devices — such as the iPad — we want to ensure that we are able to help deliver the highest possible audio quality to all music lovers. We are proud we are giving the people the opportunity to experience the pleasure of pristine audio with just a simple set up of a PC, MAC and now even iPad.”

The Zodiac DACs are compatible with iPads running the latest operating system (e.g. 5.0.1 or later). The DACs support files up to 384 kHz and FLAC files through FLAC player up to 192 kHz.

Short video demonstrating the plug & play functionality of iPad and Zodiac DACs is available here or paste http://bit.ly/zYbAl0 into your browser.

About Zodiac Gold 384 kHz D/A Converter
The Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold is a sophisticated and powerful DAC, Pre-Amp and Headphone Amp engineered to deliver pristine audio with keenly articulated pitch and a spectacular soundstage. The DAC received the prestigious Audio Excellence Award 2012, Tokyo, Japan. The unique sound of Zodiac D/A converters is based on Antelope’s Oven Controlled Oscillator and 64-bit clocking technology used by the world’s top audio engineers. Zodiac Gold DAC is among the very few on the market with 384 kHz audio streaming capability thanks to the custom designed USB controller chip that streams digital audio up to 480 Mbits. A dual-stage headphone driver architecture unveils every sonic detail, while the relay based volume control assures superb stereo imaging at any listening level.

Middle Atlantic and Extron Electronics Initiate New Half Rack Standard for AV Integration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2012––Middle Atlantic Products, in conjunction with Extron Electronics, is initiating and supporting the establishment of a new standard for half-width rack systems for AV integration.

Working in cooperation with the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA), Extron and Middle Atlantic are seeking to establish and maintain a specific ECIA standard for what has typically been offered as a custom rack offering until now. To further strengthen the quality and application of the standard, the two companies are inviting manufacturers of compact-format devices to join a communication and working group for this effort.

Both manufacturers have recently developed product families – the Extron Half Rack Shelf System and Middle Atlantic’s new HR Series Half Racks – which, respectively, fit within and incorporate the proposed 10 5/8” overall width defined in the proposed new standard.

Commenting on the introduction and standard effort, Middle Atlantic Director of Marketing Kevin Handerson stated, “We are pleased to be working with device manufacturing partners to seize the initiative for establishing an ECIA standard for AV half rack systems. Having a workable, clear standard will greatly facilitate the installation of half rack products in useful applications.”

Dave Pincek, Vice President of Product Development for Extron Electronics, stated “Extron has long advocated the use of standard, rack-mount enclosure dimensions as a means of improving AV system designs and integration. With this proposed new standard for a compact mounting system, key AV equipment can now be more easily integrated into lecterns, columns, table legs, and similar spaces without sacrificing system functionality, thermal management, or room aesthetics.”

Device manufacturers that would like to participate in the working group should contact Mark Tracy, Director of Product and Business Development at Middle Atlantic Products, using the email address Standards@MiddleAtlantic.com.

For more information on the Extron Half Rack Shelf System, please visit: www.extron.com/halfracksystem. For more information on the Middle Atlantic HR Series Half Rack click to www.MiddleAtlantic.com.

Middle Atlantic Products manufactures exceptional support and protection products to mount Commercial and Professional AV and other electronics systems including racks, AV furniture, thermal and cable management and power distribution & protection. All products are designed from the installer’s point of view to save time and simplify the job.

Extron Electronics is a leading manufacturer of professional AV system integration products including AV control systems, computer-video interfaces, switchers, matrix switchers, distribution amplifiers, audio amplifiers, speakers, twisted pair and fiber optic equipment, video scalers, AV signal processors, AV streaming products, classroom sound field systems, and high resolution cable.

New York City’s Masterdisk Counts on Antelope Audio Trinity/10M Combination for its Image Stability and Sonic Integrity

New York, January 30, 2012 — Masterdisk, one of New York City’s foremost mastering facilities, has installed several of Antelope Audio’s Isochrone Trinity Master Clock and 10M Rubidium Atomic Clock units in its mastering suites, to maintain stereo imaging and the overall sonic integrity of projects passing through its studios. Masterdisk is installing multiple Antelope Audio Zodiac D/A converters at listening stations throughout the facility for quality control purposes.

According to owner Scott Hull, Masterdisk’s mastering suites were constructed with very high quality acoustics and solid grounding, and were already well clocked —therefore they did not appear to be candidates for improvement. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” he says. Yet, the Antelope 10M — which incorporates a reference generator that is 100,000 times more accurate than the quartz oscillators in most equipment — and the Trinity, which offers 64-bit DSP and up to 384 kHz audio streaming, have had a noticeable impact on performance clocking the digital audio converters in the rooms.

“Image stability can’t be generated, and it has to be maintained through the process,” explains Hull. “You can undo certain effects or jitter but you can’t ‘reimage’ something; you can’t get that image back once you lose it.”

As he further elaborates, any component within the signal chain has the potential to degrade the accuracy of the soundstage. “A lot of processors and many, if not all, workstations give you something back that isn’t quite as stable, as rock-solid, as what you put in,” says Hull. However, driving every component in the system from a high quality master clock can reduce the likelihood of any degradation. “Workstations simply work better by being clocked with a more stable clock. Every step along the way where you can give yourself a tenth of a percent, it adds up to something pretty noticeable at the end. And there’s a marked and audible improvement in the final product when everything is Antelope powered,” he states.

Keeping True Quality Control at the Helm
Hull believes that true quality control at the mastering stage has become increasingly overlooked as budgets have become tighter and clients’ time and involvement have decreased. “We really have to know exactly what we’re sending out the door. We have to have at least two sets of ears on every product that we send out. So we’re putting Antelope Zodiac DACs into several listening stations in our facility just to facilitate quality control passes. Suffice it to say we consider that to be one of the best and most open and accurate DACs we can get. Coupled with the headphone amp, this gives us really good functionality for hearing exactly what’s going out the door at 192 kHz or 96k or 44.1.”

As Hull recalls, one of his mastering engineers initially heard about Antelope Audio’s clocks from his clients, and had a unit brought in to evaluate. He also notes that veteran mastering engineer Vlado Meller, who joined Masterdisk when Universal Mastering Studios closed in mid-2011, was a longtime Antelope Audio user. “Once we’d worked with it and got more of the boxes in more of the rooms we came to like what it did,” Hull reports. “The integrity and sonic experience was better overall, and everyone was happy.”

What matters, he continues, is the integrity of the system from beginning to end, and utilizing a high definition master clock can make a difference to the end result. “Sometimes it’s analog, sometimes it’s digital, sometimes it’s digital and analog. But they do like to play together better when they’re locked to a common master reference. When you’re working from a 96k file or a digital device at 96k, through an analog console and back out to a CD master at 44.1, the fact that everything is resolved to a common reference seems to work.” He comments, “I’m just trying to get to an end result that makes the client nod their head.”

“Mastering Your Favorite Records Since 1973”
Established in 1973, Masterdisk has handled projects by a who’s who of the music business over the years, including – to name just a few mastered by Hull – Bob Dylan, Sting, Lou Reed, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Panic at the Disco, plus many, many others. Hull recently mastered “25 Years”, a retrospective 4-disc box set from Sting, and Vlado Meller recently mastered new albums for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction — including iTunes-optimized masters to go along with the vinyl and CD.

About

The Radio magazine The Wire provides information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements. The information shown here is posted by companies and their representatives and are not edited or previewed by the Radio magazine staff. The content providers are solely responsible for the content of their posts. If you would like your company's news and information to appear here, contact us.

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