Dallas, TX (June 2, 2005)–Northern Texas recording studio Crystal Clear Sound recently upgraded its Studio B Mastering Suite with the addition of a Digidesign Pro Tools|HD system, B&W 805S monitors and the new Masterpiece from Legendary Audio.
Keith Rust (standing) and Nolan Brett (seated) at the Masterpiece in Crystal Clear’s Studio B
The Masterpiece, conceived by veteran mastering engineer Billy Stull with all circuitry designed by audio legend Rupert Neve, is a two-channel analog mixing/mastering system equipped with four pairs of vertically-oriented filter modules aesthetically reminiscent of vintage Neve designs. These modules collectively offer a wide palette of sonic amenities, including precision peak and shelving equalizers, a full-featured dynamics section, highly authentic tape texture (thanks to a real tape drive circuit), incremental phase rotation, various classic audio functions and more.
“The Masterpiece is, in many respects, a magic box,” said Crystal Clear Sound studio manager and senior engineer Keith Rust. “The classic circuitry and tape texture sections are amazing additions to any project, but features like image control, which lets you alter the ambience in a recording, are absolutely mind-boggling. I don’t have a clue how this product can pull that off in the analog domain.”
Aside from being able to enhance or reduce the level of natural ambience inherent in a recording, the Masterpiece’s image control feature can also be used to increase or decrease the width of the stereo sound image, and even alter the placement of elements on the sound stage–such as dramatically moving instruments from one position in the stereo field to another, or sending vocals forward, backward or completely out of the mix.
According to Rust, Crystal Clear Sound purchased the Legendary Audio unit largely on Rupert Neve’s reputation for excellence. “I never buy things that I haven’t personally played with–with this exception. When I first saw the product on Legendary Audio’s website, I knew it would be fantastic so we sent Nolan Brett, our primary mastering engineer, down to Wimberley to check it out. He came back saying that it was very impressive and that everything that went through the unit sounded more transparent and brighter. Not brighter in the sense that someone has simply turned up the knob at 10k, but, rather, just open. And with a 100k bandwidth, there’s a pretty good chance that that’s possible.
“Plus, being well aware of Rupert’s design aesthetic and what he’s going to insist takes place on the manufacturing end also gave us a great deal of comfort in knowing that we could wisely invest in this product, even though I had not personally seen it. After all, what can you say about the guy? He’s the Picasso of analog circuitry design and this product is his Masterpiece, quite literally.”
Rust largely views the Legendary Audio unit as a tool to help Crystal Clear Sound adjust to accommodate the massive proliferation of home studios. “The evolution of the studio business is pretty bizarre,” he noted. “It seems that everyone and their neighbor and their uncle and their uncle’s neighbor’s dog has a studio in their living room, which has adversely affected the big rooms, including our own Studio A. But now all of these guys who are recording their own projects at home are wanting to end up with a finished product that sounds as good as they can get it. So, by choosing the right gear–namely the Masterpiece–for our mastering facility, we have become a viable solution for those guys, as well as for the people who track and mix in larger Texas studios that would have previously thought they had to go to Nashville, New York or Los Angeles to have their projects properly mastered.”
Aside from its recording and mastering studios, Crystal Clear Sound also provides CD, DVD and cassette duplication, music distribution, band wear and other services. For more information, visit the company online at www.crystalclearsound.com.