Although we believe that in any audio production,
techniques are far more important than equipment,
to ensure processing quality, Mastering requires special
At Steps Ahead Sound, each piece of our mastering equipment
has been carefully selected to meet this goal, almost every
item widely recognized as "best in class".
|Merging - Pyramix Mastering
The most powerful
digital audio workstation in the world today!
Pyramix is well known as the audio industry's most advanced
digital audio workstations. It offers supreme sonic
quality and versatility, also convenient for Film and
Television Post-production, Multi-channel music record/editing
and CD/SACD Mastering.
Pyramix is the latest and most powerful 'real-time'
processor; its editing model and speed are far more
efficient and reliable than rendered processing technologies.
This is one of many reasons why so many mastering professionals
around the world choose Pyramix: Bob Ludwig at Gateway
Mastering, Darcy Proper at Sony/Galaxy, Ted Jensen et
al at Sterling Sound...
As an example of the immense processing power available
in Pyramix, our Integrated Workstation provides true
record, editing and mixing capability in 32 bit floating
point at 352.8 kHz operation. Is the only system in
the world that can achieve this and still the only system
capable of multi-track DSD/DXD recording, editing, mixing
and mastering for 1 bit 2.8MHz SACD production, both
for stereo and 5.0/5.1 surround programs.
|TC Electronic M6000 Mastering
Ultimate Multi-Channel Processing
With the introduction of System 6000 TC Electronic is
taking a major step towards breaking the two-channel
sound barrier. By combining elements already known from
the M5000, VSS technology and state-of-the-art mastering
technology of stunning new multi-channel processing
platform, System 6000 provides the professional audio
industry with the perfect tool to explore the creative
potential of multi-dimensional sound.
The M6000 features:
- Surround Sound, Stereo and M/S Multi-band Compression
- Surround Sound, Stereo and M/S Equalization
- Exceptional Reverb algorithms
- Unwrap: Taking a Stereo mix and converting it to
- Very High Quality Limiting
- Restoration Processing
- George Massenburg Equalization algorithms
|Weiss EQ1 Mk2 DYN LP Dual
7 band Digital Parametric Equalizer
Dual Mono, M/S Linear Phase, Non-Linear Phase,
and Dynamic Equalizer
Sampling frequencies supported are 44.1, 48,
88.2 and 96kHz.
The EQ1-MK2 is now further extended with a linear phase
response. This means that the delay induced by processing
is now constant across the whole spectrum, unconstrained
by EQ settings - this is not the case with standard
equalizers, where signal delay varies with frequency,
with delay length depending on amplitude response.
The sound, or character, of an equalizer has been said
to be influenced by phase response ( John Watkinson:
"...much of the audible difference between EQs
comes down to the phase response". Studio Sound
9.97). The EQ1-LP is therefore the ideal tool for corrective
amplitude adjustment, without the unwanted phase distortion
added by standard equalizers.
The linear phase feature can be turned off, resulting
in the exact same sound as the EQ1-MK2 one. So for creative
sound designing, there is the benefit of two different
equalizers in one machine.
The EQ1-DYN features four freely adjustable dynamic
bands, and additionally three linear bands per channel.
Setting up the dynamic bands is as easy as setting a
linear band. There is just one additional parameter
to be adjusted by the user, the threshold control. This
makes multi-band dynamic control as easy and as versatile
as adjusting a parametric equalizer.
|Weiss DS1 Mk3 Digital Compressor/Limiter/De-esser
The DS1-MK3 is a compressor / limiter / de-esser, supporting
all the features needed in a DVD or CD mastering environment:
96kHz 40bit processing, simultaneous de-essing and limiting
spiced with a host of signal processing capabilities.
|Waves L2 Ultramaximizer Hardware
We can use L2 to significantly increase the average
signal level of typical audio signals without introducing
audible side effects. It's superb for mastering, mixing,
and recording, but equally capable of extreme limiting,
intentional pumping, and vintage dynamic processing
effects. Take L2 with you to every live sound venue,
recording studio, mastering house and DAW for producing
the hottest audio wherever and whenever you want.
L2's Increased Digital Resolution word length reduction
system features ninth-order noise shaping which can
increase the perceived sound by as much as 18dB. For
example, when you start with original sources of 20
bits or more, 16 and 20 bit masters may have the perceived
sound quality of 19 and 23 bit signals.
|Digital Domain DD-2K Ambience
|The best stereo processor, unsurpassed quality, created
by one of the most acknowledged Mastering Engineer: Bob
The DD-2K helps us get that BIG sound recovering lost
ambience, space, depth, imaging and clarity-subtly and
Provides post-production control of reverb returns, after
the recording has been made and preserves the mix, without
changing center levels, without causing phasiness or comb
Compensates for lost ambience and space when using low-bit-rate
coders or when reducing wordlength from 24 to 16.
Reveals hidden ambient detail in recordings and helps
get that "phat" sound without resorting to compression.
|Crane Song HEDD-192
HEDD, short for harmonically enhanced digital device
is a technological breakthrough in signal processing.
HEDD is engineered to be musically transparent while
providing the capability of generating tube/analog sounds
in the digital domain.
HEDD allows sounding more and more analog and has the
- High Quality 24 Bit A/D and D/A Converters
- 24 Bit Processing
- Adjustable Triode, Pentode and Tape sounds
- Digital I/O, AES and S/PDIF
- External WC Sync Input and Output
HEDD can operate as an effects device or as separate
A/D and D/A converter with the sound enhancement process
applied to either the A/D or D/A converter.
HEDD has transformerless balanced analog inputs and
outputs, transformer isolated digital inputs and outputs,
and uses separate power transformers and supplies for
the analog and digital sections.
|Manley 16x2 Custom Pre and
Our custom Manley 16x2 Preamp and Mixer provides
the warm character of analog processing , adding depth,
punch and air to even the blandest of home recording.
|Manley SLAM! Mastering Limiter
Our Manley SLAM! Mastering Limiter, with an electro-optical
stage (LA-2A) and a second FET stage (1176) - the best
in limiting, provides also the warm character of analog
|Apogee Trak2 AD Converter
World-Class 24b-96kHz AD Converter
Apogee is virtually synonymous with A-D and D-A converters.
In fact the company's pedigree dates right back to the
start of the digital age in the early '80s, with the
manufacture of replacement and OEM anti-alias and reconstruction
Trak 2 is a high-quality converter with onboard digital
signal processing, available in the form of Soft Limit
and Soft Saturate functions. Soft Limit can be used
to protect against transient overloads and thus extend
the effective headroom providing a few decibels of extra
loudness, while Soft Saturate emulates tape-saturation
or valve 'warming', which may be useful during tracking,
The UV22HR bit-reduction algorithm - highly regarded
throughout the mastering industry - allows high-resolution
24-bit recordings to be reformatted for 16-bit media
whilst preserving most of low-level information. It
includes a host of signal processing functions featuring:
- World-class stereo preamp paired with an equally
amazing 24-bit/96kHz ADC.
- Soft Limit™ overload protection
- Soft Saturate™ analog tape compression effect
- Apogee low-jitter master clock, and
- Apogee's industry-standard UV22HR™ bit reduction
for retaining the punch of 24-bit signals when storing
audio at 16 bits.
- Dedicated D-A converter built in for feeding a monitor
headphone socket on the front panel.
The Nerve Center for the Mastering Environment
The Dangerous Monitor provides an integration control
that allows us to use our high-quality outboard equalizers
and compressors in even more flexible and creative ways.
Built by the very same Chris Muth who designed the mastering
equipment for many of New York's top mastering engineers
and studios as Sterling Sound, the Dangerous Monitor
forms the centerpiece of a fantastic analog and digital
mastering system. It ties together our choice equalizers,
compressors and de-essers by providing accurate level
control, easy monitoring facility. The integrated Input
Monitor allows us to focus on the sound of our master
without being fooled by the pre- and post-process level
differences. An elegant integration of distinct functions
specifically designed to give us immediate and intuitive
control, with the accuracy we need:
- Analog and Digital Input Switching
- Onboard D to A Conversion by Custom Designed by
Troisi Designs, Ltd. with Superior Depth, Detail and
- Comprehensive Full console Monitoring Functions:
L&R Phase reverse, L&R Mute, Mono, Dim, Alternate
Speaker and -6 VU Meter Offset
- Analog and digital meter feeds
- Stepped attenuator volume control for precise adjustment