Although we believe that in any audio production, technique is far more important than equipment, Mastering requires special equipment to ensure quality.
At Steps Ahead Sound, each piece of our dedicated mastering equipment was selected specifically to meet this goal: almost every item widely recognized as “best in class”.
Processing begins with Apogee DA, and Mytek AD, conversion into 24 bit/192kHz resolution, wich results in extremely low jitter and a terrific bass sound.
We achieve the warm character of analog processing with custom Manley 16×2 Mixer and Mastering SLAM!, witch adds depth, punch and air to the dullest of home recording.
Next comes digital equalizing and dynamics, with the high resolution 40 bit floating point Weiss enineered linear phase EQ and Dynamics, from Switzerland, which offers astonishing precision and sonic accuracy when sculpting any given source.
Through the DD-2K Ambience Recovery Processor, by Bob Katz’s Digital Domain, we can enhance the depth and dimension of stereo mixes, making them sound clearer or bigger, adjusting the front-to-depth ratio of a recording and Mid/Side rebalancing.
Equally impressive, yet different, is the Crane Song HEDD 192 wich can generate tube/analog sounds in a digital domain.
Quantization and noise shaping at 16 bit/44.1kHz is achieved via Waves L2 Ultramaximizer, the double precision 48bit Dithering processor and Limiter.
We perform any task with top quality and definition in the digital domain, routing through the Z-Sys Detangler.
We know cabling also has a decisive impact on sound quality. We use the best of cables for analog and digital signals, such Mogami, Monster Cable and also Canare.
Lipinski L-707 Speakers, Bryston 9B SST Amplifiers, Dangerous Music Monitor
Genelec 7070A Subwoofer, SPL 2380 Surround Controller
Analog Signal Chain:
Manley 16×2 Custom Pre and Mixer
Manley SLAM! Mastering Limiter
Digital Signal Chain:
TC Electronic M6000 5.1 Mastering System
Eventide H9000 Effects Platform
Weiss EQ1 Mk2 Dyn-LP Digital Equalizer
Weiss DS1 Mk3 Digital Compressor/Limiter/Deesser
Waves L2 Ultramaximizer Digital Limiter
Digital Domain DD-2K Ambience Processor
Crane Song HEDD192 Harmonically Enhanced Digital Processor
Z-Sys 32-32r Digital Detangler
TC Electronic ADA 24/96 Surround Converter
Mytek Stereo 192 ADConverter
Mytek Stereo 192 SRConverter
Apogee DA16X 16-ch D/A 24/192 Reference Converter
MOTU UltraLite mk4
RME Audio ADI-4 DD
Merging Technologies IWS with Mykerinos X-50 and Pyramix DAW Mastering Suite
Apple Mac Studio M2 Max with Studio Display 27″ 5K
Apple iMac Retina 27″ 5K
Carillon Audio Sys AC-1 with RME AES-32
Universal Audio UAD-1: 1176LN, LA-2A, Pultec EQP-1A, Fairchild 670, Cambridge EQ
42 TB NAS File Server
50″ Noblex LCD Monitor
Tascam CC-222 CD Recorder
Oppo BDP-1050 BluRay Player
Dorrough Custom Loudness Monitor w/40-A2 & 240-A
RME DIGIcheck Level Meter with K-System