New NYC mastering facility finds favour with Badu and Bedingfield8 April 2008
US: Dangerous Music’s Master analogue backbone and Monitor switching/conversion/mastering monitoring package are at the heart of a recently opened New York facility, The Mastering Palace. Presided over by renowned mastering engineer David Kutch, the studio has already been used on recordings by artists including Natasha Bedingfield, Erykah Badu, Estelle and The Roots, writes David Davies.
Kutch was keen to incorporate Dangerous Music equipment into his set-up, having become familiar with Dangerous Music designer Chris Muth’s Muth Audio Designs Mastering Console and the Monitor box during his spell at Masterdisk. At The Mastering Palace, the Dangerous Master brings all of Kutch’s analogue processing equipment into one place.
“The stereo signal comes in, gets left and right adjustments if need be, then hits my three inserts,” explained Kutch. “One of the things that most attracted me to the Dangerous Master is that there are only three inserts. More inserts equals more noise. [_] At this stage I can insert any of my analogue equalisers or compressors as needed. I can also insert an EQ or de-esser into the ‘S&M’ or mid-side circuit [of the Master] so I can process the mono and stereo programme material independently, as well as increase or decrease the stereo width without messing with the phase. I’ve tried other devices that claim to do this but they do not even come close.”
Besides the Dangerous Master and Dangerous Monitor, the studio’s equipment list includes a Studer A820 half-inch analogue tape machine, a Digidesign Pro Tools HD system, a Magix Sequoia DAW, Prism Sound stereo converters, Maselec EQ, TC Electronic System 6000 processors, and Focal Solo 6 and Legacy Focus monitors.
“Great sounding records by great artists in a very sexy, elegant and productive environment – that was the goal, and we’re there,” Kutch tells PSN-e. “I’m currently finding the need to expand The Mastering Palace sooner than expected, so plans are underway for a second room. My new goals are to develop a multi-room facility where I can hire and train new engineers, and to hire experienced mastering engineers who are finding themselves without rooms due to the rash of closing studios in the city.”