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Sound & Recording Podcast: This belongs in a Top Mastering Control Room


Studio Sofa podcast thumbnail featuring Tilman Brejora 432Studios

Studio Sofa is presented by Music Store in Cologne, where musicians can find everything they need to make their hearts beat faster. In the upcoming 200th episode, the podcast will be raffling off sound equipment, and listeners can enter via voicemail or email. In this episode of the podcast, we discussed mastering setups while sharing our musical journey from rap to electronic music.

 

Key points covered

1. Music store launch and podcast competition

2. Moving to Italy and setting up a music studio

3. Mastering philosophy and studio setup

4. Importance of hardware setup in mastering

5. Discussion of hardware vs. software tools

6. Discussion of tools, plug-ins and hardware in audio production

7. Analogue solutions for music production and audio quality

8. Thoughts on AI-generated music and audio engineering

9. Discussion on sound production and membership fees

10. Overview of new software plug-ins


Moving to Italy and setting up a music studio

The studio transitioned from ghost producing to mixing and mastering for other artists, eventually deciding to move the facility to Italy due to changes in the music industry and personal reasons. Through local networking and collaboration we built up a clientele in both Germany and Italy, noting the differences in music genres, marketing approaches and working culture between the two countries.


Mastering philosophy and studio setup

We shared insights into our mastering philosophy, focusing on maximising the potential of each song across different audio systems. We then discussed our transition from in-the-box mastering to incorporating high-end speakers such as HEDD Audio for better sound quality. We also detailed our studio setup, including a passively cooled AMD CPU, Studio One DAW, SPL analogue chain and Lynx Hilo audio interface. 


The importance of hardware setup in mastering

We discussed the critical components required for mastering, such as a mastering console with multiple outputs and inputs, the importance of high quality AD/DA converters for accurate sound reproduction, the importance of hardware in creating a lossless audio chain, and considerations for building an analogue chain with sufficient headroom for today's loud mixes.


Discussion of hardware vs. software tools

We identified the benefits of using hardware equipment, emphasising the improved control and quality it offers over software tools. We mentioned specific hardware devices such as the SPL IRON Compressor and PassEQ, highlighting the freedom and improved sound quality they provide. We also touched on the importance of maintaining hardware devices, while acknowledging the advances in software solutions and the high quality plug-ins available. 


Discussing tools, plug-ins and hardware in audio production

The overwhelming number of plug-ins available emphasises the importance of having quick access to essential tools such as channel strips and compressors. We discussed specific hardware equipment such as EQs, compressors and studio monitors that contribute to our sound production process. 


Analogue solutions for music production and audio quality

The topic of discussion revolved around the use of analogue solutions in music production, in particular the importance of filter curves in influencing signals over time. It is emphasised that precise and direct audio response can be achieved using these methods. We also discuss high-priced audio equipment that is considered to be sonically superior despite its price, as well as important tips for setting up a mastering control room, including room acoustics, monitoring and converters. 


Thoughts on AI-generated music and audio engineering

We looked at the potential future of AI-generated music, discussing issues such as copyright, content creation and mastering. We also touched on audio engineering tools such as dynamic EQs, and referenced a playlist curation process that spans genres and decades.

 

Discussion of sound production and membership fees

The final discussion revolved around a detailed analysis of the sound production of a specific song from Nuki's '99 album 'Significant Other', focusing on the unique sonic elements, stereo imaging and overall composition.

 

Overview of new software plug-ins

Mark and Klaus then discussed the release of new software plug-ins, including the long-awaited Morph 3 Pro version, which offers advanced morphing algorithms and features. Also mentioned was SSL's X-Dyn EQ, a dynamic equaliser with up to 24 bands, offering standard EQ parameters and side processing. The pricing and features of these plug-ins are highlighted, emphasising their importance in sound design.


If you are interested in the full Studio Sofa episode, check out the Sound & Recording channel on Youtube or Apple Podcasts. Thanks for reading, friends, now let's go and make some music!


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