(London, United Kingdom--October 1, 2013) London-based Alchemy Mastering, a leading specialist in audio mastering, e-mastering and duplication, has chosen four NTP Technology DAD AX24 ultra-high-quality analogue-to-digital and digital-to-analogue audio converters. These have been installed as part of a major upgrade to the facilities at its headquarters at Shepherd's Bush.
Matt Colton of Alchemy Mastering in Studio One with three of the company's new DAD AX24 digital/analog/digital audio signal converters.
"We have tested pretty much everything in terms of mastering grade digital/analog/digital converters over the past five years," comments Alchemy Mastering Engineer Matt Colton (MPG Awards Mastering Engineer of the year 2013). "The quality of the AX24 is stunning. As soon as I heard them, I ordered four. They are hugely enjoyable to listen to and not overly flattering. They sound sweet and musical but I know that what I am hearing isn’t hyped; I am just getting exactly what is on the tape. This means that I can trust the mastering and postproduction decisions I am making are as informed as possible. It’s my favourite D/A I have heard to date.
"They are being used primarily to perform digital to analog conversion from our various workstations. Two are used for monitoring. Another in the signal path. Most of my source material is digital but I frequently like to bring it into the analog domain so that I can use analog equalisation and compression, and then recapture back into digits and monitor the result. The DAD AX24 converters are doing all of that."
"44.1 kilohertz is still the standard for delivering digital content so I do a lot of work at that sampling rate as I am not a massive fan of sample rate converting. Sometimes we are asked to deliver high resolution digital and then our clients tell us what sampling rate they prefer us to work at."
"Listening via headphones and docking stations is currently very popular but many people also like to buy 7 inch vinyl as playing these can be more enjoyable, certainly more tactile, than listening to music at home straight off a computer."
"Vinyl, when done properly, in my opinion has the potential to outperform CD in a lot of aspects if the source has been created at higher than 44.1 kilohertz sampling rate, such as 96 kilohertz. Most of the content we produce these days is singles which end up being distributed to customers as digital downloads over the internet. If I am doing vinyl, I tend to use 88.2 or 176.4 kilohertz sampling rates which the AX24 also handles very transparently."
The AX24 digital audio converters were supplied by NTP Technology's UK distributor, eMerging.
Designed for high quality music recording as well as mastering and monitoring in Digital eXtreme Definition (DXD) and Direct Stream Digital (DSD), the DAD AX24 offers A/D and D/A conversion in PCM at up to 384 kHz sampling rate, and DSD at 64 frame/s or 128 frame/s. An optional microphone preamplifier incorporates analogue gain control in 3 dB steps as well as digital gain control with 0.25 dB precision. Dynamic range is between 118 and 121 dB. The preamplifier's equivalent noise floor is -130 dB.
Existing users of DAD audio converters include Abbey Road Studios, Bauer Studios, Benny Andersson's RMV Studio, Classic Sound, CMC Studios, Collegium Records, Danish Radio, DEX Mastering, DPA Microphones, Echopark Studios, Galaxy Studios, Hana Music Montreux, Helsinki Music Centre, Lindberg lyd, Magne Furuholmen, Master Touch, McGill University, Moscow Music Conservatory, NDR Hamburg, NHK, NRK, QVC shopping channel, Real Sound, Royal Danish Opera House, Royal Opera House London, Sidney Opera House, SK Works, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, SoundWorks/Jeff Sheridan, Spanish Radio, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Stock Fish Records, Swedish Radio, Telarc International, Timbre Music, Ultimo Productions and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra.
) is one of the UK’s foremost mastering facilities and has provided mastering since it was formed in 2000 by Barry Grint. Alchemy and the mastering team have a wealth of expertise, and have enjoyed a great deal of success in that time across all genres; from mulit million selling albums to underground techno classics. Recent clients include Coldplay, New Order, James Blake and Gary Numan. Alchemy's duplication department delivers all of the support services required by the company's clients and provides pre-mastering for compilation albums, digital editing, the creation of production parts, CD and DVD duplication and digital watermarking.
) produces high-reliability audio routing and signal processing systems for major international broadcasters, audio mastering and editing studios. NTP products are integrated into television and radio stations as well as production centres, post-production facilities and outside broadcast vehicles. Based in Copenhagen, NTP is part of Dan Technologies Group, one of Europe's leading suppliers of audio, video, transmission products and digital media solutions.