The majority of our mastering work is done in the analog world using class-A tube and solid state gear, an Ampex 1/2" mastering quality tape deck, coupled with some fine outboard digital units.
Why bother to go the analog world for processing? Because our excellent selection of analog outboard gear sounds wonderfully different than our digital gear. And since we own great analog EQs, compressors and a mastering quality tape deck, we wanted to be able to fully capture their class-A sound.
Technically speaking, in order to run a digital mix to our analog gear, one needs a digital to analog converter (DAC) and an analog to digital converter (ADC) to get back into the computer. In the mastering world, this is known as an analog loop.
This is ideally done with the best set of converters one can afford. The DAC that feeds the analog chain is the first critical step before analog processing. And you need a top of the line ADC to get back to digital in order to preserve all that excellent analog work you just did.
Upgrading our converters was the third last stage of our two year commitment to rebuild and upgrade every aspect of our mastering suite (stay tuned for the last two!). After extensive research, we decided to purchase the LavryGold DA924 and the LavryGold AD122-96MKIII, a round trip of LavryGold converters. There were a couple of other worthy contenders but the mastering engineers we consulted who have heard the top rated brands recommended Lavry as the best of the best.
Our mastering clients will be very happy with Silverbirch's new sound of gold.
And of course our recording clients will also be able to take advantage of our improved analog to digital conversion. Imagine the sound of your favourite vocalist singing into a Neumann U-87 microphone to a Manley tube or Millennia solid state pre-amp to a LavryGold analog to digital converter. Perhaps add in a little Manley or Requisite tube compression and you have a recipe for one of the best sounding recording set-ups ever!
The new A/D converter also benefits the mixes that are run analog through the Dangerous 2-bus unit. The old mixes travelled through the ApogeePSX-100 and now they are converted to digital by the LavryGold ADC, a noticible improvement