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Weiss Gear Keeps In Step With Final Stage MasteringConvenient path for upgrades is a hallmark of Weiss Engineering gear (February 20, 2006)
The philosophy of Final Stage Mastering has always been about staying one step ahead. For chief mastering engineer Randy LeRoy, that meant matching his sharp ears and instincts to digital gear from early on, starting with the EQ1 from Weiss Engineering. Fifteen years after opening for business, Final Stage has grown into one of the busiest mastering houses in Nashville, and their Weiss gear has kept the pace.
"Some of my first pieces of digital processing gear were Weiss Engineering systems," says Randy LeRoy, whose long discography using Weiss gear includes recent projects for Pam Tillis, and Relient K, plus remastering for the Nitty Gritty Dirt band and Merle Haggard. "The Weiss boxes seemed to really come out and give you the quality and smoothness of digital processing that was never there before. They didn't change the tone and imaging of the mix, instead, all you heard was the slight EQ subtleties you were adding."
A convenient path for upgrades is a hallmark of Weiss Engineering gear. With the number of possible sampling rate/bit depth format possibilities expanding steadily over the last decade, LeRoy has been excited to see that his Weiss Engineering units have easily accommodated them. "As Final Stage started supporting higher sample rates, Weiss Engineering founder and president, Daniel Weiss, kept adding those capabilities too," LeRoy notes. "When I first purchased Weiss' EQ1 7-band EQ and DS1 compressor, they were both 44.1/48kHz units. Two years later, they upgraded them to the MK2 version, which was able to do 96kHz/24-bit. Soon after that, a Linear Phase model upgrade was available which allowed me to use the EQ1 in either MK2 or Linear Phase modes. I also took advantage of the DYN upgrade, which added dynamic control in the frequency domain.
"In each case, making the upgrade was just a question of switching out a board or processor chips. You don't have to be a hard-core tech to do it yourself. As these updates continued, I realized that Weiss Engineering was truly supporting these units, and not forcing me to buy a new a piece of hardware every time I wanted to add a special flavor to them. It was a big plus knowing that the manufacturer was standing behind my gear."
In addition to his EQ1MK2 DYN-LP and DS1MK2, LeRoy has continued to advance his Weiss Engineering ADC1 and DAC1 converters with Weiss' convenient Hydra double sampling standard changer interface. "I love the fullness and richness of the Weiss Engineering a/d and d/a converters. It's a very natural, smooth-sounding conversion and what comes in comes out," says LeRoy. "They're a great plus for mastering, whether it's restoration work or coming in from my analog EQs.
"Then some of the higher sample rates came about, and we had the AES/EBU dual wire/single wire issues cropping up between some of my pieces of digital gear. The Hydra box helped add much more flexibility into my system. It's a user-friendly, simple interface to do the dual-to-single-wire conversion that was necessary to connect many different kinds of digital gear. It's a good example of how realistic the company is about today's mastering environment. They listen to their end users about what they need, have great ideas, and they're great at implementing them."
Part of the Gambit series of professional digital audio equipment, the Weiss Engineering EQ1-MK2 incorporates seven identical parametric bands, covering the entire audio frequency range. High-level audio and ergonomic features include touch-sensitive knobs, a large backlit LCD display, a 128 snapshot bank and available POW-R dithering. The Weiss Engineering DS1 compressor/limiter/de-esser stands as a hallmark of audio quality in the digital realm, with powerful features such as soft knee, oversampling sidechain, linear-phase band splitter, and total bit-transparency. Both the DAC1 d/a converter and ADC2 a/d converter (successor to the ADC1) utilize Weiss Engineering's correlation technique, using two converters per channel, for outstanding sound quality.
For Final Stage, the consistent upgrades to Weiss Engineering systems are a key component in keeping ahead, and delivering top results for his choosy clientele in the process. "Facilities and their gear are always moving forward, and I want to be surrounded by gear and companies that do that with me," LeRoy concludes. "The sonic integrity and craftsmanship of Weiss gear comes through in the mastered product. They're the tools I need to make great mixes sound wonderful."
Weiss Engineering products are available through Las Vegas Pro Audio located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
LasVegasProAudio is the direct-sell division of TransAudio Group. LVPA acts as a much needed conduit between extremely busy pro audio professionals and boutique high-end equipment manufacturers including ADT analog processors, ATC studio monitors, Brauner microphones, Daking processing gear, Pauly "Superscreen" pop-filters, SoundField surround-sound microphones, Taytrix studio furniture, and Weiss Engineering digital processors. LasVegasProAudio.com provides clients with a long-term partnership delivering timely, accurate information and on-going customer service.
For more information visit www.lasvegasproaudio.com.
Related Keywords:Weiss Enginee, Final Stage Mastering, MK2, EQ1, EQ1MK2 DYN-LP, DS1MK2, ADC1, DAC1, Hydra, EQs,