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Neumann PEV - the cream of the passive EQs
Saturday, 18 June 2011 06:39

Neumann PevWe've been on the lookout for a set of Neumann PEV EQ's for a few years now. Why? Because they sound unique and impart a 60's passive vintage flavour which we knew would compliment our existing more 'modern' analog mastering EQ's.

We finally came across a set in the USA which were in excellent condition and snapped them up - we weren't going to let them get away!

Originally only found in the early 60's Neumann vinyl cutting lathes/transfer consoles these rare passive EQ cartridges consist of a 60Hz low shelf, a midrange with seven frequency choices, and a 10kHz high shelf. Effectively they are like an expensive tone control for your audio and can quickly & broadly re-shape the tone of your mix in a very musical manner.

The sound of these EQ's can be described as 'smooth' & 'broad'. The low end is large and creamy, the mids smooth & buttery, the highs smooth & silky. While not suitable for all styles, we've found nothing else that comes close to the tone of these remarkable EQ's for acoustic, RnB, hip-hop and some rock tracks.

We had the PEV modules carefully restored & set up for mastering in a custom rack by Rob Squire of Pro Harmonics.

We've also added a set of 'active' Neumann PEV-C modules which were one of the first Neumann designs to utilise the OA10 discrete op amp, and are equally as rare to source. The PEV-C's sound completely different to the PEV's which were passive inductor based with transistor (silicon) op amps. They have the same frequency choices & the same basic design but sonically they're worlds apart - the PEV-C sounds faster, snappier and punchier and suit more electronic or percussive styles of music where the EQ needs to be more up front and aggressive in nature.

Win online mastering
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 05:30

UPDATE: This competition is now closed.  Congratulations to Dave Hillis for winning.upload

We thought we'd run a little competition to start off the year. Here's how it works ...

All you have to do is sign up to our email list by the end of February 2011.  All new people who sign up go into the draw to win an online mastering session.

Please note:

  • An online mastering session is an unattended mastering session for one song.
  • The prize must be taken by 31st December 2011.

Queensland floods - charity single
Friday, 21 January 2011 07:24

Love You Queensland charity singleThis week, after the massive floods through the state of Queensland in Australia, Matthew Gray was involved in a project to raise money for the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Fund.

A selection of Queensland's music theatre stars, under the direction of Harvest Rain Theatre Company, recorded a ballad version of the Love You Queensland anthem.  The song includes the voices of Simon Gallaher, who made the song famous almost 30 years ago, Leisa Barry-Smith, Jason Barry-Smith, Liz Buchanan, Julie Cotterell, Kynan Francis, Angela Harding, Belinda Heit, Luke Kennedy, David Kidd, Hannah King, Shaun Kohlman, Dash Kruck, Arlie McCormick, Kathryn McIntyre, Naomi Price, Danika Saal, Megan Shorey, Lionel Theunissen and Luke Venables

The song was mastered by Matthew Gray Mastering and is available now from iTunes.  All proceeds from the song go to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Fund.

Ampex ATR-102 and why analog tape sounds so good
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 16:06

Ampex ATR-102Analog tape sounds amazing on the right project, which is why we have gone to significant effort and expense to have a custom modified Ampex ATR-102 two-track mastering tape deck right here in the studio.

The ATR-102 is the last mastering deck to roll off the Ampex assembly line before they ceased manufacturing in the late 1980's. Our machine was sourced from the University of Wisconsin, from where it was shipped directly to ATR Services for a complete internal rebuild with the highest grade components. This rebuild also included an exchange of the stock electronics for Aria Class A Reference Series electronics and flux magnetics mastering grade half-inch heads which gives it maximum transparency and detail.

Our ATR-102 was initially biased and aligned for Quantegy GP9 half-inch tape, but this tape has been unavailable since Quantegy closed its factory doors in 2007. Today the only companies producing analog tape are RMGI (formerly Emtec/BASF) with their 900 and 911 series tape, and a new company, ATR Magnetics, a sister company to ATR Services. ATR Magnetics have produced arguably the best sounding analog tape around. It is similar sounding to Quantegy 456, while able to maintain a higher operating level similar to Quantegy GP9. Our ATR-102 is now set up to run the ATR Magnetics tape.

Why analog tape?

Analog tape has the ability to subtly compress a mix in a very natural manner, and has what can only be described as a 'gluing' effect - giving a mix more cohesiveness by controlling and absorbing transient peaks in a way that no other compressor can hope to do. Analog tape can also add subtle harmonic distortion which helps to give a mix depth and width while softening harsh mid and high frequencies and adding a robustness to the lower frequencies.

The Ampex ATR-102 tends to work best on rock, metal and hip hop styles, and even folk or acoustic-based music that needs 'warming up'. Where it doesn't work well is when a mix is already quite compressed, dull or heavy in the low frequencies - in these cases the tape only tends to exaggerate these areas.

EP/Album deal
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:23

EP/Album Deal - Oct & NovWe've got a little deal running for you at the moment which you'll love if you have an EP or album ready to master.

Just book for an attended or online session during October or November 2010 and let us know you want the EP/Album deal, and you'll get the following rates:

$450 EP master

$900 Album master

Want to book? Just let us know!

Please note:

  • All prices exclude GST
  • An EP is up to 6 songs
  • An album is up to 12 songs
  • Bookings must be made by 26 November 2010 for sessions in October or November 2010.
Pacific Microsonics A/D & D/A converter
Saturday, 04 September 2010 16:06

Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model TwoConverting a signal from the digital domain into the analog domain and back again is a process which can introduce unwanted changes into the signal.  So in the interest of accuracy and detail, we take our converters very seriously.  Which is why we are excited that the Pacific Microsonics HDCD Model Two, one of the best analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) converters in the world, has arrived at our studios.

The Pacific Microsonics now sits beside our Cranesong HEDD 192 and the recently-purchased Forssell MADA-2 2-channel A/D & 2-channel D/A.

The recent purchases were made after much research followed by testing of a number of new high end A/D and D/A mastering converters from Lavry, Prism, Euphonix, Cranesong and Forssell. This extensive testing and the subsequent purchases means that we have the most accurate and detailed mastering converters currently available today.

All of this means that when you master with Matthew Gray Mastering your project will be captured with sonic transparency and remarkable detail using one of our range of world-class A/D and D/A converters.

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