SPL has a long tradition in designing and manufacturing exceptional mastering equipment such as the flagship 8-channel mastering console, the "MMC1" used by mastering gurus such as Bob Ludwig, Simon Heyworth, and Darcy Proper along with the ‘King of Parametric Equalizers’ the iconic "PQ",
The company is expanding its Mastering Series hardware line. The three new units are the redesigned DMC stereo mastering console, the MC16, a 16-channel analogue mastering monitor controller, and the updated PASSEQ, passive mastering equaliser. All three products are now shipping and are available in the US and Canada through distributor Audio Plus Services.
The new DMC stereo mastering console is engineered from the ground-up making it not only more flexible with better specs than SPL’s previous console, but also more ergonomic and sized to fit in all types of studio furniture. The 3RU console has four stereo inputs and four stereo sources, with two stereo recording outputs, as well as three stereo and two mono speaker outputs that can be expanded with the new MC16 controller (see below). The new DMC console operates on the same unequaled 120V DC audio rail like each of the other SPL Mastering Series processors. The new DMC console is priced at half of its predecessor, and yet offers more features and improved audio performance.
This monitoring controller operates on SPL’s 120V DC audio rail and sports the world’s first 16-gang custom-designed precision potentiometer from SPL. Most mastering studios use their L/R speakers (and subwoofer) for both stereo and multi-channel monitoring; to expand on that standard setup, SPL has developed a way of pairing the MC16 with their new DMC stereo mastering console for seamless integration of multi-channel monitoring with a stereo mastering environment. The combination of DMC and MC16 allows mastering studios to work in all current audio playback formats at the same quality level, all without reconnecting any speakers.
The newly updated PASSEQ passive mastering equaliser complements the range of 120V audio rail Mastering Series processors. Each channel of the new PASSEQ offers 72 passive filters – all built with high-grade single core coils. Compared to its predecessor, the new PASSEQ sports an extended high frequency EQ range to 35kHz making it ideally suited for ‘ultra high frequency’ processing, and the Mid Frequency Cut now starts much lower at 200Hz compared to its predecessor at 1kHz. Other new features include a +/- 10dB output gain control for precise calibration and the Auto Bypass function with interval control that is also featured on SPL’s IRON mastering compressor and the PQ mastering equalizer.
Mastering engineer Michael Romanowski is using the DMC console at his Coast Mastering studio with great results. "The new DMC is the heart of my mastering system, with all my analogue processing gear connected to it," he said.
"The most important things for me about the DMC are its transparency, its flexibility in gain structure, and its monitoring capabilities. And with emerging markets for immersive audio, its ability to expand the channel count is a necessity. Those are the biggest reasons that I choose to use the DMC.
"The DMC is so clean sounding and open, the transparency of the sound is fantastic. I like how much headroom the audio has, that I can push it, let it breathe, or anywhere in-between – I can count on what I’m hearing to be accurate. I am not hearing anything holding it back in any way. Because I use analog outboard gear for all of my mastering work, the DMC allows me to set my gain structure correctly with the input and output trims. I can get my analogue chain to behave with exactly the right signal to noise ratio that works for my system."
"I also like the feel of using it," he adds. "The new DMC has all the functions I need as a console. I like the feel of the knobs, and the clean and intuitive layout is perfect to stay focused in my work. I can’t say enough about how good this new DMC console is for me."
SPL DMC stereo mastering console: street price $6,499
SPL MC16 16-channel analog monitoring controller: street price $5,999
SPL PASSEQ passive mastering equalizer: street price $5,999