An overhaul at D.E.S.!

We've made some significant improvements to our mastering system. Here's the exciting details!

4/11 TC Electronic Syustem 6000 mk.II

We have upgraded our TC System 6000 to the new mk.II version. This gives the System 6000 more processing power, plus expands the platform for futer updates in mastering software.

Time hasn't allowed updating news in a good while, but since 2005 we've made some significant changes, the most major being a completely new mastering room. Here's the gear we've added since our last update. We'll provide details soon.

Lipinski L707 monitors
Dual Velodyne DD-12 subwoofers

Thermionic Culture "Phoenix" Master Compressor
Thermionic Culture "Culture Vulture Mastering" tube distortion generator
Sonic/Metric Halo 304 interface
Dorroughs loudness meters


Masterpiece by Legendary Audio is a new analog mastering system designed by Mr. Rupert Neve. The Masterpiece is configured in a modular design with each module being reminiscent of classic Neve design processors and includes parametric eq, shelf eq, filters, tape simulation, phase correction, compression and image control.
The Masterpiece can be used in it's standard mode which you could basically say is the "New Neve Sound", which is super fast, precise and detailed, or it can be run in "Classic Mode", which is the fat warm sound of classic Neve processor and console designs.
But that is only part of the story. The most unique aspect of the Masterpiece design is the ability to apply these processors to the overall sound, or to specific low, mid or high bands or any combination of bands. For instance you could apply the "Classic Mode" to the lows only, tape simulation to highs only, compression to mids & highs only etc. It is truly the most unique mastering processor on the market.
The combination of our Crookwood console and our already impressive collection of Manley and TubeTech processors with the Legendary Audio Masterpiece gives DES an incredibly powerful array of mastering tools.
The Masterpiece has the solid state technology that is fast and accurate, our tube processors have warmth and color. The combination of the technologies is a beautiful thing. As one legendary engineer put it, "We take photographs with solid state. We paint pictures with tubes. Sometimes the best result is to paint over a photograph."


D.E.S is happy to announce that we are the first regional mastering facility to install a custom Crookwood Mastering Console from noted designer, Crispin Herrod-Taylor, formerly of Solid State Logic, Focusrite and Meridian. In mastering, the console is the Grand Central Station of the whole system. Everything, both analog and digital, is routed via the console. It also handles levels and balance to and from the analog processors. And in the Crookwood's case, it also allows the mastering engineer to switch between multiple a-to-d and d-to-a converters in order to determine which best suits the program material for sending and returning to the analog rack or for inputting analog sources. (Yes, even the best converters sound very different from each other.)
So in other words , the entire mastering system will only sound as good as the mastering console. The sound quality of the Crookwood is superb as you would expect given Crispin's pedigree, and the functionality has made our workflow simpler and allows the mastering engineer more flexibility, which means he can more quickly try different processors and processor combinations in order to find what fits your project the best.
To compliment the Crookwood, we have upgraded to all new high-definition cabling and connectors throughout the entire system. This together with the Crookwood Mastering Console ensures that your project will be treated with the pristine detail that it deserves.


We have acquired the first Manley Mastering SLAM! in North America. The SLAM! is a combination of a tube electro-optical limiter (e.l.o.p) and a solid state F.E.T. limiter, allowing the two distinctly different limiting methods to be used separately or in tandem. It can be used subtly to just kiss off the hottest peaks of delicate material by a dB or so, or it can be used as the nastiest rock & roll grinding loudness machine on the planet. The Manley Mastering SLAM!, together with our Manley Massive Passive tube eq and TubeTech SMC-2B tube compressor, gives D.E.S. a true state-of-the-art analog mastering system.


D.E.S. has added a pair of Lipinski L-707 monitors as our main reference speakers. The Lipiniski L-707s have been hailed as among the most accurate reference speakers on the market by some of the industry's top mastering and mixing engineers, and are possibly the most phase-coherent speaker made. This phase coherency not only provides the most stable stereo image, but also allows the mastering engineer to work longer without listening fatigue setting in.

and what better way to compliment a great pair of monitors than with;

Is the Bryston 4B SST the best sounding power amp in the world? Many say yes, and after hearing ours with the Lipiniski L-707 monitors, it's hard to imagine anything could be better. This amp has an absolutely unrestrainded, efforless sound that reveals details in mixes that allows the mastering engineer a crystal clear window to listen deep within the mix, and to make much more accurate decisions about sculpting the sound. No, it doesn't affect the sound of the mastering, but it gives the mastering engineer the most accurate reproduction possible to help him make the proper moves.


D.E.S. has added a pair of Earthworks Sigma 6.2 monitors as our secondary reference speakers. You'll find rave reviews of the Sigma 6.2's in most of the high-end audio and pro audio magazines.


The UA 2192 is not only one of the best sounding a-to-d and d-to-a converters on the market, it is also a master clock, which our entire mastering system is now clocked to. The sound quality of the UA 2192 is a result of three factors: on the digital side it uses the absolute state-of-the-art 192k 24 bit converters available, on the analog side it employs the world-renowned sound quality of United Audio electronics in all of the input and output analog stages, and on the clocking side it features a totally unique, proprietary digital clocking method that is the most stable clock to date, and that translates to the rest of the system as the 2192 makes that clock accessible on multiple word-clock outputs to which everything is now locked.
D.E.S. has dedicated the digital-to-analog converter of the UA 2192 as our monitor converter, and the analog-to-digital side as one of the options for returning from our analog mastering rack or for inputting analog sources. The UA 2192 together with our TC Electronic ADA9624 and Mytek WS2424 gives D.E.S. the broad flexibility of three of the finest converters available.

4/02 - TC ADA96/24 converters. WOW!

D.E.S. Has just added the TC ADA96/24 a-to-d/d-to-a converter, and it is nothing short of spectacular. We are dedicating this converter to our analog mastering loop feeding and returning the signal from our analog processing rack and the ATR-102 1/2" two-track. (See Analog Mastering for details on this process.)
TC's original intention was to build a converter that rivals the best in the market such as the Prism, the dB Technologies, the Crane Song etc. Not only were they successful in building a converter that is the equal of any of these, but they went a step further; Every converter on the market has a particular "flavor" of sound - some are warm, some are bright, some are punchy and so on. This is generally influenced by the way the filtering is applied in the converters. So TC decided to implement a variety of filtering methods, the end result being five distinctively different sounds available from the same converter. This allows the mastering engineer to begin tailoring the sound just by choosing the appropriate setting for the particular type of music even before any processing is added.
This move has also allowed us to move our Mytek WS24/24 converter, which is also one of the highest regarded converters on the market, as our dedicated monitoring D-to-A converter, with the option of using it's A-to-D side as yet another option from the TC ADA96/24.

8/01 - BIG BIG NEWS!!!! The Ampex ATR-102 1/2" 2-track!

D.E.S. Has made a major step with the purchase of an Ampex ATR-102 1/2" analog two-track machine with Dolby SR. This vintage tape deck is considered by the mastering world to be the definitive analog two-track machine. This not only gives D.E.S. the ability to master from analog 1/2" stereo masters, but it gives our clients who have mixed to a digital format the option of layback mastering, which is the preferred mastering method of most topflight producers in the industry today. Click Here for details.


7/01 - Tube Tech SMC-2B Tube Compressor

D.E.S. Has acquired the new TubeTech SMC-2B multi-band tube compressor. This is a VERY impressive piece of equipment; not just a vintage-style servo-optical tube compressor, but a three-band tube compressor! it had to be impressive for us to choose it over the Manley Vari-Mu, and it is. The SMC-2B combined with our Manley Massive Passive tube eq and our Mytek 24 bit converters gives D.E.S. the finest in analog mastering technology. But you say you mixed to a digital format, so analog mastering doesn't apply to you? Not so! Click Here for details.


11/00 - TC Electronic System 6000

D.E.S. has upgraded to the new TC Electronic System 6000, which arguably represents the current state-of-the-art in digital processors. This mainframe features eq, dynamics, ambience/reverbs and fx in a 48 bit platform with sample rates up to 96kHz. This allows even radical eq and dynamics processing to be achieved without even a hint of aliasing or other digital artifacts. The eq is the best digital eq that we have heard. Of course the system is 96k capable, and has full mastering capabilities for surround in 5.1 and 7.1 configurations. The TC M5000 has been our workhorse mastering processor since 1994, and now we are thrilled to take the next step with the fantastic new technology of the System 6000.


4/00 - The Manley Massive Passive arrives!

D.E.S. is in the process of putting together a first-class analog mastering rack, and what better way to start than with the highly acclaimed Manley Massive Passive tube equalizer? This eq imparts an unbelievable sweetness and fatness to the sound, and is rapidly becoming a favorite in top-end mastering houses around the world. We use Mytek 24 bit AD/DA converters to get to the analog world and back to digital in 24 bit resolution. We currently feature the Aphex Compellor/Dominator pairing as an analog dynamics option, with plans to add a tube compressor/limiter (most likely the Manley Vari-Mu).



D.E.S. Has just acquired Sonic NoNoise broadband noise reduction for our SSHD mastering system that you will read about below. NoNoise is the industry standard for removing broadband noise (hiss) from existing recordings. Whether this is analog tape noise from an old master tape, or hiss from a noisy instrument or processor, NoNoise is the most transparent way to remove it.



D.E.S. Has upgraded our main mastering suite to the new Sonic Solutions High Density Mastering System. The SSHD represents the new industry standard in mastering technology, and is now featured in the top mastering houses around the world. The SSHD features digital editing & mastering at 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k, 96k or 192kHz with a 48 bit internal processing path. This is not a fudging of numbers like most workstation manufacturers use in order to claim 24 or 32 bit resolution; this is a true 48 bit digital path with all digital processing performed at 48 bit resolution.

Even when mastering from 44.1kHz, 16 bit sources such as DAT or CD-R, this will still yield an audible advantage; though the soundfile is recorded at 16 bit resolution, the SSHD performs all DSP functions (fades, volume changes, eq, dynamics - anything that alters the signal in any way) in the 48 bit domain, which will eliminate any hint of digital artifacts or signal degradation caused by extreme (or even minor) signal processing.

After the program is edited, mastered & assembled, the SSHD dithers the signal down to 16 bit using a choice of five different dithering options, including Sony Super Bitmapping 1 and 2 and Sonic Turbo Bitmapping. When everything is done properly, this will yield a 16 bit CD master with apparent 20 bit resolution; a major improvement. The better the recording, the more advantage this will yield - giving a detail and warmth to low-level signals and subtle details that analog purists claim digital is incapable of delivering.

The real advantage of the SSHD will come to fore if you bring your material to D.E.S. in a high resolution mixdown format. Click Here for details on high resolution formats.

All of this portends a movement toward better sound quality, and with the addition of the SSHD, Digital Editing Services has made a commitment to keep abreast of these changes and to offer the Dallas/North Texas region a true world-class mastering option.



We have already upgraded our new SSHD system with a dedicated processor card. This will offer some major advantages It will allow more unrestricted use of soon-to-be-released plug in processors within the system. The dedicated processor also gives us the ability for very powerful processes like NoNoise to be performed in stereo in real time. This will be a tremendous savings in time for clients requiring noise reduction.



           D.E.S.'s Sonic SSHD system is directly upgradable to accommodate
           mastering for DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD. As these formats gain
           acceptance, and as our clientele demands, D.E.S. will expand our
     system to accommodate these exciting new media.
           The Super Audio CD will deliver digital audio at 96Khz or 192kHz, 24 bit and will
           require a special player for high-resolution playback.
           DVD-Audio is an audio-only version of the DVD-Video disc. These will deliver
           audio in 5.1 surround sound, and can be up to 96Khz, 24 bit resolution. These
           can also contain text (song lyrics, album liner notes etc.) and pictures that
           can be  viewed on a TV or monitor.



           The SSHD will soon be supported by major third party developers who will
           offer state-of-the-art mastering plug-ins designed to take full advantage
     of the SSHD's high resolution 48 bit technology. These will not be toy
     plug-in processors like many lower-end systems feature, but processors
     designed by the world's finest manufacturers - names such as Weiss
     Engineering and George Massenburg Labs.


           Will always strive to keep abreast of the best and most current
           technology and techniques.



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