Recording and Production in the News
New Robbie Williams album uses full Prism Sound range
Robbie Williams' new album "Escapology" has been produced and mixed by Steve Power and Guy Chambers using the full range of studio and mastering equipment from Prism Sound. Power first used the Prism Sound equipment on Williams' multi-platinum album "I've Been Expecting You". At that time, he was investigating a wide variety of converters and recording media.
Of several concurrent copies of "I've Been Expecting You" that he recorded, the recording preferred by Power was made using Prism Sound's 96kHz, 24-bit technology: "It's massively better than anything else - a quantum leap forward" he said.
"I put the material down to 16-bit DAT, to half-inch, and to 96kHz/24-bit," he explained. "And there was no comparison. With the 96/24, everything was there - the depth and the frequencies; it was just clearer in the mid-range. It was exactly as it was coming out of the desk. If we'd used half-inch, we'd probably have wanted to put some top onto it, but it wasn't necessary with the 96/24; everything was focused."
On "I've Been Expecting You", the AD-2 A/D Converter was used with Prism Sound's MR-2024T bit-mapping adapter, enabling 24-bit 96kHz recording on a standard TASCAM DA-88. For "Escapology", Prism Sound ADA-8's were interfaced directly to Pro Tools|HD. Also used in the mix, both on individual tracks and on the stereo mix were multiple analogue EQs and Compressors from the Prism Sound 'Maselec Master Series'.
Later Tony Cousins of Metropolis, who mastered the album, echoed Power's sentiments: "I'm a pretty dyed-in-the-wool analogue man and it was a really pleasant surprise to me. The 96k version gave a better-defined, clearer sound every time compared to the half-inch. The level of detail, especially in the low-end, was very impressive and always better than the analogue half-inch.
"The Robbie Williams music was very well mixed and arranged and some of it was quite complex in terms of mixing. From a mastering point of view, I'd say it's a great format to mix to. The difference is startling, though I would qualify that and say that it depends on the material. But in this case, it was substantially different."
Metropolis are equipped with a considerable quantity of Prism Sound equipment, including A/D and D/A Converters and 'Maselec Master Series' EQs and Compressors. Cousins commented: "It's as good a compressor as I've ever used, without doubt. It is nearly always in use at Metropolis."
In the mean time, the Prism Sound AD-2 and DA-2 have become established as the high-end standard in A/D, D/A and sample-rate conversion, along with their eight-channel counterpart, the ADA-8. Besides Metropolis, many other of the world's top studios now rely on them, including Abbey Road, Air, Marcussen Mastering and Sterling Sound.
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