Recording and Production in the News
Bender Mastering Studio brings Prism Sound quality to the Portuguese mastering marketCambridge, UK : A combination of Prism Sound and Maselec equipment has been given centre stage at Bender Mastering Studio, a new mastering facility that recently opened in Portugal to cater for local artists and record labels.
A collection of Prism Sound and Maselec equipment at Bender Mastering
Based in Aveiro, Bender Mastering was established by 23-year-old Miguel Pinheiro Marques, who has a degree in Music from ESMAE in Oporto and has been working as a recording and mixing engineer since he was 18.
"While working in commercial recording studios I recognised that most clients didn't have enough money to master their records abroad, nor could they easily access an affordable and reliable local mastering option," Marques explains. "I started Bender Mastering because I recognised the need for a professional mastering facility here in Portugal. There are a few mastering rooms in large recording studios but I wanted to create a facility that was based around really good equipment. I am also providing an online platform so that I can accept jobs from anywhere in Portugal, which is something that no one else is currently offering."
Bender Mastering has one studio running a combination of analogue and digital equipment, which was supplied by Mastering Mansion in Madrid. The list includes a Prism Sound Orpheus Computer FireWire interface , which handles all of the studios conversion requirements. Marques has installed Prism Sound Maselec MLA-2 and MEA-2 units for all equalisation and compression, plus an AMS-Neve 1073 DPA which runs as the line driver. The facility also has a range of software including Pro Audio DSP, Softube, Sonnox and Abbey Road Plug-ins.
"I chose the Prism Sound/Maselec units because they are versatile and clean sounding without being totally transparent and sterile," Marques explains. "I think this is a good thing because it imprints some analogue warmth and character into any mix, which gives life and vibe to the music. For transparency, I rely on digital processing and this is where the Orpheus comes in. It is a great sounding unit that compliments the Maselec Series really well. Not only does it sound great, but it is also very good value financially because it is an integrated solution. You get eight channels of AD and DA, a monitor controller, an ADAT/SPDIF interface, SRC and Noise Shaping, and the list goes on. That's why we are seeing more and more Prism Sound Orpheus units in mastering studios around the world."
Marques adds that the Orpheus unit gives him enormous creative freedom because it allows him to access all his analogue and digital equipment via his mouse.
"With the Orpheus, I have all my analogue gear in loops of AD/DA," he says. "These are always connected, so I can insert any piece of equipment into my DAW as though it were a plug-in, complete with latency compensation and everything else. This means that I have infinite possibilities of mixing plug-ins and outboard to get the best mastering chain for all types of music, without ever touching a cable or a patch bay. The Orpheus was the perfect solution for my mastering studio because of its eight channels of great AD/DA in a single interface, without needing another computer interface or converters."
Although Bender Mastering is a completely new studio, Marques has already started attracting local clients. He has recently completed the mastering of a Christmas CD for Portuguese record label Edies Convite Msica, which specialises in music for children, and he has a number of other projects lined up for the future.
"I am offering free mastering samples to musicians and sound engineers so that they can try our services without compromise, he says. Initial feedback has been very positive and although this is a competitive market I think the combination of our online facility and our exceptionally high quality equipment will prove a winning formula."
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