Recording and Production in the News
Audio Network chooses OrpheusCambridge, UK: Production music library Audio Network has invested in a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire computer interface for its purpose-built mastering studio in Essex, where it is being used as the studio's main sound device.
Christopher Brooke with Orpheus
Established 10 years ago, Audio Network has offices in London, New York, Holland and Australia and is internationally renowned for offering a complete music solution that cuts through the traditionally complex and costly processes of licensing music for television and advertising. The company has a catalogue of more than 40,000 original music tracks created by over 270 international composers who include such luminaries as Ray Davies, Chris Blackwell, John 00 Fleming, Terry Devine-King and Nik Kershaw. Every one of its high quality tracks is pre-cleared for multiple formats and can be downloaded for multi-platform, international use for a single flat fee. Audio Network also supplies more than 50,000 sound effects and a collection of famous classical works from its Borradaile Collection. The company supplies music to some major international media clients, including BBC, HBO, MSN, MTV Networks, National Geographic, Ogilvy, and Endemol.
Audio Network's studio facility, which is located in Little Maplestead, is used for mastering and for remixing composers' original song files or stems. Many of the recordings take place in commercial studios such as Abbey Road, which have the space for large orchestral sessions.
Mastering engineer Christopher Brooke, who is responsible for the Little Maplestead studio, says: "The Prism Sound Orpheus was bought as part of the original specification of the studio, largely for the quality of the converters and its driver stability. As the studio's main sound device it is central to my workflow and in use all day, every day. It is principally working as my D/A and volume controller where its accurate LED display and digital readout in the control panel software are very useful for keeping my reference levels known and consistent. The other i/o is used for integrating analogue effects loops when required, a MIDI controller keyboard, and microphones for the occasional vocal session."
Audio Network's studio is equipped with Logic, Pro Tools, Wavelab and a Blue Sky Sat 12 2.1 monitor system running straight from the Prism Sound Orpheus. It also has a Lexicon PCM96 running over FireWire, but most of the processing is done with plug-ins (Waves, Sonnox, Slate Digital) inside the box - a fully loaded 8-core Mac Pro.
"Apart from its great sounding audio, flexible routing software and excellent stability, the Orpheus is also a 'do it all' device that is ideal for a small studio like this," Brooke explains. "As a mastering engineer who works 'in the box' I don't require large numbers of inputs and outputs but I do need very high quality D/As and an accurate volume control. For the occasions when I'm doing more complex mix projects or some live recording, having top quality mic pres, multiple i/o and a MIDI input means I don't need any other outboard."
Brooke, who joined Audio Network at the beginning of this year, used to work as a classical music editor and had previously experienced Prism Sound's audio quality through working with the company's Dream AD2 and DA2 stereo converters. He says he is delighted the studio's previous engineer had insisted on an Orpheus because it fits perfectly with Audio Network's ethos of delivering quality products by using the best equipment on the market.
Since its installation the unit has been used on numerous projects, including a very topical Royal Wedding album, which has just been released (catalogue number 1576). Currently in production is album number 1600, which features sweeping movie trailer themes composed by Terry Devine King and recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road.
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