For this SPL User Story, we take you on a trip to France – more specifically to Sémalens, where SPL user Alexandre Charnier lets you have an inside look at his Capitaine Mastering studio. Alexandre’s specialist field is analog mastering and – as you may already been guessing right – he is using a whole lot of SPL Mastering equipment.
You want to know which SPL devices he uses and how?
You’ll get the answers within this story. We wish you lots of fun reading.
Here we go:
DMC is the centerpiece of my mastering studio.
It’s a tool that allows me to easily compare different converters, audio sources and monitors. These comparisons can easily be performed with the “interval” function [Auto Bypass]. The various volume control options are very well thought out. Now my workflow is optimal and the time saved allows me to work on more projects.
Compression before or after the EQ?
In what order should I chain my equipment?
Hermes allows me to compare different combinations with just one push of a button.
The signal flow is sonically transparent and intuitive to use thanks to the naming options. The Parallel Mix, to e.g. precisely dose the amount of compression, is another great feature of this mastering router.
This equipment has significantly changed the quality of my masters to a higher level.
The Gemini is the device that reinvented all of my others gear.
Place a voice properly in a mix by processing only the MID signal?
Open up a mix by processing the SIDE signal?
Compress the MID signal only?
Only process the volume of the MID signal?
Manipulate the stereo width?
All of this is possible with the Gemini.
The elliptical filter is very important and allows me to optimize the low frequency range. For me it would be hard to work without this equipment nowadays.
With the PQ Mastering Equalizer I can quickly adapt to a reference track, I use it very often in M/S mode with the Gemini.
With the Proportional Q, I can easily process broader frequency ranges.
These can intuitively be identified and manipulated.
The 1/4 gain function, the detented knobs and the separate frequency bands make it a great tool in my mastering studio.
I often use the IRON for leveling with a maximum gain reduction of 1dB or 2dB.
Its headroom seems limitless. It avoids unwanted peaks and compresses the sound that passes through it in a very musical way. The sidechain EQs presets allows me to save some frequencies and be more selective in my compression. I owe it excellent masterings.
With the MixDream I can include all my hardware peripherals. Since I’ve owned it, I’ve been getting better results for my stem mastering service. The “Peak Limiter” and the “Stereo Width” are very interesting in a mixing situation.