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High-end-mastering with the Tubecore mix- and mastering-compressor


Audio to the highest standard

Our goal is to work out the best possible sounding results and to support the vision of the artist. How is “best” to be understood?

We all know that sometimes technically proscribed things like a small pinch of distortion in the right place, inaccurate phasing or even a slightly pumping compressor is exactly what a song needs to come to life, to give it a statement, or to simply underline the contained intention.

Interestingly, many think that analogue is better than digital. That may be true, but not necessaringly. We are not as dogmatic. Because funnily enough the “better” analogue sound consists of exactly the errors in audio- transmission as described above (and even more). These are distortions and phase-problems, for example, like they can be found in every analogue device, be it based on tubes or semiconductors. The nice “sound of tape” actually is the saturation, mostly distortions and results of inaccuracies (cp. bias, hysteresis and saturation and wow and flutter). Without exception any analogue audio device adds those kind of “errors” to the signal, even the most expensive ones. The proverbial “wire with gain” has not been invented to date, even if highly developed devices could be in reach of it. Every analogue processor in the signal-chain leaves its signature to the sound. That is, why devices are explicitly chosen in order to form the audio-signal to the liking of the listeners. For example THE Neve-sound. A great deal of it are the transformers in the signal path, that make that “legendary” impression. Every audio engineer knows the saying “the sound is in the iron”. This refers to the design of a transformer. Its core (partly) consists of iron (or another metal like nickel) and the resulting combination of phase-problems and harmonic distortions as well as shaping the frequency-spectrum can be achieved by carefully designing its properties (for example size of the core, the material and length of coils etc.). But not everyone likes the resulting sound of a transformer. The same goes with tube-sound. The ones swear on it, but those preferring a focused and transparent direct sound most probably might not get lucky with the soft-focusing effect of tubes/valves.

So the actual art of mixing and mastering lies in the skill to choose the right tool for the given situation, rather than being dogmatic. That can be a transformer or a valve, or none of both, but instead a high-end phase-linear digital EQ with lowest distortion and highest possible precision, for example. Because of this we pursue the hybrid-production-approach since many years now for mixing and mastering. We use analogue AND digital tools. Whatever is the best for the particular job.

It all depends on emotions and a very good and trained hearing combined with broad knowledge about the underlying technology and the psychoacoustical basis of human perception. Using all of this we can achive an outstanding sounding result.

Music is transporting emotions. And we do everything, that these can reach the heart. 30 years as a musician and more than 20 years as an audio engineer is a strong basis to build on.

My personal demand is the perfect realiziation of your project according to highest tonal and musical standards.

André Fliß

An interesting link: Bob Ludwig on Loudness Wars