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Masterpiece Sounding “Crystal Clear”

Keith Rust (standing) and Nolan Brett (seated) at the Masterpiece in Crystal Clear’s Studio B

Dallas-based recording studio Crystal Clear Sound recently upgraded its Studio B Mastering Suite with the addition of a Digidesign Pro Tools|HD system, B&W 805S monitors and the new Masterpiece from Legendary Audio.

The Masterpiece, conceived by mastering engineer Billy Stull with all circuitry designed by audio legend Rupert Neve, is a two-channel analog mixing/mastering system equipped with four pairs of vertically oriented filter modules aesthetically reminiscent of vintage Neve designs. These modules collectively offer such amenities as precision peak and shelving equalizers, a full-featured dynamics section, highly authentic tape texture (thanks to a real tape drive circuit), incremental phase rotation, various classic audio functions and more.

Aside from being able to enhance or reduce the level of natural ambience inherent in a recording, the Masterpiece’s image control feature can also be used to increase or decrease the width of the stereo sound image, as well as alter the placement of elements on the sound stage such as dramatically moving instruments from one position in the stereo field to another, or sending vocals forward, backward or completely out of the mix.

According to studio manager and senior engineer Keith Rust, Crystal Clear Sound purchased the Legendary Audio unit largely on Mr. Neve’s reputation for excellence. “I never buy things that I haven’t personally played with—with this exception. When I first saw the product on Legendary Audio’s website, I knew it would be fantastic, so we sent Nolan Brett, our primary mastering engineer, down to Wimberley [Texas] to check it out. He came back saying that everything that went through the unit sounded more transparent and brighter. Not brighter in the sense that someone has simply turned up the knob at 10k, but, rather, just open. And with a 100k bandwidth, there’s a pretty good chance that that’s possible.”

Aside from its recording and mastering studios, Crystal Clear Sound also provides CD, DVD and cassette duplication, music distribution, band wear and other services. For more information, visit the company’s Website at

For more information on Legendary Audio, visit